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The 1986.5-1992 MKIII Toyota Supra

Updated on May 12, 2010

The 1986.5-1992 Toyota Supra, also known as the MKIII Supra, is often overshadowed in reputation by the MKIV Twin Turbo Supras in the performance car world. However, its age and relative abundance in the used car market make it a good choice if you are looking for a performance car to restore or modify.The MKIII Supra is a solid design with nice luxuries and features of much newer vehicles and the handsome looks of a traditional 80's japanese sports car.

1992 Toyota Supra Turbo

1992 Toyota Supra Turbo
1992 Toyota Supra Turbo

The MKIII Supra is based on Toyota's A70 chassis, and was available in the U.S. with a naturally-aspirated 7M-GE 3.0L inline six that produced 200 horsepower, as well as a 7M-GTE turbocharged version that produced 230 horsepower. The chassis of the MKIII is the tried-and-true front engine, rear-wheel drive arrangement with double wishbone suspension on all four corners, making it a good candidate for road racing or performance driving.

Risky Devil JZA70

Leigh Roto's famous drift MKIII Supra with a 1JZ-GTE engine swap.
Leigh Roto's famous drift MKIII Supra with a 1JZ-GTE engine swap.

The MKIII Supra was also extremely advanced for its time, boasting features such as TEMS (Toyota Electronically Modulated Suspension), 4-channel ABS brakes, Proprotional Power Steering, and even a trip computer called the Super Monitor that could read engine error codes, measure fuel mileage, miles until fuel is used, and other data from the ECU. Many Supra MKIIIs were also equipped with a removable targa top roof, which allowed owners to enjoy the wind in their hair without the inherent drawbacks of a convertible top.

Mike Urbano's modified Toyota Supra

Mike Urbano's modified Toyota Supra. One of the finest MKIIIs around!
Mike Urbano's modified Toyota Supra. One of the finest MKIIIs around!

Right from the time of its debut, the MKIII Supra was a favorite of automotive enthusiasts looking to boost the performance of their vehicles. The famous Japanese tuning company HKS produced a drag Supra that held records for years when the Japanese drag racing scene was in its early stages and Toyota produced 500 special Turbo-A models to homologate their Group A rally Supra.

The turbocharged 7M-GTE powerplant responds extremely well to typical modifications, such as freer-flowing intake and exhaust systems and intercoolers, as well as turbocharger upgrades. There are a good amount of aftermarket parts available for the Supra even 20 years after its production run, including forged engine components, coilover suspension packages, and even aftermarket body components such as rear spoilers and front bumpers.

1989 MKIII Toyota Supra Turbo

My 1989 MKIII Toyota Supra Turbo - more info at ignitesoul.blogspot.com
My 1989 MKIII Toyota Supra Turbo - more info at ignitesoul.blogspot.com
Photograph by Ian Cochrane http://www.flickr.com/photos/31405313@N02/
Photograph by Ian Cochrane http://www.flickr.com/photos/31405313@N02/

With proper maintainence and upgrades, the MKIII Toyota Supra can be a very capable vehicle in motorsport and other high performance applications. Its low price and availability of parts makes it quite a bargain for those looking to build a performance car, and the MKIII Supra has a solid chassis without many inherent problems or issues. The 7M engines are known for blowing head gaskets, so a rebuild of the engine is nearly always required for reliability at higher power levels, but it responds so well to horsepower upgrades that a relatively quick MKIII Supra can be built for a very reasonable price.

7M-GTE

7M-GTE with upgraded turbocharger, intake manifold, and more
7M-GTE with upgraded turbocharger, intake manifold, and more

High horsepower Supra dyno

Comments

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    • profile image

      gepeTooRs 

      2 years ago

      Hello! I have examine some of one’s posting here and observed it fascinating and it makes a ton of sense. Plus i enjoy your theme right here. Thumbs up! Keep on sharing!

    • profile image

      kreepy 

      4 years ago

      I like reading about and looking at pics of these cars after mod are done. I'm debating whether I should keep my '89 or not. It needs a refresh and can't help but wonder if it would be worth it. The other option is selling the car, it's real clean, never been hot rodded, has great paint and interior, but I would sell it for 7 or 8 k if offered. Anyway, any advice would be welcomed.

    • krisaclark profile image

      Kris 

      5 years ago from California

      Love the hub, the MKIII was my first love..I remember in high school I used to walk by one every single day. I still haven't owned one but I know that some day I will!

    • profile image

      Clau 

      5 years ago

      I think the mk3 Supra is one of the best GT cars ever.

      Not to mention it offers you everything! Luxury,quality,comfort,

      looks,equipment,open-air cruising (if it has the sport roof),

      performance, room, high tech, and of course aftermarket

      tuning capabilities. As far as it's motor choice , it came with three

      motor variants from the factory. 1GGTE (2.0 twin turbo 225hp),

      1JZGTE (2.5 twin turbo 280hp) , and the known export model

      7MGTE (3.0 turbo 232hp), and the very very rare model Turbo A

      MA70 with a 7mgte motor (3.0 turbo 270hp).

      For the history, 2jzgte motor was tested unofficially from Toyota

      one a handful of JZA70's before they were planted into the Toyota

      Aristo model in 1991 and there after into the mk4 Supra.

      True is the 2jz motor goes and fits perfect into the mk3 Supra

      engine bay and only parts used are oem Toyota dealer 1JZ parts like

      motor brackets,flywheel,bell housing,etc.

      Now days 1 out of 5 mk3 Supras have a JZ motor under the hood.

      Most of them jdm 1JZ & 2JZ variants pushing from BPU 400hp

      to big single turbos around 1000 whp.

      The most powerful street Supra will be a mk3 Supra with around

      1600-1700 whp.....aka Sean Josephs Titan built mk3 Supra!

      Personally I like all generations of Supras! They are great cars

      and they are very fun to drive. I own a mk3 1990 Supra 2JZ single

      turbo.. ;-)

    • profile image

      Mk3 gurru 

      5 years ago

      Mk3 all day

    • profile image

      m.khumalo 

      6 years ago

      i have 1992 tubo i need front fender and indicators

    • profile image

      hondaguy 

      6 years ago

      im a true lover of supras but i have a 98 integra and i shit on supras all the time

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      These cars are extremely beautiful and response very quick to acceleration.FYI all those little civic's shit there pants when one of these pulls up

    • profile image

      lake Worth used cars 

      7 years ago

      I think this type Toyota cars are in demand during 90's. Your post became helpful for me to get some more additional information about this long Turbo.

      Thanks for this superior post.

    • profile image

      Yellowsupra7 

      7 years ago

      Yeah right MK4 look way better especially the 1998. But MK3 are alright

    • profile image

      Jacob Tuttle 

      8 years ago

      I plan to by an 87 supra turbo for me to race and have some fun with the car and go in to drage like my grandpa did so lets do it.

    • profile image

      mk3kyree 

      8 years ago

      mk3 all day mk4 are ugly imo.

    • profile image

      Indy 

      9 years ago

      MK3>MK4

    • profile image

      tony 

      9 years ago

      great article! I have a 1991 Supra and am rebuilding it for drag racing!

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