Highly Anticipated Toyota Supra Finally Debuts (Sort Of)
The most highly anticipated new car of the past few years has finally debuted. Sort of. The resurrected Toyota Supra still hasn’t been unveiled, but this Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept is the closest we’ve been so far.
Debuting at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept (GR stands for Gazoo Racing) signals that the Japanese automaker is committed to bringing back its iconic sports car and essentially confirms that it will have a big presence in motorsports (just like the old Supra) when this compact sports car finally does debut.
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Unfortunately, no powertrain or chassis information has been released yet, which is a letdown. Although it will have the same front-engine/rear-drive layout as Supras past, the specs and information you really want have not been released by Toyota yet. Toyota did say that it’s made with lightweight materials. The coupe is a joint effort with BMW and will have some similarities to the upcoming Z4 roadster in the powertrain and chassis department.
Although photos released by Toyota show three pedals, there are paddle shifters on the steering wheel and no manual gear shifter, meaning this concept uses a racing gearbox that won’t be in the production model. We do think it would be really mean-spirited and cruel, however, if Toyota showed enthusiasts three pedals in this concept without actually offering a manual in the production car.
Earlier rumors claimed the Supra will have a BMW-sourced turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine that outputs 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, while tipping the scales at 3,284 pounds. Those early reports also claimed that the Supra would not be available with a manual, which still might be true.
The concept takes most of what we liked about the jaw-dropping FT-1 Concept and makes it much more realistic. Although it loses some of the aggression and sleekness of the FT-1, the Supra Racing Concept still looks fantastic with proper sports car proportions, an aggressive stance, the retro double-bubble roof, and sporty touches all around.
If you can look past the racing livery, the production Supra shouldn’t look too different from this concept, minus the racing-specific parts like the huge rear wing and diffuser, exaggerated wheel wells, huge splitters, tow hooks, race exhaust, plastic windows, and aggressively vented hood.
The production Supra should have the same basic shape (its suspension won’t be so low, its fenders won’t be so exaggerated, and it will perhaps get a different grille treatment among other things), but it will be understandably toned down compared to this racing concept. The concept also has Brembo brakes in the back, but there’s no word on if they’ll make it to the production model.
The interior for the production Supra is still a mystery because this concept is clearly purpose-built for motorsports — quick release steering wheel, carbon fiber panels, roll cage, fire extinguisher, etc.
The Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept will be available to drive in an update of Gran Turismo Sport in April 2018.
It’s been 16 years since the last Supra was produced and the fact that it’s still so hyped up means that Toyota must live up to extremely high expectations with this fifth-generation model. We don’t expect the final production Toyota Supra to debut until early 2019, so get ready for at least another long year of waiting for what Toyota is calling its “thoroughbred sports car.”
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Jodi has been obsessed with cars since she was little and has been an automotive journalist for the past 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and a jury member for the prestigious North American Car/Truck/Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY). Besides hosting videos, and writing news, reviews and features, Jodi is the Editor-in-Chief of AutoGuide.com and takes care of the site's day-to-day operations.
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