Why was the 1994 Toyota Supra banned? (2023)

After being withdrawn from the market for the past two decades, the Toyota Supra has increasingly made headlines in recent years. And for good reason; Not only are collectors starting to raise prices on clean 1990s examples, but Toyota has spent the last five years stoking enthusiast passion for its upcoming fifth-generation model, which will debut at the Auto Show in Detroit and will be unveiled in 2019, to go on sale in 2019. Also, collectors are starting to raise prices for clean 1990s specimens.

Once considered little more than a beefed up version of the Toyota Celica coupe, the Toyota Supra has recently found a place in the spotlight, and there's no question about that.

In particular, Toyota's fourth-generation A80 Supra, which was produced from 1993 to 1998, won the hearts of Generation Xers and millennials, as well as old-school fans who grew up loving the car. Production of this model lasted from 1993 to 1998.

Toyota Supra Generations - A Brief History

Now that you're up to speed on everything that was going on, let's take a trip down memory lane. You should better understand why the latest generation of the Supra has become so popular once you've seen how the Supra has evolved over four generations. The 1998 Toyota Supra marked the (temporary) end of the Supra line, making this generation the last to be produced.

First generation Supra: 1978 - 1981

Although the first Supra was made in Japan in 1978, it was not available in the United States until 1979. The first two generations of the Supra were known as the Celica Supra. This was because the vehicle was essentially a Toyota Celica, with the wheelbase lengthened by 5.1 inches to accommodate a more powerful engine. The first generation was powered by a 2.6-liter straight-six engine that produced 110 hp. A five-speed manual gearbox was standard, but buyers had the option of choosing a four-speed automatic gearbox.

Second generation Supra: 1981 - 1985

Toyota undertook a complete redesign of the Celica Supra in 1981 and introduced the updated version to the public for the 1982 model year. The first generation's active rear axle was replaced with independent semi-trailing arms, which was the most significant change. This modification helped the vehicle place fourth as the most drivable imported car in a comparison test conducted by "Car and Driver," which defeated two Porsches as well as a Lotus and a Ferrari. The new engine was a 2.8-liter, double overhead cam, inline-six that produced 145 hp, an increase of 29 hp over the previous generation.

(Video) Here’s Why the Toyota Supra Just Got Banned in America

Third Generation Supra: 1986 - 1993

As the Celica Supra entered its third generation, the "Celica" name was dropped from the model. The new generation Supra has a 3.0-liter inline-six engine with 200 hp, which is a 55-hp increase over the previous generation. In 1987, Toyota introduced the Supra Turbo model, which featured a straight-six engine capable of producing 230 hp.

Fourth Generation Supra: 1993 - 2002

The fourth generation saw the most significant changes, including a complete redesign of the body that featured the sweeping, contemporary design that made the vehicle popular with its loyal fans. A striking dashboard design that still attracts the interest of many car enthusiasts today. Although it was over a foot shorter, the platform this generation used was the same as that used in the Lexus SC coupe.

The base model of the Supra was equipped with a 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produced 220 hp. That was 10 hp less than the third-generation Supra turbo model. However, the fourth generation Supra Turbo produced 320 hp, which was an increase of 100 hp. With a few minor performance upgrades, the Supra can achieve exotic car levels of performance at a fraction of the exotic car price.

Although consumers in Japan were still able to purchase the vehicle as late as 2002, after its production was halted in 1998 due to stricter emissions regulations. The 1998 Toyota Supra configurations have become the most popular, receiving only minor updates compared to the 1996 model. These updates included the addition of automatic and manual transmissions and a three-spoke steering wheel.

1994 Toyota Supra

There were several Toyota Supra models that could not be sold in the United States and one of those models was the 1994 Toyota Supra. Prior to the models currently on the market, Toyota did not produce a vehicle that was safe enough. for the company it was to sell it in the United States.

