Track-focused Toyota Supra planned


Toyota Supra dynamic debut at 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Toyota Supra dynamic debut at 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed

We've yet to see the new Toyota Supra debut in production form, but the company is already willing to admit the car will spawn a track-focused variant.

The man behind the new Supra, chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, told Top Gear on Friday that such a car will mainly focus on stripping weight away from the regular car.  "We’re already making a racing version so we know if you take out 100 kg (220 pounds) it’s a completely different car – you don’t even need any more power," he said.

Power in the road car will come from a BMW-sourced engine, likely a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 unit making around 335 horsepower. A turbocharged inline-4 with around 262 hp will also be offered as a "base engine," which Tada suggested will be best for those inevitably looking to swap Toyota's famed 2JZ inline-6 engine under the hood.

Tetsuya Tada with A90 Toyota Supra and previous four generations

Tetsuya Tada with A90 Toyota Supra and previous four generations

"Please buy the four-cylinder. It will be cheaper," he said on the topic of engines swaps at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.

What isn't completely decided is whether the track-focused Supra will be for the road, or limited to race circuits. Tada said the team is looking into both but admitted a road-legal version will come with restrictions. As for motorsport, the Supra may take to the grid in the LM GTE segment. Toyota will also race the Supra in the NASCAR Xfinity series.

Tada also offered up a rare nugget of insider information. During the development process, he approached the project with potentially taking the Supra mid-engine. He said the team initially suggested a mid-engine layout to BMW, which agreed, but when he took the idea to Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda, "He told me off."

Toyota GR Supra Racing concept

Toyota GR Supra Racing concept

"We stuck with front engine because of feel and control," Tada said. "We know how to control a front-engine car, we already have that capability."

If a track-focused Supra comes to life for the road, expect it to wear the Supra GRMN, linking it to Toyota's Gazoo Racing outfit. We'll see the regular Supra finally bow at the 2019 Detroit auto show.

 
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