A signature characteristic of 4th-gen Toyota Supra was the availability of a targa roof. Popping the top on a Supra from that era let in a flood of atmosphere – both literally and figuratively. Other generations of the car could also have been opted as a targa but, for many JDM gearheads, the A80 represents peak Supra.
It would seem some of the crew at Toyota think so as well. For this year’s SEMA360 event, an online version of the annual Vegas show, they’ve created a companion car to the GR Supra Heritage Edition that blended visual elements of the MKIV Supra with today’s model. And, yes, this new concept has a targa top.
Called the GR Supra Sport Top, it beautifully incorporates a removable panel into the car’s roof, preserving several bodylines while introducing a few more.
In the video teaser premiering as part of SEMA360, team manager Marty Schwerter explains that when the roof is off, there will be no bar down the center, leaving the entire space free for open top fun. Using digital drawings, he shows how the windshield curvature and hatch panel design creates challenges for the team, necessitating some creative solutions to make it work without leaking like a basket or creaking catastrophically when going over bumps.
They hope to incorporate the release of the top into a remote, presumably the car’s keyfob, allowing owners to pop the so-called bearclaw latches from a distance instead of fumbling around in the dark. This would be a tremendous party trick. One other detail? The roof is likely to be two panels, permitting them to fit in Supra’s cargo area.
Pedants will remember the A80’s targa roof was aluminum, while the team in this video mention it’ll be a composite material in this application. Composites have advanced by leaps and bounds since the ’90s, so this is a solid decision (pun intended).
Peeping images on the computer screen being used to show the design concept reveals a plan to add an aggressive rear diffuser to the GR Supra Sport Top along with a few other aero bits. Also along for the ride is a tall basket-handle spoiler like the one that popped up on last year’s Heritage Edition. Your author dearly hopes the team also reprises the throwback taillights which appeared on that SEMA car as well.
Will the Sport Top ever see the light of production? Don’t count it out. After all, despite mentioning the need for more structure to compensate for hacking off the roof, this platform on which the Supra is built already supports a full-blown convertible in the BMW Z4, so going topless on this structure is already baked into the equation. You can also bet there was some sort of handshake agreement that Toyota would not pursue a traditional ragtop Supra lest it cannibalize Z4 sales. The introduction of a Sport Top would tread that line quite nicely.
Be sure to check out this concept, and other Toyota toys here.