The Toyota Supra is widely considered to be one of the most powerful cars ever produced. Supra fans in the United States may never get the chance to experience the thrill of driving a 1994 model because that model year, and that model year alone, is banned. After seeing it in the Fast and Furious series, many people have liked it.

There is a chance that the 2020 Toyota Supra will become one of the most desired sports car models of the year. Despite this, many people are still unsure if this sports car is legal to drive in the United States. To be fair, the Supra has a history that can be described as somewhat problematic, so we can understand why there's some confusion about it. You're in luck if you're looking to buy a new Supra, because the model is still very much alive in the United States today; However, the sale of the Supra in the country remains prohibited.

Although the Supra was briefly available in the United States, foreign models less than 25 years old are prohibited for importation. Unfortunately, the import age requirement for the United States is so narrow that the 94 Supra cannot be sold there.

(Video) The 1994 Toyota Supra Turbo Is a Sports Car Legend

This is probably the least "banned" car on the list, as there are many other Supra models registered on American soil. However, due to the legendary status that the Supra has, it had to be mentioned because it had to be mentioned.

The legendary Toyota Supra: why is it so popular?

1994 Toyota Supra sells for $121,000

A recent auction ended with a staggering $121,000 payment for a 1994 Toyota Supra in factory condition with a manual transmission and twin turbo. This price is highly unlikely to become the new benchmark, but it does officially establish the Supra as a six-figure vehicle. Why did this particular Supra sell for such a high price in the first place?

First of all, it is a collector's item from years gone by that has kept all the elements that were originally part of it. This Supra has all the standard equipment, including the iconic rear spoiler, its original aluminum alloy wheels and Bridgestone Potenza tires, its original mint leather seats and even its cassette/CD player. Also, it only has 7,000 miles on the odometer, which is extremely low mileage for a vehicle of this age, which is, of course, quite unusual. The fact that the vehicle has not been modified in any way adds to its already high desirability. Supras of this generation have been modified and retrofitted frequently, making it hard to find unmodified examples.

This particular Supra comes with a powertrain setup that is highly desirable. It features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produces 320 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. In addition to its aesthetic meant to evoke nostalgic feelings, this Supra also has a highly desirable exterior design. Most models of this generation were equipped with either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission and a less powerful base straight-six engine.

In short, supply and demand are the driving forces behind the high price. Although $121,000 seems like a lot for this car, there is a lot of growth potential for a rare model like this. The age range of collectors interested in these models is relatively young; Over time, their budgets will grow to buy that perfect vehicle they craved as a kid, while Supras as clean as this one will only be harder to find. Prices have a lot of room to grow as there is a lot of demand but not that much supply.

The illegal Supra

Due to significant deficiencies in its ability to maintain its reliability over time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided to ban the 1994 model year Toyota Supra. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to find this model anywhere in the United States, nor can it import it since the NHTSA has not yet removed it from its blacklist. You can still buy older models if you want, as the hard restriction only applies to the 1994 model year of the Supra, which means it's the only year it was implemented.

Supra production discontinued

Despite having a terrible 1994 model year, the Supra managed to maintain its popularity for a while. It was still considered an outstanding achievement and was praised for its luxurious cabin and advanced technology. Despite this, in 1998 Toyota decided to pull the plug on the Supra in the North American market due to poor sales of the car. Toyota stopped producing the Supra in 2002 because the model did not meet the latest fuel efficiency regulations in Japan.

(Video) 10 Facts You Didn't Know About Toyota Supra | History And Facts | JDM Cars

on replay

Toyota has decided to bring back the Supra in 2020 after the model was discontinued for more than 20 years. This two-door coupe continues to be an enthusiast favorite thanks to its exciting performance, impressive interior, and user-friendly technology.

Each 2020 Toyota Supra model is powered by a BMW turbocharged six-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine is capable of producing 335 hp. The 2020 Toyota Supra comes standard with a rear-wheel drive configuration, and the manufacturer does not currently offer an all-wheel drive option. But you could rebuild your Supra.

