Toyota Supra revealed for real at Detroit

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At the end of speculation and prying cameras and leaked glimpses, the first global model of the GR series was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show

 It was 7 years ago that such a wave of expectation and excitement swept the earth originating from the epicenter of Toyota HQ. If it was the mild rumble of the Toyota 86, now it is the return of the knighted warrior – the Toyota Supra.

The all-new Supra was premiered last month at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The Supra name still evokes the powerful memory of a performance vehicle that moved true enthusiasts for quarter of a century. A thoroughbred sports car from the stables of Toyota is here to quench the thirst of driving enthusiasts – when the 86 attempted to fill the gap!

Just in case you are wondering what GR stands for – it is GAZOO Racing. The all-new Supra is the first global model of GAZOO Racing’s sports car series. Ever since first competing in Germany’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race in 2007, GR has been developing its cars and people through its motorsports activities. The passion and the expertise have been funneled into revving the Supra back to life as GR Supra.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who is also a master driver, commented: “Back in the day, I spent countless hours driving an old Supra at the Nürburgring to become a master driver. Supra is like an old friend that holds a special place in my heart. While other manufacturers were putting the beautiful new prototypes they were going to introduce through their paces, I was driving an old Supra that was no longer in production. So even though Toyota had no plans to make a new Supra, just like a lot of other die-hard Supra fans around the world I secretly wanted to make it happen. The new GR Supra was born through testing at Nürburgring, and I can honestly say that it is better than ever.”

What GR brings to life will be the fifth-generation Supra after a silence of 17 years. The previous generation concluded production in 2002. Since its inception in 1978, all Supra models have been front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles powered by an inline six-cylinder engine. As for styling, the Toyota Supra took after the Toyota Celica but it was longer and wider. Sometime in 1986, the A70 Supra became a separate entity and lost its prefix Celica.

The machine

The new GR Supra offers the option of a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four or a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine, both supplied by BMW. So, the fifth generation Supra and the next generation BMW Z4 evolved together even though stylistically they are two different beasts. The new Supra further focuses on the three fundamental elements of wheelbase, tread, and center of gravity, thus achieving handling performance befitting a pure sports car.

The more ubiquitous 3.0-liter inline 6 produces 335 hp and 500 Nm from 1,600 to 4,500 rpm and sends the power to the rear wheels through a ZF 8HP 8-speed auto. The 2.0 litre engine is now only for the Japanese market and will produce 194 hp and 255 hp in two versions. This results in a 0 – 60 mph (0 – 97 kmph) time of 5.2 and 6.5 seconds respectively, while the 3.0 L model can cover the distance in in 4.1 or 4.3 seconds as per varying reports.

Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada, who headed the vehicle’s development, said: “Rather than only working toward improving specs such as horsepower and circuit lap times, we emphasized sensitivity in performance, such as the degree to which driving could be felt to be enjoyable, with car and driver becoming one.”

The interest is apparently rising with the first production 2020 Toyota GR Supra to roll off the assembly line, ‘Global #1,’ fetched $2.1 million (AED 7.7 million) at the 48th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction, with proceeds going to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF). The Supra is a star of course and has actually featured on screen in games, movies and videos including the Initial D, Gran Turismo, Need for Speed and The Fast and the Furious series.