Ever since the Mk5 Toyota Supra came out back in 2019, there’s been no shortage of comparisons to the legendary Mk4 that preceded it. To find out which one was better once and for all, Top Gear decided to pit a modified Mk4 against a stock Mk5 around their test track.
Regarding the two cars’ specs, the Mk5 Supra has a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six that sends 335 hp (340 PS / 250 kW) and 368 lb-ft (499 Nm) of torque to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic gearbox, and it weighs 3,296 lb (1,495 kg). The tuned Mk4 also has a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six, which sends 520 hp (527 PS / 388 kW) and 471 lb-ft (639 Nm) of torque to the rear wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission, and it weighs 3,494 lb (1,585 kg).
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That means the Mk4 has an extra 185 hp (188 PS / 138 kW) and 103 lb-ft (140 Nm) of torque for a 198 lb (90 kg) higher curb weight. However, the Mk5 has the advantage of modern advancements in drivetrain, chassis, and suspension technology, so it’s likely able to make use of its power much more efficiently.
On one hand, we understand why this comparison was done the way it was. Both are automatic Supras with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine, and the older one has extra power to compensate for its age. But in reality, this should have been a stock Mk4 versus a stock Mk5 to see how far the car has come, even if it meant the newer car stomping all over the older one, because as soon as you introduce modifications to the equation, all basis for a fair comparison goes out the window.
So yes, on the surface this comparison might seem unfair, and it is, but not necessarily in favor of the car you’d think. In the end, the Mk4‘s extra power wasn’t enough to make up for its age-related shortcomings, and it was actually the Mk5 that emerged victorious, lapping the track a whopping 10.1 seconds quicker than its predecessor.