The Toyota Supra is an iconic Japanese sports car that has garnered a cult-like following among car enthusiasts around the world. Known for its turbocharged engines, sleek styling, and rear-wheel drive handling, the Supra has been produced over four generations since its introduction in 1978.
The popularity of the Supra in the US
In the United States, the Supra gained immense popularity after the launch of the third generation A70 in 1986. Powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo 2JZ engine producing over 320 horsepower, the Mk3 and Mk4 Supras of the 90s were revered for their incredible performance and became staples of the tuner car scene. Movies like The Fast and The Furious showcased modified Supras racing on the streets and further cemented their status as drivers' cars.
However, Toyota stopped producing the Supra for the US market in 1998 after the fourth generation's production run ended. For over two decades, used examples commanded very high prices and rumors swirled of a new Supra finally returning.
The highly anticipated 5th generation
That day came when Toyota unveiled the fifth generation A90 Supra in January 2019 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Jointly developed with BMW and carrying styling influenced by the 2000GT and FT-1 concept cars, the new Mk5 Supra was powered by a 3.0-liter BMW B58 turbocharged inline-six. While some criticized Toyota for sharing a platform with BMW's Z4 roadster, most reviews praised the Supra for its incredible acceleration, agile handling, and distinctive design.
The waitlists for the limited-production launch edition with special paint and interior details underscored how anticipated the new Supra was among American car buffs. Toyota has continued leveraging the Supra heritage with special editions like the cool A91-CF Edition inspired by the Mk4 and racing versions competing in NASCAR.
Estimating the Supra population in the US
So how many new Toyota Supras are currently on the roads in the United States? It's difficult to determine an exact number given ongoing production and sales. However, we can look at a few figures to estimate the total:
- In 2019, the Supra's first year, 3,194 units were sold in the US.
- In 2020, sales dipped during the pandemic to 2,020 units.
- But in 2021, sales rebounded to 6,500 cars as production increased.
- For 2022, experts estimate around 8,000 to 9,000 Supras will be sold based on strong demand.
Given these sales figures over the last four years, a reasonable estimate for the total US population of new fifth generation Supras would be in the range of 20,000 cars. With Toyota producing the sports car for global markets as well, the worldwide total likely exceeds 40,000 models on the roads since 2019.
Of course, this estimate does not include the thousands of fourth generation and older Supras still cherished and driven by collectors and racing enthusiasts. Well-kept examples of the Mk3 and Mk4 models from the 1990s now sell for over $100,000.
The Passion of Supra Fans
The passionate community of Supra fans makes gathering precise ownership numbers difficult. But the excitement and conversations generated by each sighting reinforces the Supra's status as an automotive icon. With Toyota committed to continuous improvements and special editions for years to come, the legendary Supra nameplate has returned home to America where it belongs. For many, owning this Japanese performance legend remains a dream worth pursuing at any cost.