Couldn`t wait? Had to have the all-new 16-valve 1986 Celica GTS though atotally new 24-valve `86 1/2 Supra was on the way.

Congratulations. You saved about $6,000 and got the more responsive ofToyota`s new sports cars.

You also got the better looking car. Despite its new styling, Supra isalmost indistinguishable from the Nissan 300ZX and Mazda RX-7. That trio ofJapanese sports cars resemble each other as much as the Toronado, Riviera and Eldorado do at General Motors.

If the Celica GTS` 16-valve, 4-cylinder engine (Autos/Nov. 3, `85) packed a punch, we expected the Supra`s 24-valve 6 to pack a wallop, create G-forces when kicking the pedal and require a chute to bring it to a stop.

Should have known better. Celica`s zero-to-60-mile-an-hour claim is 8.2seconds; Supra`s is 7.3 seconds, a 0.9 second spread. In our opinion the Suprais faster, but the Celica is quicker. Celica propels you off the line, Supragives you a burst just before you cross it.

Supra`s not a bad car; it`s just not $6,000 better than the Celica GTS,the lively, nimble choice over the Supra. Pocket the $6,000 or put it toward aToyota Mr-2 as a second car.

The Supra is powered by a 24-valve, 3-liter, 6-cylinder teamed with 5-speed manual, which was smooth shifting but not as slippery as the 5-speed in the Celica, nor the absolute finger-tip light manual in the Mr-2.

Maybe we expected more power from the fuel injected 3-liter V-6, but wenever expected such quiet operation. Noiseless and motionless idle. We suspectmore than one owner will be fooled into reaching for the ignition key a secondtime.

Supra is built on a 102-inch wheelbase and is 181.9 inches long. Celicais built on a 99.4-inch wheelbase and is 173.6 inches long. Supra is rear-wheel-drive, Celica front-wheel-drive.

Supra tips the scales at a surprisingly plump 3,500 pounds. There`s goodagility for the weight, but if a few hundred pounds were shed, the 24 valvesmight send it into a sprint more quickly. The 5.7-liter V-8 in the `86Corvette coupe we drove (Autos/March 16) was much more responsive.

Corvette also gets the nod for styling, but give Supra the edge in rideand handling, at least versus the `Vette with its base suspension. Suprafeatures soft or firm sport suspension at the push of a button, whereas thatchoice would require buying `Vette--and one costs $10,000 more than a Supra.

Standard equipment includes four-wheel independent double-wishbonesuspension with gas filled shocks and front and rear stabilizer bars, powerwheel-wheel disc brakes, rear window wiper/washer/defogger, quartz clock,unidirectional radial tires and tilt and telescoping wheel.

Also standard are cruise control, eight-way adjustable driver`s seat,power windows/door locks/mirrors, air conditioning and AM/FM stereo withcassette and speakers in the door handles. That sound system is a few notches above the ordinary.

Base price w ith 5-speed is $17,990, with automatic $18,610. With optional removable sport roof (available in June), the 5-speed model is $18,790,automatic $19,410.