Supra goes racing
GAZOO UNVEILS CONCEPT TRACK CAR THAT TEASES PRODUCTION MODEL
It ain’t the actual production-spec Toyota Supra, but if you squint a bit and use your imagination to remove some of the racing bits like the huge rear wing and all the intake scallops, there you have it.
It’s been two decades since a Supra last graced a Toyota showroom floor in America, and the GR Supra Racing Concept unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show is the closest indication of the next iteration, which will arrive in dealerships early next year.
In this instance, “GR” stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s racing and go-fast parts operation. It’s a pet project of Akio Toyoda himself, so you know this car means business.
The concept’s composite hood, front and rear bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, side skirts, door mirror housings, and rear wing likely will be replaced with aluminum or other lightweight materials in the production version. But you can expect those composites to be available through the aftermarket.
Toyota supplied dimensions for the concept—wheelbase 97.2 inches, length 180.1 inches, width 80.6 inches, height 48.4 inches— but those are for a race-spec car, so comparing that to a future production model isn’t a good idea.
But it’s in the exterior design where we get the best clues. It’s actually pretty close to the FT-1 concept seen at the 2014 Detroit auto show. (Has it really been four years since they showed that? Indeed it has.)
Up front, the FT-1’S F1-styled hawk nose and double air inlets have been replaced by a three-inlet setup. But the squinty headlights remain. Going around the side, the giant scoop at the B-pillar is now more of a hint. The gaping rear ducts seem relatively intact, as is the swoopy, peaked rear deck.
The interior is set up for racing (which is cool), but there is nothing to be gleaned from it regarding the production Supra.
The Supra first arrived on the scene in 1978 as a more powerful A40 trim level to the Celica. But it gained its own nameplate with the A60 in 1981 then evolved into the A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993. Given the huge “90” splashed on the door panel of this concept, it’s pretty clear the new version is code-named A90.
However, whereas past Supras were developed internally by Toyota, this version shared R&D with BMW for its next Z4. And although Toyota gave few details about the Supra, sources say the cars will share many underpinnings, including powertrain and suspension setups. Mark Rechtin