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New Toyota Supra to make Geneva 2018 debut as race car concept

Time:2018-02-13 20:24Turbochargers information Click:

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Available in four versions, the new Toyota Supra is only weeks away from its Geneva 2018 reveal

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Toyota has presented us with the first official confirmation that the new Toyota Supra will take make its long-awaited debut at the 2018 Geneva motor show on March 6th. Except, it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing the reborn Supra production car on the Toyota stand. Instead, a new teaser image accompanied by a minimalist press release promise a ‘modern racing concept will signal Toyota’s commitment to bringing its most iconic sports car back to the market’.

The shadowy teaser picture shows a rear detail of the car with the double-bulging roof, powerful haunches and duck tail boot spoiler we’ve already seen in spy shots, but added is a dramatic motorsport-style rear wing. It suggests our first look at the new Supra in Geneva is likely to be in the form of a competition car but we’d still expect the concept to offer up plenty of detail regarding the eventual production version that’s being developed in conjunction with the new BMW Z4. 

> Click here for our review of the Toyota Yaris GRMN

Of course, some information about the car has already leaked into the public domain. We understand that the new Toyota Supra is destined to be exclusively available under Toyota’s Gazoo Racing sub-brand, while sources inside Toyota have let slip that the new coupe will be available in four versions, all powered by six-cylinder engines driving the rear wheels.  

In the same vein as other GR models, the Supra should be available in standard, GR, GR Sport and top-level GRMN forms, each with varying levels of performance capability. These model lines will also be offered with an extensive set of factory-sourced aftermarket components like many Japanese performance cars. Final details are still far from being finalised for the European market, but Toyota is adamant that the Supra will differ greatly between the book ends of its range, unlike the comparatively limited range in models like the GT 86. 

The new Toyota Supra has been developed alongside the forthcoming BMW Z4 as part of a joint venture between Toyota and BMW. Initial plans for the Supra favoured a GT Coupe rather than out-and-out sports car, but Toyota CEO, Akio Toyoda stepped in to ensure Gazoo prioritised dynamics and performance above anything else following the decision to sell the Supra under the Gazoo Racing banner.

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“The Supra has a strong following and the new car must appeal to these owners,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, President of Gazoo Racing. “The last Supra had a straight-six engine, was twin-turbocharged and rear-wheel drive and the new car must continue this philosophy.” Tomoyama, who owns a 600bhp carbonfibre bodied 1997 Supra, refused to confirm how much the new Supra might weigh when it was suggested it should come in at under 1500kg. Instead he pointed out that his Supra, when new, weighed 1200kg and did confirm that the new Supra would have a 50/50 weight distribution.

> Click here for our story on the new BMW Z4 Concept 

Talking about how the Supra would differ from its BMW Z4 sister car, Tomoyama said “BMW’s car is a roadster, ours is a coupe. We have worked with BMW’s engineers on the development of the basic car and on shared components, but when it comes to how both cars drive they will be very different. They have very different philosophies and the Supra will be a performance car first.” This is claim substantiated by the cars Tomoyama and his team have benchmarked the new Supra against: the BMW M3/M4 and the Porsche 911.

Tomoyama was coy in regards to potential powertrain options that will be offered in the new Supra, but confirmed hybrid power could feature – drawing on the technology employed in Toyota’s LMP1 programme – if it offers a distinct performance benefit. “BMW’s car is a roadster, ours is a coupe. We have worked with BMW’s engineers on the development of the basic car and on shared components, but when it comes to how both cars drive they will be very different. They have very different philosophies and the Supra will be a performance car first.”

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“The challenge is to maximise the performance – speed and power – from batteries and electric motors as these both add weight. For a sports car we will look at smaller batteries that are charged with the very best regeneration braking system; a system that we have been developing in the World Endurance Championship,” continued the Gazoo Racing President. Tomoyama also confirmed Toyota will compete in the World Endurance Championship in 2018, as the only remaining factory works team, and has no plans to enter Formula E.

 > Click here for the latest on the Toyota Yaris GRMN 

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