The new Toyota Supra will be offered with a dual-clutch automatic transmission only and has been designed from the outset to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Speaking to Japanese publication InfoSeek, head of the Supra program, Tetsuya Tada, revealed the car is being developed with a dual-clutch transmission only. Because it will have quite a bit of power, Tada says a paddle shift DCT is more appropriate than a manual. Furthermore, the Supra will also be a racing car, and the paddle-shift transmission is closer in ethos to the sequential gearbox that will be found in the racecar than a manual would be. Tada also believes Supra fans will find the car fun to drive whether it has two pedals or three.
We had to run his response through Google translate, but the message from Tada is still clear: the Supra has been developed with the DCT transmission in mind.
“At the moment, is not it just a dual clutch transmission? I think. I think whether it is not fun if (a manual transmission) is (in) a large power car like the next Supra. Raising the torque of the engine will make the shift feel worse. If so, it is very doubtful whether (a manual) specification is necessary,” he said.
Elaborating on the racing effort, Tada said the Supra GR Racing Concept it showed in Geneva previews the actual racing version of the Supra. From the sound of it, the Supra will be built to GTE-class specifications, which will make it eligible for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Toyota is racing in the 2018-2019 FIA WEC Super Season with its TS050 LMP1 right now, but once the season concludes next year, it will be ready to go with its next endurance racing car for the following 2020 season: the Supra GTE.
“The next Supra has been developed with the aim of making it a racing car from the beginning,” Tada said. “When that person modifies to a racing car on the basis of a mass-produced car, it is much more complete as a machine. In other words, in order to run fast in the race, I have polished the base commercial cars. By the way, the next Supra is aiming to be consistent with the “LM – GTE” class which is the racing car regulation of the endurance race.”
This may not seem relevant to the road car, but it’s important to note what kind of cars currently race in the LM GTE category. We’re talking about cars like the Ferrari 488, Ford GT, Porsche 911 and Aston Martin Vantage. And although GTE cars are built to similar specifications to ensure one car isn’t faster than another, it’s important for a GTE to have a good base car to start from. With this revelation, we get the feeling Toyota is aiming for the new Supra to have more performance on tap than many previously thought.
InfoSeek reports the road-going Toyota Supra will debut in the second half of 2018, so let’s wait and see what Toyota has in store for this wildly anticipated new sports coupe.
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