Toyota's Supra Joins NASCAR; Reveal Date Announced for Production Model
Toyota made it clear it wants the returning Supra to have presence in motorsport when it unveiled the GR Racing Concept in March of this year. However, based on its looks, we assumed the model was destined for the grand touring circuits.
While that still may be the case, Toyota recently announced that the Supra will make its way to NASCAR in 2019. If you’re worried about the Camry, don’t be. The sedan will continue running in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series while the Supra handles the Xfinity Series.
Even though the NASCAR Supra is representative of the production model, the two won’t share many parts. All stock cars are required to run naturally aspirated, pushrod V8 engines — which the production model certainly won’t have. But it shows Toyota is serious about the returning Supra making a splash in the U.S.
The automaker no doubt hopes the vintage maxim “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” still rings true.
“When you talk Toyota and cool cars, Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota’s domestic marketing. “Supra’s return in production form is huge news, but now we’re also going to see this iconic sports car return to American motorsport. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to have a race car that evokes the dynamism and character of its showroom counterpart. We’re confident we’ve accomplished that with Supra, and we hope racing fans the world over will proudly cheer its success on track.”
Toyota worked with TRD (Toyota Racing Development) in Costa Mesa, California, and Calty Design Research, Inc. (Calty) in Newport Beach to develop a Supra fit for NASCAR. The duo has already seen success with the Camry, which took home the manufacturers’ championship trophy in the Cup Series for the last two years. While Toyota still has a long way to go before it can match Chevrolet’s 39 overall factory wins in NASCAR, the brand did manage to end Chevy’s thirteen-year streak.
“We’ve had tremendous success working with Calty to develop race cars that match the look, feel and excitement of their showroom counterparts,” said David Wilson, president of TRD, in a statement. “We’re confident Calty and TRD have developed another race car, Supra, that is capable of winning races and championships. For Supra to be racing in NASCAR just speaks to how important this vehicle is to us, and that we believe Supra can be a bona fide championship winner.”
We’ll know exactly how much the stock car version looks like the production model next week. On Thursday, Toyota Europe tweeted that the sports coupe’s official unveiling would take place at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and included a teaser shot of the model dressed in some very fetching red camouflage. We’re as excited as we are sick of waiting!
At Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 @fosgoodwood pic.twitter.com/qFe2aSP46k
— Toyota Europe (@toyota_europe) July 5, 2018
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- GrumpyOldMan Lost me at the last word of the second paragraph.
- Bobbysirhan I suppose this explains why almost everything that makes a GM product function has been Chinese for several years now.
- Kevin 35 grand if a 2 door but not a 4 door!
- Kevin 35 grand USD for a 57 wagon that still needs lots of work such as spindles body work and what ever else maybe 25 but 35 no thanks I'll stick with what I have. Floor pans replaced and whatever else my 68 chevelle I paid $4800.00 USD 20 years ago and is all original.
- FreedMike Needs a few more HP to really spice things up...
The lead time was way too long on this car. Introducing the new Supra should have been as complete a surprise as possible, which I know is difficult in the internet age. But, a sudden announcement would have had far more impact than this association with a racing series that's pretty much anathema to prospective Supra customers.
People first have to watch on Sunday. That is no longer a given. Personally, I blame the "Car of Tomorrow". I'd at least like to see a return of stock body shells. The cars currently look like nothing.