IN "CAR" MAGAZINE JAN 1996 COLIN GOODWIN give his views of the Toyota Supra
THE FIRST TIME I DROVE A Toyota Supra I was nearly killed. Not my fault, or the car's, but some German kids dropping stones off an autobahn bridge. I was driving the Supra-dupra back from Hamburg, trundling along at about a ton. The stone hit the bonnet just in front of the windscreen leaving an impressive crater. Another nanosecond and the windscreen would have been taken out, quickly followed by my boat race. After that the memories are really rather good.
The Supra is limited to 156mph but could do 185mph were it not electronically castrated. That said, I passed a GB-registered Land Rover Disco on a downhill at an indicated 170mph. The Disco nearly fell over in my wake. And then there was the superbike that ran out of puff trying to keep up. Most satisfying.
Now, if life is getting a little predictable and dull, get hold of a Supra, take it to a wet moorland road and switch off the traction control. The Supra is a very fast car indeed. Nought-to-sixty in five, no less. And its double-turbo, 326bhp, six pot doesn't give a damn which of the six gears you're in; press the throttle and it's instant thrust, thrust that few other cars can match.
Switchable traction control is a worrying device and in the Supra turning it off is like sliding off a machine gun's safety catch; you've got to be careful, or the car may go off unexpectedly. Little wonder I have a horror of being found upside down in a field with the TC disarmed. If you're willing to take the risk, however, there's endless opposite lock fun to be had.
With the safety catch on, the Supra is very surefooted, even in the damp. What's more, the Supra can stop as well as it can go, thanks to funky-looking calipers complete with Supra script.
Many hate the Toyota's outrageous styling, but I really like it, wing and all. Besides, it comes from the company that brought us the Corolla and Camry; so don't complain when something really outrageous is wheeled out.
The trouble for Toyota is that the blistering front-engined sports coupe is a non-seller these days. Apparently the car is a big hit with lottery winners, several of whom (including the one that's in the pokey) have bought one. I wonder if they feel lucky enough to leave the safety catch off.
Engine: 2997cc 24V straight-six, twin turbochargers, 326bhp, 325lb ft
Performance: 156mph, 5.0sec 0-60,25.5 mpg
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