1998 Toyota Supra Review
Pros & Cons
- Fast, cool, and fun-to-drive. One of the cheapest exotics you can buy.
- Kind of strange looking front end.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Looking like some kind of hybrid between an F-16 and a Ferrari F40, the wide-eyed Supra arrived late in 1993 to do battle with everything from the Nissan 300ZX to Lexus SC coupes. The wild exterior cloaks an austere but inviting cabin where the first order of business is driving. Under the hood, you have a choice of two inline six-cylinder engines: a twin-cammer good for 225 horsepower or a twin-turbo version of the same that ups output by 95 horsepower.
This year, Toyota applies its Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence technology to the regularly aspirated inline-six engine, giving the base car improved horsepower and torque numbers.
The automotive press has absolutely gushed about the Supra driving experience. No doubt, this is a serious driving machine. However, we've noticed that Toyota has been having trouble lately creating attractive sport cars. The Celica is quite a good looking sportster, until the bulging eyes up front seemingly follow your every move as you round the hood. The image is one of a shark ready to strike, and you find yourself wishing you had a spear to jab into one of the headlights. The Supra is also a beautiful work of art, but the hyena-like front styling is disconcerting. The Supra has a wild-eyed look, and the huge air intake below the bumper needs only a row of white teeth to guarantee that small children would never pass within twenty feet of the front end. The rear, with its rows of science-project taillights, massive rear fascia, and obnoxious wing, is just too much. Why Toyota tacked this front and rear aberration onto an otherwise restrained and wonderfully styledbody is a mystery.
As usual, though, we have a theory. In the United States, the Supra's main market, there really aren't any public roads (save for some desolate desert highway) to use the Supra to its full potential. The stylists wanted the Supra to be noticed. They wanted it to sell. So they gave it 'Look at me!' styling to generate as much of a commotion at a supermarket parking lot as it would at 120 on Interstate 10. It works.