SUPRA SUR­PRISE

A greatly missed sport­ster is back on the draw­ing board

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

Toy­ota is fi­nally fair dinkum about re­viv­ing the long­gone sports de­vice — in spirit if not name

of the FT-HS’S de­sign lan­guage but it will be dropped on to GRMN’S MRS chas­sis, a work­ing con­cept car pic­tured here be­ing tested at Fuji Speed­way.

Grmn­stands for Ga­zoo Rac­ing Meis­ter of Nur­bur­gring. It takes its name from Nur­bur­gring guru Hiromu Naruse, Toy­ota’s late god­fa­ther of sports car de­vel­op­ment. Grm­n­races the Lexus LFA and Scion FRS at the fa­bled Ger­man track.

Un­like the rear-drive 86, the new sports coupe will use a 4WD driv­e­train and gen­er­ate more than 300kw from a mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 hy­brid set-up mated to a con­stantly vari­able trans­mis­sion lifted from the new Lexus RX.

Tuned for higher per­for­mance, the en­gine drives the rear wheels while in-wheel elec­tric mo­tors power the fronts. This writer tested an early pro­to­type back in 2002. The con­verted 4WDMR2 was pow­ered by a 3.3-litre V6 from Toy­ota’s Har­rier SUV, mated to the com­pany’s well-known THS hy­brid sys­tem. The coupe was ex­cep­tion­ally quick while its 4Wdsys­tem de­liv­ered phe­nom­e­nal grip in the cor­ners.

As we have seen with projects such as the LFA, Toy­ota can take up to 10 years to bring sports cars to mar­ket.

It is no se­cret that com­pany CEO Akio Toy­oda— week­end racer, sports car ad­dict and the driv­ing force be­hind the $700,000 LFA— is be­hind the Supra suc­ces­sor.

If Toy­oda-san has his way and the econ­omy shows signs of re­cov­ery, the new coupe will be on show­room floors by late 2015 for less than $60,000.

Mojo re­turns: An­mr­sand, left, artist’s view of the Supra. Picture:

mag­a­zine

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