1986.5 - 1992:
Supra Separates from the Celica line.

MKIII cut-away In mid-year 1986 the all-new MKIII was introduced, officially separating the Supra from the newly front-wheel drive Celica. The 86.5 Supra had a new block under the hood, although it used the crankshaft from the JDM MKII's 6M-GE. The 3-liter, 24-valve DOHC inline six 7M-GE produced 200 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. A notable new feature was the "Intake Air Control" system which tuned the air-tract length for different engine speeds through a separate valve downstream of the throttle valve. Thanks to the IAC, at least 80% of the 185 lb-ft of torque was on hand from 1200 to 6400 rpm. That power was passed through a standard 5-speed transmission, although those with lazy left feet could opt for the electronically controlled 4-speed automatic. 16X7" alloy wheels shod in 225/50VR16 tires were suspended on all four corners by double-wishbone impendent suspension. "Toyota Electronically Modulated Suspension" (TEMS) was also available in an optional sports package with along with a limited slip differential. This system allowed the driver to select between "normal" (soft) and "sport"(medium) modes. The TEMS computer would automatically set the shocks to medium at freeway speeds, and would go firm under hard braking, acceleration, or sharp steering inputs. The Supra received a full assortment of gauges including an 8000rpm tachometer, speedometer, temperature, oil pressure, and voltage along with warning lights for coolant level, brake pressure/parking brake, and engine trouble codes.

On the comfort and convenience side, the automatic climate control allowed the driver to set the degrees and allow the system to decide on the fan speed and temperature. A tilting and telescoping steering wheel, and the optional 8-way adjustable power driver's seat allowed anyone to fit like a glove in the Supra's cockpit. Cruise control, power windows, and door locks were additional amenities, along with a first-rate stereo. For those who faced a rough winter, the power mirrors had a built in defroster, and the headlight sprayers allowed clean lights at the press of a button. If that wasn't enough, a super monitor was available to calculate fuel mileage or view diagnostic codes.

In 1987 the Supra Turbo is introduced positioning the Supra as a high-performance GT. While the previous version of the Supra competed head-on with Mustangs and Camaro's, the new Turbo model placed the Supra in direct comparison with the venerable Z-car, RX-7, and Corvette. The new engine for 1987 featured a turbocharged version of the 7M-GE engine appropriately labeled the 7M-GTE. This intercooled 6-cylinder engine produced 232 horsepower: 32 more than the normally aspirated (NA) version. Continuing as a showcase of technology the new Turbo model offers anti-lock brakes (ABS) for the first time.

1986.5-1992: Sales/Recall/Price Data

Year 1986.5 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
U.S. Sales 33,283 29,907 19,596 14,544 6,419 3,623 1,193
Recalls None None None None None None None
Original List $17,990 $19,990,
$22,260 (turbo)
$23,760 (turbo)
$24,700 (turbo)
$25,200 (turbo)
$27,290 (turbo)
$28,750 (turbo)


1986.5: Supra model is newly introduced as a free standing model no longer associated with the Celica. Originally scheduled for a 1986 debut, production delays cause the model to be introduced mid year (hence the 1986.5 designation). Power for the all new Supra was from a 200 hp, 3.0 liter DOHC inline six cylinder engine. Notable features include an electronically controlled independent suspension going by the moniker, Toyota Electronic Modulated Suspension (TEMS), and a removable Sport-Roof panel. LSD, ABS, and headlight washers were optional.

1987: First Supra turbo model is introduced. The intercooled, turbocharged engine boosts hp to 230 and torque to 246 ft-lbs. Other unique features of the turbo are an engine oil cooler and integrated rear spoiler. The sports package, which is standard on the turbo and optional on the base model, offers limited slip differential (LSD), TEMS, and headlamp washers. New Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) available as an option on all models. Besides the Turbo's standard 1-peice spoiler, other visual differences include a boost gauge where the NA's Voltmeter would reside, and a "turbo" badge on the rear of the car.

