IT’S back! Toyota has officially confirmed it has revived the name and spirit of its most celebrated sports car, confirming that it plans to produce a new generation of the legendary Supra road car.
The car maker made its long-awaited commitment to reviving the famous Supra nameplate 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 two-door 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, with the road version to be launched soon.
The GR Supra Racing Concept provides a huge visual clue to the fact that it heralds Supra’s return; the large “90” race number on its doors is the code name for the fifth-generation Supra.
Toyota Australia’s vice-president sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the racing concept reflected the global company’s focus on using motor sport to help accelerate development of production models.
“Supra is one of the most beloved Toyota cars of all time and its nameplate continues to command enormous respect,” Mr Hanley said.
“There has been huge public interest in a modern revival of the Supra legend – and this concept points to a sports car deserving of the famous name,” he said.
“Revealing a racing concept ahead of a production model highlights that motor sport is Toyota’s proving ground of choice for high-performance vehicles.
“The GR Supra Racing Concept makes it clear Toyota is developing the Supra to be a true driver’s car.”
On the road car front, Toyota is now expected to launch the physical production model at either New York or Paris. Exhaust Notes Australia will confirm this information as soon as an official launch date is known for the road car.
In regards to the GR Supra Racing Concept, its dramatic bodywork makes extensive use of strong but lightweight composite materials for elements such as the wide front and rear bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, side skirts, and the large rear wing.
The bonnet is crafted from the same materials and features louvred air inlets. The windscreen and side windows are made of plastic. The concept’s chassis features lowered front and rear suspension using Toyota components.
BBS racing wheels with centre-nut attachment are fitted with Michelin racing tyres. The braking system uses Brembo Racing calipers and discs and there is a racing exhaust.
The cabin is entirely competition-focused and is fitted with a racing dashboard and OMP driver’s seat and safety harness. OMP has also supplied the quick-release steering wheel, mounted on a racing column and equipped with a paddle-shift system.
The doors are lined with carbon fibre panels and the dashboard includes a racing display.
Competition safety requirements are met by a full roll cage and fire extinguishers, and the fuel and brake lines, pedal box, battery and wiring looms are all designed to competition standard.
The GR in the name of the concept comes from Toyota GAZOO Racing, the international umbrella organisation for Toyota’s global sporting program and producer of performance-focused GR-branded cars.
The debut of the GR Supra Racing Concept is similar to Toyota’s reveal of the C-HR Racing at the 2016 Geneva show, almost a year ahead of the arrival of the production version of the compact SUV.