Toyota Unveils Supra Racing Concept as Possible GR Halo Car
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.
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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...
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).