1988: The '88 Mk3 was carried over from 1987 with only minor changes. Base interior changed from vinyl to cloth, and slight changes were made to the climate control, radio, and left-side buttons (made slightly darker). The 1988 Supra also included seat-belt guides for the front seats. Toyota made minor engine modifications to improve quietness. Beige/Brown two-tone paint option is dropped. On the exterior, Turbo models got a trapezoidal shaped third brake light (vs. the rectangular brake light on the 87). NOTE: The climate control on the 88 Turbo pictured has been retrofited with the newer 89-style display. The 86.5-88 climate control had silver buttons (which pealed easily)

1989: The 89 MK3's exterior received a freshening with a new grill, air dam, fog lights, mouldings, side mirrors, 3-peice taillights, and a 3-peice sleek rear spoiler. The turbo "badge" was also integrated with the redesigned rear trim, below the driver's tailight. But sadly, headlight washers were no longer an option for US cars. To make up for dirty headlights in grimy weather, the turbo model's output was increased 2hp to 232, while torque increased from 246 to 254 lb-ft with intake, wastegate, and turbo modifications. Additioanlly, the rear end ratio on turbo models changed from 3.91 to 3.73. Mid-year 89 MK3's received fluid-filled engine mounts and a revised front crossmember that could be shared with the 1JZ-GTE in non North American markets. Toyota began using the "7M" crankshaft mid-year, with dual counterweights to improve smoothness. The extra weight also caused the redline to drop from 6500 to 6250. The ECU was revised with an integrated High Altitude Sensor, and the engine wiring harness was changed. Criticism over the early mk3's over-assisted power steering led to Toyota's development of new speed sensitive power steering. As part of this change, the steering damper was removed allowing for slightly different lower intercooler pipe routing. The rear suspension was also redesigned, with additional bracing to the crossmember, mildly increased spring rates, a revised anti-roll bar, and plastic end links (86.5-88's had metal). The car also sat about 1/2" lower. On the interior, the cruise control buttons were moved from their awkward position on the bottom spoke, to the side spokes of the newly designed steering wheel. The fuel, tachometer, and speedometer were changed slightly, with fewer "ticks" and a higher top speed. The climate control display and radio were refreshed to further help carry the car into the 90's, but the Super Monitor was no longer available. Toyota also included much-needed cupholders in the center console. And for added safety, the rear seatbelts were converted to a 3-point design, and the front seatbelt guides were revised over their '88 addition. The stretchy mesh pockets on the back of the front seats were removed, but suit hooks were added above the front seatbelts.

1990: With a successful redesign in '89, only minor changes were made in 1990. The steering wheel was changed once again, this time to include the standard driver's airbag for US models (Canada had to wait another year, but they still had headlight sprayers to keep them occupied). With four, smaller spokes, the cruise control switches were moved to a stalk just behind the rim of the steering wheel. The plastic steering column cover was also slightly revised. The parking-meter coin slots on the left of the dash were tossed in favor of a dial dimmer switch (which had previously been a wheel mounted on the bottom of that same panel). Rounding out the interior changes was a minor revision to the cloth pattern. To further improve road feel over the '89's progressive power steering, Toyota trimmed the power steering's boost at high speed. The powersteering cooler was also revised from a simple pipe running in front of the AC condensor, to a small, legitimate cooler "V"-mounted just behind/below the front bumper support. The only exterior changes were the expansion of the chip-resistant laminent in front of the rear wheels.

1991: New five-spoke wheels with Goodyear GS-D Z-rated tires replace the dated "sawblades" and Gatorbacks. ABS is standard, for the first time, on turbo models. An outer-sliding power sunroof option is added (earlier MK3's had dealer-installed sunroof options). The front speakers increase to 6.5" and are housed behind a larger grill, and Toyota offers a rare optional subwoofer. The red square emblem on the nose was changed to today's "Saturn" or "Bull" emblem with 3 interlaced ovals. The 1991 Supra's mouldings were color-keyed, and "Shadow Grey" interior was optional (Damn near black). To further insulate the interior from road noise, additional sound deadening material was added. Canadian models lost TEMS, but got warm tushies with the optional heated seats.

1992: The last year of the mk3 had just a few minor changes. The automatic transmission shift points were revised, and a ten-speaker sound system was added as an option with the ETR/Cassette/CD system. Toyota offered a remote keyless entry system, and added two new colors: Teal Metallic and Garnet Pearl (White Pearl, Silver mist Metallic and Burgundy Pearl are dropped). Non Turbo models lost the Targa option.

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