The last time we checked in with MTC or Motorsports Technical Center, Marty Schwerter, the team manager walked us through the concept of developing another one-off Supra. Conceived as a companion to the Supra Heritage showcased at SEMA 2019, this new Toyota Sport Top will be a targa top version of the GR Supra. The Toyota Supra Sport Top, as it is called, is being created as part of SEMA360, an online avatar of the SEMA Show usually held in Vegas every year. And today, they released an update on their progress transforming a Supra into a customized Sport Top version.
We already know that the folks at MTC will probably go with a composite material roof instead of metal. But before they can get to that, they will need to remove the current roof which will adversely affect the chassis rigidity of the Supra. And a Supra without its marvelous chassis is not really a Supra. Also, Marty had also pointed out that the Sport Top will not rock a central beam from the nineties and instead feature a clean, fully open roof. But to do that, the team had to do the strengthening elsewhere.
In the second episode of the video series, Marty walks us through the chassis reinforcement process required to strengthen the chassis in order to remove the roof. The team has placed two beams on either side of the car running the length of the central tub from the engine bay all the way to the rear. This will help prevent chassis flex and retain the Supra’s coveted chassis stiffness. While they were at it, the team at MTC also made minor improvements over last year’s Heritage Edition by adding a new rear diffuser. The new high-quality diffuser is hand-built and also more efficient compared to the one on the Heritage.
The job of removing and fabricating the roof is given to KC’s Paintshop in Fort Worth, Texas. Marty expressed his concerns about the build; he also admitted that the process of cutting the roof off was more complicated than the team had previously anticipated and once the saw sinks into the metal, there will be no going back. KC Mathieu of KC’s Paintshop admits he was concerned about the whole process as well. Removing the roof challenged the fabricator’s wits due to the high-strength steel, the air saws proved non-effective and more aggressive methods were required.
But with the roof off, what the mind could only imagine finally presented itself in the metal. There is still a lot of work to be done and quite a few corners need ironing out but seeing the Supra without its roof does put the project into perspective, make it one anxiously worth waiting for.
For more on the GR Supra Sport Top and Toyota’s other SEMA360 builds, click here. Then stay tuned for the big reveal, coming later this month!
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