The Supra can compete with vehicles like the Chevrolet Corvette and Porsche Cayman GTS thanks to its exceptional driving characteristics, which are equally at home on the road and track. It takes less than four seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour. Additionally, the Supra scores above average for fuel economy, with a combined rating of 26 miles per gallon.

i am supra

The interior is what really differentiates the different trim levels of the 2020 Toyota Supra, since the performance of each model is identical. The standard GR Supra 3 model is upholstered in a suede-like material and features an aesthetically pleasing information display.

Standard equipment includes a host of high-tech safety features, such as a warning system that detects potential rear-end collisions and automatic emergency braking. Upgrading to the premium trim level gets you a more advanced infotainment system and leather interior. The base price of the Supra 3 is $49,990, while the base price of the premium model is $53,990.

reliability ratings

Consumer Reports gave the 2020 Supra a lower reliability rating than it previously gave the model because it underwent three separate recalls. The failure of one of the headlights, problems with the rear view camera and problems with the front seat belts are the reasons for three of the recalls. Affected owners have been informed of these issues.

Not a lot of information is fully available given that the Supra was only recently released. Although the Toyota brand is known for its reliability, some of these problems are believed to be caused by BMW.

Safety is a surprising highlight for the 2020 Toyota Supra

Since the last Toyota Supra was sold in the United States in 1998, the Supra has finally made a comeback for the first time since this year. A fifth-generation Supra dubbed the A90 was unveiled at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), which ran from January 14-27 in Detroit. Powered largely by BMW, this Supra uses a BMW powertrain along with many other components from the new Z4. As this is the first time in more than two decades that a redesigned Supra will be available, excitement is understandably high.

(Video) Is Toyota Supra legal in US?

The upcoming 2020 Toyota Supra is a compact sports car that will come standard with a number of much-requested features. The Supra's exterior is designed with smooth lines and sharp curves that help make the vehicle look athletic and agile. At first glance, the car resembles the BMW Z4 in several ways. However, once you start to examine all the high-tech features that come standard with this vehicle, you'll immediately notice the differences between the two.

It has a supercharged inline-six engine with 335 hp and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain is rear-wheel drive. In addition to a low center of gravity and even weight distribution on both sides, it also has an optimized aerodynamic balance. The "Launch Edition" of the 2020 Supra will go on sale in summer 2019 and will be available in addition to the standard and premium versions of the 3.0 trim level. Renaissance Red 2.0, Nitro Yellow and Downshift Blue will be some of the colors available.

Not long ago, Motor1 did a review of the Toyota Supra and found it to be every bit as wonderful as long-time Toyota fans have come to expect. And while the vast majority of people already thought the Supra would be an impressive car, there was one particular aspect of the vehicle that really seemed to surprise everyone.

The upcoming 2020 Toyota Supra comes standard with a host of features that enhance both its aesthetics and comfort. LEDs are used for both the headlights and taillights on the exterior. When you first look at this car, it's hard to miss the three large air vents located on the front bumper, side and rear of the vehicle. The vents serve no purpose other than to give the impression that the vehicle is sportier than it really is. While not particularly noticeable, the car's rear wing makes a useful contribution to the car's overall sportiness.

The interior of the vehicle is a bit cramped and can only accommodate a maximum of two passengers at a time. The infotainment system screen measures 6.5 inches, but an 8.8-inch screen is also available as an option. This display comes standard with a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, and a 12-speaker JBL audio system.

The Supra's recent surge in popularity can be attributed in part to Toyota's years of promoting the new fifth-generation A90 model, but the nameplate also benefits from enduring affection from car enthusiasts. Sports car collectors and fans alike have a soft spot for the fourth generation's curvaceous and attractive design, as well as impressive performance figures for the time.

