Now I know I'll get stabbed by all the hardcore JDM fanboys because the Supra is the holy grail of JDM. But, hear me out. I personally have no gripe against the A80 Supra but I think it's more of the culture around it that has destroyed the value and real heritage of this JDM icon. The whole hype and love for the A80 has been blown out of proportion.
The A80 Supra and Toyota in the 90's has a very rich motorsport history. The Celica dominated the WRC stages, the AE86 Corolla was an absolute legend when it came to drifting and the Supra was one of the finest racecars for the track.
The A80 came with a couple of engine variants. You could get the non-turbo 2JZ-GE engine and the legendary 2JZ-GTE turbo engine. Now we all know how capable the 2JZ-GTE is and it can push out some astronomical figures on stock internals. And if you put forged parts and an upgraded turbo, you have a car which can put Bugatti’s to shame. But again putting Bugatti’s to shame isn’t as easy it seems.
The main problem for me with the Supra is that, it cannot put the power down. Yes the I6 Turbo can put out horsepower numbers equivalent to modern hypercars, but what will all of that power do if you’re just doing a massive burnout at the start line while a ratty little B16 Honda Civic is farting its way to victory?
I have sat in a A80 Supra here in Pune and I got to say you feel all of those Japanese vibes through your veins. The interior really is driver focused and the one I had sat in had all of the boost gauges and pressure gauges on the A-Pillar. The one I sat in was a white Supra with a giant wang, tuned to approximately 900 whp. This particular car was tossed around in India for quite sometime. Before its life in Pune I am unsure where it was but after that, it got sold to man in Bangalore, then another guy bought it in Bangalore then it made its way back to Pune.
During this generous game of share the Supra, the 900 whp got detuned all the way down to 700, then 500 and now currently it is a 400 whp Supra. That just shows that the Supra is a really hard car to master and especially drive on public roads like in India. Since this car had a Single Turbo setup rather than the a Twin Turbo one, once you got into the spooling range of the turbo, all of the power would just hit you like a freight train. Thats sounds really awesome, but on public roads, that means you’re on your way to Paul Walker.
The Supra however I feel has just been abused and overhyped by enthusiasts from all over the world. Yes it one of the greats, yes it has a fantastic engine, but if you’re not on a drag strip or a track, the Supra just isn’t that joyous to drive. Finding the perfect Supra is also really tough nowadays in any country. Most of the manual Supra have been scooped by Supra aficionados or collectors. The ones you will find for sale would be 2000 whp dragsters with a blown engine block or an automatic transmission.
Moreover, I personally love and lust after the R34 GTR. I think its just a much more exquisite and well sorted car. It is much more better looking for me too. Yes maybe the RB26-TT may not be able to put out 2000 whp but at least I can drive the car properly with 600 whp and AWD. All in all I just feel the R34 is much more usable as a driver’s car and has an equally rich heritage story.
I love you mom.