Toyota GR Supra finally revealed
Toyota has finally lifted the veil on one of the most anticipated new car arrivals of 2019, the born-again Supra.
The Japanese car maker revealed full details of what will officially be known as the Toyota GR Supra - the first global model produced under the Toyota Gazoo Racing banner - at the 2019 Detroit motor show.
Set to arrive in Australian showrooms later this year, the GR Supra has been co-developed alongside the latest-generation BMW Z4 roadster and will be built in Graz, Austria.
As such, the fifth-generation sports coupe will be powered by a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine with a single twin-scroll turbo charger that produces 250kW of power and 500Nm of torque, driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic and an electronically-controlled limited slip differential.
Toyota says the powertrain has been optimised by its engineering division to create its own character, which can be altered through either Normal and Sport modes that tailor the engine’s responsiveness and exhaust note, the shift pattern of the transmission, locking effect of the LSD, power steering assistance and suspension damping.
A launch control function allows the GR Supra to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds while a Track setting relaxes the level of intervention from the stability control system.
Toyota says the GR Supra’s body construction is more rigid than the LFA supercar, has a lower centre of gravity than the 86 coupe that sits below it and a perfect 50:50 weight distribution while its overall dimensions provide an ideal 1.55:1 'golden ratio' between the length of the wheelbase and the track width.
First previewed by the FT-1 Concept in 2014, the production-ready GR Supra has largely remained faithful to the show car with its signature double-bubble roof and classic long-bonnet, rear-cab layout with styling cues taken from iconic vehicles such as the Toyota 2000GT and previous Supra variants.
While the official images reveal no surprises to the way the Supra looks after years of teasers, including a pre-production drive of camouflaged vehicles in Spain last year (read the article here), it is the first time Toyota has showcased the car’s cabin.
The simple two-seater layout is designed to “maximise the forward view through the windscreen, helping the driver place the car with precision in high-speed driving”, according to Toyota.
In keeping with that philosophy, the instrument panel is fully digital with a large central tachometer, the steering wheel has paddle shifters, the sports seats are heavily bolstered and there are soft-touch knee pads on the inside of the centre console and door cards.
The centre section of the dash, however, cannot hide its BMW origins, with dual-zone air conditioning controls, gear lever and the 10.25-inch colour infotainment screen sitting proudly at the top of the dash (and controlled by BMW’s iDrive rotary controller) all lifted straight from the Z4.
Without confirming dimensions, Toyota says the Supra’s boot is big enough to carry a couple’s luggage for a weekend away, or can be expanded by removing a panel at the back of the cargo area to create room for a golf bag or the tools and other parts needed for a track day.
The revival of the Supra has been a pet project of Toyota president Akio Toyoda and led by Tetsuya Tada, who also developed the 86 coupe and was recently in Australia to fine-tune the Supra for local tastes.
Toyoda personally approved the Supra for production after driving it on the famed Nurburgring circuit in Germany.
“Even though Toyota had no plans to make a new Supra, just like a lot of other diehard Supra fans around the world, I secretly wanted to make it happen,” he said.
“The new GR Supra was born through testing at the Nurburgring, and I can honestly say that it is a car that is fun to drive and better than ever.”
Toyota Australia has confirmed basic specifications for the GR Supra ahead of its arrival, with all local models fitted as standard with the active differential, adaptive suspension, high-performance brakes and 19-inch forged alloy wheels. It has yet to reveal any pricing details though, with the car expected to cost approximately $60,000 when it arrives.
As Editor in Chief of the Drive Network, Amac is one of Australia's most experienced automotive journalists with more than 25 years experience in newspapers, magazines, broadcasting and digital media.