Detroit Motor Show - And here it is… Following a series of leaks and a teaser campaign stretching back to the beginning of time, Toyota has finally revealed the all-new Supra in its official, showroom-ready form and local fans don’t have long to wait, with the reincarnated sports car set to hit South African streets around the middle of 2019.
The Toyota GR Supra is the Gazoo Racing division’s first global product and as you surely know by now, the two-seater shares its chassis and engines with the BMW Z4 - in fact, it’ll also roll off the same production line in Graz, Austria.
However, it appears that the engine options will differ by region. The European press material, for instance, only mentions the 3-litre straight six turbopetrol, good for 250kW and 500Nm and, with launch control activated, a (claimed) 0-100km/h time of just 4.3 seconds.
The Japanese website meanwhile also lists a 2-litre, four-cylinder motor, offered in two output levels - 190kW/400Nm and 145kW/320Nm - with respective 0-100km/h times of 5.2 and 6.5 seconds.
All versions power the back wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox - no mention of a manual shifter as yet, but there are surely many fans out there that are about to start petitioning for one.
The Z4, given its mechanical layout and low, wide stance, was quite possibly the best ‘donor car’ that Toyota could have hoped for to do true justice to the Supra’s heritage, but Toyota has also infused plenty of its own flavour into the design and feel of the car, although we can’t actually vouch for the later until we’ve driven it.
The Supra’s striking design, which remains faithful to the dramatic FT-1 concept of 2014, shares nothing with the Beemer and is sure to turn heads with its double-bubble roof, muscular rear wings and massive, arching lip spoiler.
Yet the Supra was ultimately designed around dynamic ambitions and to that end boasts a perfect 50:50 front to rear weight distribution as well as structural rigidity that’s said to surpass even the Lexus LFA. Also aiding that cornering cause is an active differential, fitted to all European models, which can seamlessly adjust from zero to full, 100 percent lock, and the vehicle’s stability control system has a ‘track’ mode that minimises interference.
There are plenty of racing vibes in the cockpit, whose layout was influenced by single-seater race cars, although it does in fact accommodate two lucky occupants, who sit on race-style bucket seats with integrated headrests.
Other features include a 22.3cm digital instrument display with 3D-effect rev counter, head-up display and a 22.3cm infotainment system which can be operated via the touch-screen or a rotary controller - it’s basically iDrive with some Toyota flavour.
The boot, says Toyota, is suitable for two people’s weekend luggage, but it can also extend into the back of the cabin via a removable panel - do that, and you can also fit a golf bag, says Toyota. Not that we’d be thinking much of golf if we had the keys to this one.