Toyota harks back to past glories with reintroduced Supra

The all-new Toyota GR Supra is the fifth generation of Toyota’s legendary sports car and the first global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing, reports Iain Robertson on the new Toyota that almost never was and is already sold out for 2019. 

Toyota’s revisited Supra has been conceived as a sports car in its purest form, without compromises that might reduce the hands-on driving experience. The company has adhered to the classic form of a front-mounted, straight-six engine driving the rear wheels, building on the heritage of Toyota’s previous Supra generations and the original 2000GT sports car. 

Driving enthusiasts will adore the exhilarating blend of power, agility and precise handling, delivered by the car’s combination of a short wheelbase and wide track, light weight, low centre of gravity and exceptional body rigidity. Its 3.0-litre engine is fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger and produces 335bhp and 369lbs ft of torque. The unit is powerful, well-balanced, smooth and free revving. Coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it is characterised by smooth, punchy acceleration (0-60mph in 4.0s, 155mph limited top speed), with a great slug of torque available across all engine speeds. 

Toyota Gazoo Racing honed the new car’s performance on the Nürburgring, to achieve the most agile, stable and rewarding handling possible, which also means it is unforgiving on British roads. Toyota had zero plans to make a new Supra, but pressure applied by Gazoo Racing has led to its arrival. A key factor is the car’s two-seater packaging, even though not providing four seats would reduce the number of cars being sold. In its own little way, Supra might be the antithesis of society’s current car-related trends.

With a wheelbase shorter than the GT86 coupe, the Supra sits on fatter tyres and presents a visually wider stance, with tight cabin proportions, which contribute to a high degree of handling finesse. It rides as standard on lightweight but highly rigid 19.0-inch diameter, forged alloy wheels that feature alternating black and polished slim spokes.

Inside, the Supra’s seats have a race-influenced design that ensures comfort at all times and excellent support, particularly if the car is being used on-track. Sadly, much like the faster Nissan GTR, space for those of larger proportions is at a premium, which is very unfortunate. Body-holding side bolsters are featured on the cushions and backs and there are integrated head restraints. The upholstery options include full leather and a combination of leather bolsters with a perforated Alcantara covering for the seat back and cushion that provides a degree of air ventilation and additional body-hugging performance.

Interestingly, even before the car was launched, with scant information available, it was being criticised for being ‘too close to the GT86 in size’, which appears to be the case. The new Toyota GR Supra will be delivered to UK customers from September 2019 and an order bank is already set-up for 2020. The GR Supra 3.0L is list-priced at £52,695, with the 3.0L Pro alternative at £54,000. All examples are being made in Graz, Austria.

MSG Summary

Toyota’s supercar is actually a Gazoo Racing development but you can be certain that Toyota will claim all sales plaudits for a model that will be fairly rare on our roads.

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