A Leg­end re­turns, the Toy­ota Supra is re­born

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — WR.

Toy­ota an­nounced a new gen­er­a­tion of the leg­endary Supra when it staged the world pre­miere of the dra­mat­i­cally styled Toy­ota GR Supra Rac­ing Con­cept at the Geneva in­ter­na­tional mo­tor show.

Toy­ota said the com­pact twodoor con­cept, with its front-en­gine, rear-wheel-drive con­fig­u­ra­tion, demon­strates the po­ten­tial for a fun-to-drive car that can de­liver high per­for­mance both on road and track.

The Supra name­plate is leg­endary and still adored by en­thu­si­asts to­day, it is widely re­spected as a mo­tor­ing icon.

The re­veal of the GR Supra Rac­ing Con­cept re­fl­lects the com­pany’s new gllob­all fo­cus on us­ing mo­tor­sport, and the Ga­zoo Rac­ing brand, to help ac­cel­er­ate devel­op­ment of pro­duc­tion mod­els. The Supra name evokes power, per­for­mance and han­dling that de­fined a suc­ces­sion of world­class cars for a quar­ter of a cen­tury. As a thor­ough­bred sports car, the Toy­ota Supra built a rep­u­ta­tion both as a for­mi­da­ble per­former on the road and as an all­con­quer­ing ma­chine on the race­track, dom­i­nat­ing Ja­pan’s toplevel GT rac­ing series and earn­ing le­gions of fans.

The Toy­ota Supra still en­joys an iconic sta­tus among sportscar afi­ciona­dos, 16 years from the end of pro­duc­tion.

Its en­dur­ing pop­u­lar­ity has been helped by its suc­cess as a pop­u­lar model in the Gran Turismo driv­ing sim­u­la­tor video game series, and as a star­ring car in the first film in The Fast and the Fu­ri­ous global ac­tion movie series.

The Supra badge first ap­peared in 1978 on a larger and more pow­er­ful ver­sion of the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion Cel­ica be­fore be­com­ing es­tab­lished as a suc­cess­ful model in its own right.

Known as the A40, the orig­i­nal Supra was fol­lowed by three fur­ther gen­er­a­tions: the A60 in 1981, A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993.

The front en­gine, rear-wheeldrive GT sports car re­mained in pro­duc­tion un­til 2002, and in its fi­nal gen­er­a­tion it was Toy­ota’s most pow­er­ful pro­duc­tion model. The Supra’s rep­u­ta­tion was greatly en­hanced by its suc­cess in mo­tor­sport. Most no­tably, the fourth-gen­er­a­tion Supra, in­tro­duced in 1993, be­came the dom­i­nant force in the All-Ja­pan GT rac­ing (to­day’s Su­per GT series), win­ning the GT500 class four times.

The Toy­ota Supra also com­peted in Amer­i­can IMSA sports car rac­ing in the 1980s and twice ap­peared at Le Mans in the 1990s.

The GR Supra Rac­ing Con­cept will also be fea­tured in an up­date of the Gran Turismo Sport video game, de­vel­oped by Polyphony Dig­i­tal Inc., and sched­uled for re­lease in April 2018.

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