Is a 1998 Toyota Supra legal in the USA? (let’s find out)

Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

Supra is one of the most popular sports car models worldwide. The model has a tainted past because the 1994 model was banned by the NHTSA, citing long-term reliability issues. Though the ’94 supra was banned, the 1998 Toyota supra and all other model years are legal in the USA.

Key Takeaways

  • The 1998 Toyota Supra is legal in the United States because it has complied with all federal and state regulations
  • The ban of the 1994 supra model was due to reliability issues but there is no problem with the 1998 model
  • In many USA states, vehicles older than 25 years have restrictions and these types of vehicles can only be driven for exhibition or limited recreational use 

Which supra is illegal in the USA?

Which supra is illegal in the USA

The only illegal supra model is the 1994 model year which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration banned because of reliability issues. You cannot find the model anywhere in the US, and you can’t import it because it is blacklisted.

 Even though the 1994 model year Supra was banned, other model years continued to be sold in the USA. The model was popular due to its upscale cabin, technology, and high performance. In 1998 Toyota discontinued the supra in North America due to low sales. In 2002, the production of Toyota supra stopped because it didn’t align with the new fuel-efficiency guidelines in Japan.

 Toyota has brought back the Supra Model in the 2020 model year, and its features are the talk of the town. Before we look at the new Supra, let’s look into the most popular supra, the 1998 MK4, which you are most likely to find when looking for a used Supra.

Toyota Supra MK4, 1998 features, specifications, and review

Toyota Supra MK4, 1998 features, specifications, and review

The Toyota Supra has grown through four generations to become the most iconic sports car in the history of Toyota. It comes with a powerful 3.0L straight-six engine which can either be turbocharged or naturally aspirated. The transmission could also be manual or automatic, and you could also choose the type of roof you want for your car; it could either be a sports roof or a hardtop.

 This model was made at the end of the 1980s, but it is still competitive to date. Most people love the Supra for various reasons. First, it is easy to tune and build on due to its powerful engine and also because it is an iconic car that has starred in movies as the perfect sports car.

The MK4 supra has arguably the best inline-6 engine that has ever existed. It is made of a cast-iron block with seven main bearings and an aluminum head with dual cams and four valves per cylinder. It is also easily capable of 1,500 horsepower without strain, and its design is durable. The only downside of this model is that it uses an external timing belt instead of a chain. If you want to improve the efficiency regardless of the RPM, you can change the variable timing for the intake camshaft, which was introduced in 1997.

When the Supra was first made, the transmission came in two flavors: the base model’s four-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission. The brakes were atrocious as this was the first model to have a 4-channel ABS. The base model vehicles had 11.6-inch front rotors, while the turbo models had 12.7″.

The interiors of the 1998 Toyota Supra aren’t so intriguing to the modern-day driver. The models have big gauges that are easy to read, have a shifter in the optimal spot, and most entertaining features aimed at the driver’s seat. The rear seats are pretty cramped and can be uncomfortable for taller drivers. When buying a used supra, you are less likely to find one in its original interior condition because most have been modified.

Let’s look at the specifications of the 1998 MK4 Toyota Supra

Engine 3.0L sequential turbo straight-six (2JZ-GTE)
Transmission 4-speed automatic, 6-speed manual
Horsepower 321 hp
Torque 315 lb.-ft
0-60 mph4.7 seconds
Top speed177 mph
¼ mile 13.1s @109 mph

The 2020 supra model specs, features, and reviews

After more than 20 years of not making the Supra, Toyota finally decided to bring back this nameplate. Motor enthusiasts still love the car for its outstanding interior, thrilling performance, and user-friendly technology. 

The new model is powered by a BMW turbocharged six-cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission that makes 335 horsepower. The standard drivetrain is a rear-wheel drive with an option of all-wheel drive. Most supra lovers expected the new model to have a 3JZ engine, but it didn’t make financial sense for Toyota to build an engine for use in one model, so they outsourced this engine from BMW.

This model can go from 0 to 60 miles in four seconds and is ideal for city and track driving. Its closest competitors are the Porsche Cayman GTS and the Chevy Corvette. All the trim levels of the 2020 Toyota Supra have the same performance capability, so the interior is what sets them apart. The standard trim offers a suede material for the seats and features an impressive infotainment display. It is also loaded with advanced safety features such as emergency braking and a forward-collision warning. The Premium trim has leather upholstery and an upgraded infotainment system.

Engine 2.0L engine with twin-scroll turbocharger
Horsepower 320 hp
Transmission 8-speed automatic with ultra-fast shifting
0-60 mph3.8 seconds 
Fuel economy City: 24 mpg highway: 31 mpg combined: 26 mpg

Frequently asked questions

Is the 1998 supra twin turbo?

The legendary 2JZ GTE Twin-turbocharged engine powers the 1998 supra. The turbo enables the model to achieve an unbeatable 0-60 mph of 5.1 seconds and a 155-mph top speed.

What is the value of a 1998 Toyota supra?

The recommended MSRP of the original 1998 Toyota supra was between $31,000 and $40,000. Now, the car is the most sought-after model of the 90s, and if you’re lucky to get one, you will pay quite a pretty penny for it. The current price for the model is almost double its original price, with the cost ranging between $65,000 to $100,000.

Why is Supras so popular?

Supras are popular for several reasons: they are reliable and easy to modify and get massive amounts of power. They have starred in fast and furious movies and need speed games as an iconic sports car, making them adored by fans. Supras are also fast, and speed enthusiasts love them for this.


The Toyota Supra is an iconic sports car that fans have raved about since its debut. The car is powerful and fast, and everyone who’s thrilled by speed has dreamt of owning one. The 1994 Toyota supra was discontinued due to reliability issues, but all other models are acceptable in the USA. The 1998 Toyota supra remains a favorite among many USA motorsports enthusiasts.