The Soarer was a competitor to the Nissan Leopard coupe. All versions of the Soarer used a Griffin as the logo throughout the vehicle.
In 2001, Toyota introduced a convertible successor which appeared in Japan as the fourth generation (40 series) Toyota Soarer, and elsewhere as the Lexus SC 430. In contrast to previous versions, the fourth generation Soarer and Lexus SC models were largely equivalent. In 2005, following the introduction of Lexus in Japan, sales of the Z40 series Soarer were discontinued and the Lexus SC 430 became available in the Japanese market.
The Soarer made its first appearance at the 1980 Osaka International Motor Show with the name "EX-8", and the Z10 series Toyota Soarer was produced from February 1981 to December 1985, with 2.0L, 2.8L or 3.0L DOHC I-6 variants. The first generation Soarer debuted with a rear-wheel drive configuration . It boasted numerous technological items, such as touchscreen computer controlled air conditioning climate control, digital speed and tachometer display using LED, among other elecronic features.
The suspension utilized Macpherson type front struts with trailing arm type IRS in the rear. The vehicle also came with self-diagnosis maintenance reminders.
There were a number of different engines available.
- GZ10=1G-EU or 1G-GEU
- MZ10=M-TEU or 5M-GE
Early MZ10s were differnent in some regards to later MZ10s. Some of the difference are listed below.
- Later MZ10s had a water to air intercooler
- Later MZ10s had an oil and water cooled turbo (as opposed to the oil cooled only turbo in the early MZ10s)
The Z1 series Toyota Soarer was honored as Japan's Car of the Year for the 1981-1982 model years.
The MZ12 was equipped with the following features:
- Cruise Control
- 7 way adjustable (driver only) leather seats
- Toyota Electronically Modulated Suspension (TEMS)
- Digital Automatic climate control
- Electro multivision display (CRT type display), GT LTD Only