16 years. That is how long since the Toyota Supra has been out of production. But since that time, various rumors, speculation, and spy photos have hinted that Supra was going to make a comeback. Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Toyota introduced the world to the GR Supra Racing Concept.
The GR in the concept's name is short for Gazoo Racing, the team behind Toyota's racing efforts in Le Mans and the World Rally Championship. The Supra itself has a long racing history, competing in the likes of IMSA, Le Mans. and Japan GT (now known as Super GT) - the latter is where the Supra claimed 4 championships.
Toyota isn't providing many details on the GR Supra Racing Concept. It is clear that the design is heavily based on the FT-1 Concept from 2014. The overall dimensions for the concept are 180 inches long, 80.6 inches wide, 48.4 inches tall, and rides on a wheelbase of 97.2 inches. Many of the body panels are made out of composite materials to keep the concept light. The interior is all business with a racing seat, quick-release steering wheel, and roll cage.
One interesting detail on the GR Supra Racing Concept is the suspension being comprised of production parts - we don't know what vehicle they come from. Toyota is keeping quiet about what engine is under the hood. We do know that the next-generation BMW Z4 will be sharing its platform with the Supra, so it would be safe to assume that a BMW engine could be used.
We have no idea at the moment as to when Toyota will reveal the production version. But those who play Gran Turismo Sport on the Playstation 4 will have the chance to drive the concept in-game starting next month.
Press Release is on Page 2
The Legend Returns: Toyota Unveils GR Supra Racing Concept
- Modern racing concept signals Toyota’s commitment to bring back its most iconic sportscar.
GENEVA (March 6, 2018) –The GR Supra Racing Concept makes its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, reviving the name and spirit of the most celebrated model in Toyota’s illustrious sportscar heritage and demonstrating Toyota’s commitment to bringing the Supra back to the market. It also shows the future potential for a car that can deliver high performance both on road and track.
Toyota Supra Heritage
The GR Supra Racing Concept revives the great heritage of one of Toyota’s most famous sports cars. The Supra name evokes power, performance and handling that defined a succession of world-class cars for a quarter of a century. As a thoroughbred sports car, the Toyota Supra built a reputation both as a formidable performer on the road and as an all-conquering machine on the racetrack, dominating Japan’s top-level GT racing series and earning legions of fans.
The Toyota Supra still enjoys an iconic status among sports car aficionados, 16 years on from the end of production. Its enduring popularity has been helped by its success as a popular model in the Gran Turismo® driving simulator video game series, which is only playable on PlayStation consoles, and as a starring car in the first film in The Fast and the Furious global action movie series.
The Supra badge first appeared in 1978 on a larger and more powerful version of the second-generation Celica before becoming established as a successful model in its own right.
Known as the A40, the original Supra was followed by three further generations: the A60 in 1981, A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993.
The front engine/rear-wheel drive GT sportscar remained in production until 2002, and in its final generation it was Toyota’s most powerful production model.
The Supra’s reputation was greatly enhanced by its success in motorsport. Most notably, the fourth-generation Supra, introduced in 1993, became the dominant force in the All-Japan GT racing – today’s Super GT series – winning the GT500 class four times.
The Toyota Supra also competed in American IMSA sportscar racing in the 1980s and twice appeared at Le Mans in the 1990s.
GR Supra Racing Concept
A compact, two-door car, the GR Supra Racing Concept has a pure front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration and makes use of advanced lightweight materials in its construction.
Created by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, the concept perfectly expresses the “fun to drive” quality that is intrinsic to Toyota’s commitment to making ever-better cars. The large “90” race number on its doors is a historical reference to Supra’s codename and a big visual clue to the fact that this concept heralds Supra’s return in a fifth generation.
Its development is true to the belief of Kiichiro Toyoda, founder of the car company, that participation in motorsport provides the challenges of performance and durability that can directly help develop better cars, while at the same time generating interest and excitement among motoring fans.
This ethos has been fully embraced by both Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda and by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, with the pursuit of success at the highest levels of international motorsport, including the World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Taking part in these and other racing series around the world provides technical learnings that can be transferred from the race track or rally stage to development of not just new generations of Toyota’s sports-focused GR models, but also to its wider range of vehicles, driven by tens of millions of people around the world.
The GR Supra Racing Concept is to be featured in a new update of the Gran Turismo Sport® video game, developed by Polyphony Digital Inc., and scheduled for release in April 2018.
Design, Chassis and Equipment Features
The racing concept has a dramatic bodywork design that includes a large rear wing. It makes extensive use of strong but lightweight composite material for elements such as the wide front and rear bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, side skirts, door mirror housings and the rear wing. The hood is crafted from the same material and features louvred air inlets. The windscreen and side windows are made of plastic.
The concept’s chassis features lowered front and rear suspension using original equipment (OE) components. BBS racing wheels with center-nut attachment are fitted with Michelin racing tires. The braking system uses Brembo Racing callipers and discs and there is a racing exhaust.
The cabin is entirely competition-focused and is fitted with a racing dashboard and OMP driver’s seat and safety harness. OMP has also supplied the quick-release steering wheel, mounted on a racing column and equipped with a paddle shift system. The doors are lined with carbon fiber panels and the dashboard includes a racing display.
Competition safety requirements are met by a full roll cage and fire extinguishers, and the fuel and brake lines, pedal box, battery and wiring looms are all designed to competition standard.