THE all-new Toyota GR Supra, the fifth generation of Toyota’s legendary sports car and the first global GR model to be produced by Toyota GAZOO Racing, has made its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Conceived as a sports car in its purest form, the new Toyota GR Supra builds on the heritage of Toyota’s past Supra generations and the 2000GT sports car with its classic layout of a front-mounted, straight-six engine driving the rear wheels.
Driving enthusiasts can look forward to an exhilarating blend of power, agility and precision handling, achieved thanks to the car’s combination of a short wheelbase and wide track, light weight, low centre of gravity and highly rigid body.
The 3.0-litre engine benefits from a twin-scroll turbocharger and produces 250kW and 500Nm of torque.
Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, it is characterised by smooth and powerful acceleration, with large amounts of torque available across the full range of engine speeds.
Toyota GAZOO Racing was instrumental in honing the new sports car’s performance, working extensively on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife and surrounding roads in Germany in order to achieve the most agile, stable and rewarding handling.
Further testing was carried out on roads around the world, including in Australia with chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.
To be certain that the car delivered on its promise, Toyota president Akio Toyoda put it to the test at the Nürburgring in his role as a master driver before giving it the final green light.
Toyoda said he had developed his craft as a master driver by spending countless hours driving an old Supra at the Nürburgring.
Toyota’s great sports car heritage is referenced in the design of the new Toyota GR Supra.
The landmark 2000GT’s influence is evident in the long bonnet, compact body and double-bubble roof, while the distinctive look of the fourth generation Supra is captured with its muscular rear wings and the arc of the integrated spoiler.
The new Toyota GR Supra also shares the same classic sports car format of a powerful front-mounted six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive as its celebrated predecessors.
Toyota Supra chief designer Nobuo Nakamura gave his team a simple brief around the concept of ‘Condensed Extreme’, ensuring they were free to express their vision of a pure and individual sports car in a truly original design.
Nakamura’s vision for an indisputably modern design that evoked the romance of classic sports car styling resulted in a car that approached the limits of what could be manufactured in higher volume, in particular the powerful curves of the rear.
In the finished design, the ‘Condensed’ theme is evident in the relationship between the Toyota GR Supra’s large-diameter tyres, short wheelbase and overall length.
The wheelbase is shorter than in the 86 coupe, and the tyres are larger.
‘Extreme’ is interpreted in the car’s wide stance, with tight cabin proportions and a wide track, contributing to a high level of manoeuvrability and stability.
The design was precisely calculated to achieve both optimum drag and lift characteristics, and an ideal front/ rear weight balance.
At the rear, the arching lip spoiler has been optimised to suppress lift, while a trapezoidal shape to the rear bumper generates a sense of movement down and out towards the tyres.
The driver’s cockpit in the new Toyota GR Supra neatly combines traditional GT elements with ultra-modern functionality. Designed to help the driver focus entirely on the business of driving, it is directly influenced by the layout found in single-seater race cars.
An asymmetric centre console marks a clear division between the enveloping driver’s cockpit and the more open passenger side of the Toyota GR Supra’s cabin.
The boot space is large enough for two people’s luggage for a weekend away and can be extended with a removable panel at the back of the cabin.
The performance heart of the new Toyota GR Supra is its 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, producing up to 250kW and 500 Nm of torque. It is fitted with a twin-scroll turbocharger, high-precision direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve control that secure segment-leading torque performance from very low revs.
The powerful, well-balanced, smooth and light revving engine delivers an exhilarating acceleration feel.
A Launch Control function enables powerful acceleration from standstill with maximum traction, helping the car move from rest to 100 km/h in just 4,3 seconds.
The new Toyota GR Supra will be launched in South Africa in mid-2019.
All vehicles will be built in Graz, Austria.
This article was published in the February 2019 edition of Muslim Views.