Toyota’s “modern racing concept” to preview forthcoming Supra sports car revival.
Toyota is set to stun the 2018 Geneva Motor Show with the unveiling of a racing concept version of the all-new Supra, and an official teaser image has been released.
Entitled “The Legend Returns” the image shows what’s described as “a modern racing concept”, designed to “signal Toyota’s commitment to bringing its most iconic sports car back to market”.
Initially, it was expected that the final production version of the Supra would be shown at the Swiss new car event, but it’s not clear yet whether we’ll be seeing a showroom-spec car alongside the racing model.
Over the last year, Toyota bosses have been drip-feeding information about the new sports car, developed jointly with BMW. We have been told that it won’t be sold with Toyota badges, and will instead feature the Gazoo Racing nameplate.
Insiders claim that the new Supra will come in four different states of tune; as the basic Supra, as a Supra GR, as a Supra GR Sport, and finally as a Supra GRMN. Expect a significant gap in performance and price between the base Supra and the GR sport, with variations in suspension tune also likely.
“The Supra will be by Gazoo,” performance division boss Shigeki Tomoyama told Auto Express late last year. The news comes after it transpired that the Gazoo Racing team became more heavily involved in the car’s development – after Toyota president Akio Toyoda tested the vehicle and decided it needed to be “more mobile”. Prototype cars have since been given more of an edge to what was a fairly benign initial set-up.
The Supra’s sister vehicle, the BMW Z4, is expected in showrooms next year, but Tomoyama hinted that the Gazoo creation may not arrive until the second half of 2019.
While the BMW will be sold only as a convertible, the Supra will be a fixed-roof coupe. It’s likely that the Gazoo-badged car will use bigger, six-cylinder engines, too.
As the owner of a 600bhp carbon fibre-bodied previous-generation Supra, Gazoo boss Tomoyama said that the new car will need to attract fans of the classic models.
“The new car has to appeal to the existing owners first,” he told us. “The old cars had a straight-six engine, twin turbos and rear-wheel drive; the new car must have the same philosophy.”
There’s a chance Toyota and Gazoo will look to their Le Mans race cars for added hybrid tech. The new model is said to weigh between 1,200kg and 1,500kg, with Gazoo using the BMW M4 Coupe and Porsche 911 as benchmarks.
As with all other GR models, such as the Yaris GRMN, the company will offer an extensive range of aftermarket tuning parts for the new sports car. Prices will be announced closer to the car’s showroom debut.