Toyota Unveils Supra Racing Concept as Possible GR Halo Car

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Despite being off the market for 16 years, the Toyota Supra remains relevant as the brand’s most famous performance machine. That’s partially because the automaker never built a worthy successor but, even if it had, the Supra had already cemented its identity as an absolute monster before ending production in 2002.

You’ll find countless hours of footage where the model embarrasses high-end exotics in straight-line speed, usually thanks to heavy modifications. Likewise, its appearances in film and video games saw it coveted by automotive enthusiasts well before they learned how to drive.

That puts a lot of pressure on the automaker to deliver something that can live up to the hype; as a result, Toyota’s been very cagey on the Supra’s progress. However, we now have something resembling a production vehicle. The Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept is a hypothetical track version of the roadgoing fifth-generation model we’ve yet to see.

While any talk of how closely the GR Concept will resemble the production model is purely speculative, Gazoo Racing typically tacks on quite a bit of bodywork for track-ready cars without muddling the original appearance. This could still be the basic shape of the upcoming coupe; in fact, Toyota said the Racing Concept demonstrates its “commitment to bringing the Supra back to the market.”

Furthermore, the vehicle maintains a number of design elements from the FT-1 — a concept car believed to preview the fifth-generation Supra’s styling back in 2014. If Toyota has bothered to stick with those cues until now, it’s a good bet we’ll see it on the production model.

The real Supra will probably lack the GR’s large rear wing, however. Even though the car was historically famous for boasting a sizable spoiler in its later days, we doubt Toyota would give it a competition-style deck straight straight from the factory. It’ll also lose the massive diffuser and racing canards for street duty, while gaining an interior befitting of drives to locales that don’t end with the word “speedway” or “circuit.”

Measuring 180.1 inches long, 80.6 inches wide, 48.4 inches tall, the GR Supra Racing Concept seems ideal for motorsport. But it may be too stout for daily driving. We wouldn’t be surprised if Toyota increased the ride height slightly and narrowed its hips by an inch or two. Otherwise, we’re guessing the production Supra will look quite a bit like the vehicle you’re seeing now — just without the full roll cage, fire extinguishers, OMP driver’s seat, safety harness, and elaborate paint scheme.

If you want to see more of the model, the GR Supra Racing Concept will feature in an update for the Gran Turismo Sport video game in April of 2018, and is presently on display at the Geneva Motor Show.

[Images: Toyota]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Jean-Pierre Sarti Jean-Pierre Sarti on Mar 06, 2018

    as a life long toyota fan even i have lost interest in this thing. for me these periodic teasers have just become back ground noise...

  • W.Minter W.Minter on Mar 07, 2018

    Clever marketing. They don't want to repeat the mediocre Toyobaru launch strategy as a street-focused car. They want to sell the Supra as a direct offspring of an original Toyota race car (not as a Oh-that's-the-Z4-from-Toyota), which is actually a brilliant idea. And of course it's corporate strategy, as Toyota invests in racing to develop better technology which may pay off later on the road. Track or gravel first, street second. Of course, this strategy is extremely risky, because the GR Supra looks like it could eat an F-Type R for lunch, and of course ze interwebz bench racers & freebee journos will be highly disappointed to see max. 440 hp or so (BMW B58B30M0 offers up to now 355 (NA) / 360 (EU) hp, MB cranked the 3.0 I6 up to 401 EU-hp in the E43, F-Type 400 Sport offers ... 400 hp).

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