Supra goes rac­ing


Motor Trend (USA) - - Intake -

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

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