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Article & Photography by Martin Hall

Its time to forget about the snow and remember that spring is just around the corner. Dry roads are soon to be stretching out in front of us, the sun glinting off the tarmac begging to be explored. And the incredible Toyota Supra 3.0 Jarama race Track Edition is possibly the best car that you could choose to blow out the cobwebs on your first drive of the year.

But didnt the Supra disappear from our roads years ago?

The Supra name was first used in April 1978, as a new suffix for a longer, wider and more powerful spin-off of the second-generation Celica coupé and given the A40 chassis code. Then came the A60 Celica XX, launched in Japan in July 1981 and based on the third-generation Celica, focusing on sporting prowess and sold as the Celica Supra in all export markets. Available in the European market for the first time in August 1982 it enjoyed an air of exclusivity in the UK due to its limited supply of just 100 cars per month.

Fast forward a number of years, body-styles and engine configurations and we eventually arrive at the A80 Supra that was discontinued in the UK in 1996. All good things must come to an end though and the car was axed worldwide in July 2002 with total production standing at 593,337 units.

And yet here I am sitting in the 3.0 Jarama Race Track Edition, drinking in the beautiful Horizon Blue paintwork on the curvaceous bonnet. This is a stunning retur

n from Toyota who have clearly found their inner hooligan again. After all, if youre going to have a comeback, it might as well be a sequel rather than prequel. Think Godfather Part II rather than Star Wars The Phantom Menace.

Up front sits a stunning In-line 6-cylinder turbo power plant displacing 2998cc producing Max. power (bhp/kw) 335/250@ 5,000-6,500 and Max. torque (Nm) 500@1,600-4.500 and yes, it is as ferocious as you would imagine. But heres the rub, this new Supra is just as capable of pottering down to the shops as it is tearing around a country road and if you happen to accidentally find yourself out on a racetrack then youd better make sure that youre strapped in tight.

Of course, times have changed and the safety equipment tightly packed throughout this new Supra would seem like pure science fiction when compared to the original. Theres the Toyota Supra Safety Pre-Collision System with pedestrian and cyclist detection, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with steering control, Automatic High Beam and so much more.

Of course the boy/girl racers out there might proclaim these as the end of the analogue driving experience but really? I much prefer being able to explore a cars capabilities knowing that there are a myriad of systems in place to help (unobtrusively and in the background) to keep all four wheels on the blacktop and pointing the right way when having fun. And the point of a car like the Supra, particularly with all the pressures of modern life, is surely to have fun?

A top speed of 155 and a 0-62 time of 4.3s prove that Toyota havent lost their sense of humour which, when combined with pin sharp handling and a chassis that allows you to hit the exact point of a corner, seemingly at will, mean that what you have is a seriously quick, truly modern sports car. A car that will keep the original fans of the Supra happy whilst doing more than enough to entice an entirely new generation to keep the story of the Supra alive.

Cheers for that Toyota. Ill have mine in Blue please.