Although primarily a street car, Project Supra is being built to be a worthy time-attacker for a select few weekends out of the year. As it rolls now, the Toyota has been powered up to just a few ticks under 400 whp with the addition of a front-mount intercooler and more advanced engine tuning that we'll talk about in the next installment. It's got plenty of grunt for the majority of the straights. The Brembo brakes have been phenomenal, thanks in part to the extra grip provided by the iForged wheels and Bridgestone tire combo featured in the last installment. One of the most important fundamentals for a car's performance-whether for pleasure or for dropping a few seconds off your lap time-is the suspension.
Choosing a suspension upgrade wasn't difficult. We wanted something for the Supra that would work well both on- and off-track. With what is available for the Supra today, ride height adjustment as well as damper controls were obvious prerequisites. It would give us the best of both worlds-the ability to stiffen and lower the suspension for a given track and when we're done bring it back to its street setup for a comfortable drive home. TEIN coil-overs not only offer these features, it's Electronic Damping Force Controller (EDFC) allows the driver to adjust the damping force by the touch a button on the fly.
TEIN suspension kits offered for the Supra's JZ80 chassis vary from replacement coil springs to full race suspension systems. Each of the coil-over system offered serves a particular purpose. The most basic system, and the only one that is not EDFC-compatible for the Supra, is the Driving Master Basic Damper, a coil-over setup that offers ride height adjustment only. TEIN's Cruising Master Type CS system was designed for the sophisticated, business-like driver desiring total drive comfort on the street. Drivers seeking ride-height adjustments with some damper control on a relatively soft suspension may opt for this setup.
The Control Master Type Flex system is EDFC-compatible and is designed to provide a good compromise between ride comfort and performance. The company incorporated certain height and preload adjustments for different road conditions for maximum street performance. The Flex system is TEIN's compromise between street and competition.
TEIN's Circuit Master coil-over systems are competition-bred systems. The Type RA system is designed for circuit racing and street use for experienced drivers. TEIN reports this system uses its newly designed mono-tube structure allowing for maximum road holding and stability in all situations, and was developed from their involvement in World Rally, N1 and endurance racing. The Type RA system is stiffer than the Flex system by over 110 lb/in2 per corner. The Type RE is similar to the RA with an added full-length adjustment system, allowing separate settings of the height and spring preload. But the spring stiffness is the same as the RA.
For Project Supra we chose to go with the Control Master Type Flex system. We felt with the majority of miles this car would see on the street versus the track it was a good choice. Should we decide to track the car a lot more we may graduate to the RE system. But for now the Flex offers the best compromise. TEIN's own Philip Chase and Ippei Sugano performed the install at its headquarters in Downey, Calif., which went smoothly. As with most suspension upgrades, make sure after installing coil-overs the car receives a proper alignment job.
The EDFC controller is mounted next to the hood-release latch. I felt if it were mounted on top of the steering hub I'd stare at it constantly. Where it's mounted is out of the way, yet well within reach. The controller features three pre-selected stiffness levels to the front and rear that you can choose from, or you can go up in single-digit increments using the arrow buttons.