SP ENGINEERING TOYOTA SUPRA TURBO
POWERTRAIN: 3.4-liter, 1110-hp, 839-lb-ft twin-turbocharged I6; rwd, six-speed manual
CURB WEIGHT: 3400 lbs
0 TO 60 MPH: 3.9 seconds (est.)
Seven years agoKen Henderson thought he had taken his 1994 Toyota Supra MkIV as far as a Toyota Supra MkIV could go.
“This was in 1998, when there was virtually no aftermarket for the Supra,” Henderson said. Whatever aftermarket existed for the car was more or less all under his hood. “It was a showcase for GReddy,” Henderson said, referring to the Japanese aftermarket tuning house.
That included a GReddy twin-turbo setup with GReddy wastegate and turbo timer, as well as a VeilSide intake. There were many other modifications on the car, but we only have a page here. The combination was good for 801 rear-wheel hp, run through the stock Supra transmission and running gear.
“That was as far as the engine could go,” said Henderson.
A normal person might roll over and die fully content with a dyno number like 801. You’d think that would be enough, but when is any horsepower number ever enough?
Then Alex Chen of SP Engineering went to the Tokyo Auto Salon, as he does every year, and brought back an HKS stroker kit and twin-turbo setup for the Supra.
“He asked if I wanted it on my car,” Henderson said.
Of course he wanted it on his car, and Henderson’s black MkIV became the first Supra in the country with the new combi*nation. The stroker kit upped displacement from 3.0 liters to 3.4 liters. That meant more room for air, which the new HKS 3240 turbochargers provided in volume.
The two turbos and the stroker kit were just the tip of the performance iceberg in the Supra. Henderson e-mailed us a list that included two full pages of stuff done to the engine alone and two more pages done to the rest of the car. Those were single-spaced pages, by the way. Guys like Henderson are why the aftermarket is such a huge business.
Like a well-trained army just sitting around, the temptation to use all that power was too much. For these and other temptations, there was SILV04, or Supras Invade Las Vegas ’04, an annual celebration of all things Supra. It includes a show ’n’ shine, drag racing and a dyno comp (SILV05 is Oct. 12-15).
The dyno comp is where this particular car achieved its greatest moment.
The Supra before Henderson’s had hit a 1100-hp peak using nitrous. Henderson strapped his down to the big DynoJet Model 248C dynomometer at Silver State Motorsports located in the industrial park next to Las Vegas Motor Speedway and started running the engine up. C16 fuel with an octane of 117 was in the tank, which was necessary for the 36.92 psi of boost Henderson was running. Since this was a Supra gathering, there was a crowd, seemingly half of which had camcorders as Henderson roared the Supra to 1110 hp at 7200 rpm before the car’s rear wheels started to slip on the dyno’s big drum. The crowd cheered. A peak of 1110 hp—it was Supracalifragilistic.
But hey, that alone is not what Henderson wants you to think of when you read about this Supra.
“This car’s gained a lot of notoriety because of that dyno run,” said Henderson. “But I don’t want it to be known just for that, because of all the work I’ve done on the suspension, brakes and body.”
That would be the other two pages of typed, single-spaced modifications. Henderson’s car stops as well as it goes, with 14-inch Brembos front and rear, each with four-piston calipers. It handles about as well as a Supra MkIV could ever handle, too, with strut tower braces front and rear, as well as longitudinal aluminum “floor-assist bars” reinforcing the undercarriage. Tein RA 16-way adjustable coilovers head another list of upgrades.
Outside, the Do-Luck Type II body kit provides a tasteful, understated perfect wrap for this most wonderful of Supras.
So what does Henderson want to do now?
“Silver State, Texas Mile, one of those high-speed timed runs on an open road,” he said.
For that Henderson would like to get time in a wind tunnel just to make sure his car doesn’t fly. He would like to find some sort of corporate sponsor for that.
“Wind tunnels are expensive,” he said, as if all this other stuff isn’t. “So far, this car’s been financed out of my back pocket.”