Many people entered the world of sports cars with the Toyota Supra, which, unlike the more hard-to-find exotic supercars of its day, seemed to be within reach. The connection between "Fast and Furious" and Supra helped indoctrinate a new generation of Supra fans who loved the vehicle for its looks, performance, and customization potential.

For anyone with a passion for sports cars, the launch of the 2020 Supra was an extremely exciting time. Oh, and just so you know, it's in your best interest to buy a factory fourth-generation Toyota Supra if you ever find one that's in pristine condition. Although it has been on the market for twenty years, it is clear that this unbeatable sports car still has a lot of life left.

(Video) What Went Wrong with the Toyota Supra



Is the MK4 Supra illegal? ›

6 Illegal Model

The 1994 model of the MK4 Toyota Supra was banned in the United States. The ban was placed on the model by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for its severe long-term reliability issues.

Is 1994 Supra banned in USA? ›

All Toyota Supras are legal in the United States except one model. The NHTSA decided to ban the 1994 model of the Toyota Supra due to chronic reliability issues. These reliability issues caused a downfall in sales, leading to the eventual U.S. discontinuation of the Supra in 1998.

Why is the MK4 Supra illegal in the US? ›

The illegal Supra

Because of significant shortcomings in its ability to maintain its reliability over time, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decided to outlaw the Toyota Supra model year 1994.

Is a Toyota Supra illegal in the US? ›

A U.S. specification 1998 Toyota Supra is of course perfectly legal in the U.S. Relatively few were imported due to steadily declining sales at the time. How can the old Toyota Supra push over 1,000 horsepower?

Why are old Supras so rare? ›

It also has just 7,000 miles on it, which is naturally a rarity when it comes to vehicles this old. The fact that the car was also unmodified increases its scarcity, as Supras from this generation were often modified and customized, making the unaltered examples a rarity.

Are old Supras illegal? ›

The National Highway Safety Administration banned the vehicle because it failed to meet safety and reliability standards. The 1994 model was the only one banned.

What Supra is not road legal? ›

You may have heard rumors that all models of the Toyota Supra are illegal in the United States. These rumors are untrue. You can drive a Supra in the United States as long as it's not the 1994 model. This Supra model is not permitted on the roads due to reliability and functionality issues.

Does the 1994 Supra have a 2JZ? ›

This 1994 Toyota Supra with Sport Roof Twin Turbo comes with not just any in-line six but the mystical 2JZ-GTE twin-turbo engine which sends the power to the rear wheels via the 4-speed A340E automatic transmission with the manual button.

Why was the Supra discontinued? ›

It was officially discontinued in N. America in 1998 because of its decline in sales—despite its excellent performance specifications and positive reviews for its interior and technology. The production of the Toyota Supra was stopped indefinitely on 2002 in Japan because of the latest fuel-efficiency standards.

Is Supra MK4 still available? ›

Although Toyota stopped Mk4 production in 2002, this fourth-generation Supra model is still a superstar. It's the most celebrated product in Toyota's sports car history, and turbofans around the world continue to seek out.

Was the MK4 Supra sold in the US? ›

In 1998, Toyota ceased sales of the fourth generation of the Supra in the United States. Production of the fourth generation of the Supra for worldwide markets ended in 2002. In January 2019, the fifth generation of the Supra, which was co-developed with the G29 Z4, was introduced.

How much is a MK4 Supra worth? ›

Q: What is the average sale price of a Supra - 4th Gen (A80)? A: The average price of a Supra - 4th Gen (A80) is $82,138.

What JDM cars are illegal in US? ›

What Cars are Illegal in the US?
  • 1990 BMW M3 Sport Evolution III.
  • 1993 Jaguar XJ220-S.
  • 1993 Lamborghini Strosek Diablo.
  • 1996-2001 Lotus Elise S1 and the 2000 340R.
  • 2002 Morgan Le Mans '62 Prototype.
  • 1999 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R V-spec.
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