Can you believe it? The worst kept secret is finally officially revealed in the guise of the new Toyota GR Supra – the GR standing for Gazoo Racing. No more hints, no more teases, no more spotting, the legend returns and is due to hit the road mid-Summer. Spend a minute or two looking at it, we’ve earned it.
As you can see, after several changes to the design – the snout especially – Toyota has landed on a design that I’m sure most will deem more than adequate. It looks aggressive, hunched up on its rear wheels ready for you to slam the accelerator pedal to the floor. And the grey only makes the muscular curves of the car look more defined.
Based on the new BMW Z5’s chassis, it’s shorter and fatter this time around to boost agility. And between its inline-6 and rear limited slip differential hangs a ZF 8-speed auto. With the almost instant shifts and 340bhp from 5,000 to 6,500rpm, and 369lb ft of torque from the lows of 1,600rpm right through to 4,500, it can accelerate to 62mph in just 4.3 seconds. It will then power on, if allowed, to an electronically limited 155mph.
With these figures similar to the previous Supra, it’s fair to say that Toyota are sticking to their guns that more power doesn’t always mean a better car. If the GT86 is anything to go by, I pleasantly agree with this mantra.
Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer on this project, describes the new Supra as the ‘big brother’ of the GT86. Albeit smaller, the Supra will drive similarly to the entry-level sports car with driver satisfaction being the main objective. Of course, we can’t tell until the press cars start rolling out, especially as the suspension, engine and transmission is straight from the BMW Z4M40i. Let’s not jump to conclusions and believe they’re the same car, however. They may be built in the same place, but Toyota and BMW have had a distant relationship while working on the two cars.
Delve inside the new Toyota and you’ll find a self-explanatory interior. The centre console holds the switches and knobs to alter the tuning of the car to your individual preferences such as the setting of the ESP suspension and throttle mapping. The dashboard is vertical and reminiscent of the GT86, and if this is anything to go by, seating position will be spot on. Of course, everything here is BMW’s own, including the screens and switchgear. but again, this is not such a bad thing.
Initially I was worried about the Supra and its connections to BMW. But from what can be seen here, I’m very much looking forward to seeing these on the road. Maybe even trying one for myself if the opportunity arises. Until then however, I’m strongly impressed. Let’s wait and see how it drives.