Will it eventually head to North America?
The new Toyota Supra is here, and for better or worse, it pays homage to the nameplate by offering an inline-six up front, turning the wheels in back. U.S. buyers have a couple different trim levels to choose from, but in other markets Toyota offers the reborn sports car with a turbocharged four-cylinder as well. Whether or not the four-pot will eventually come to North America is unknown, but for those curious about such a machine, here’s the info.
The engine is a 2.0-liter with a twin-scroll turbo setup, offered in a couple different formats. The high-output version creates 255 horsepower (190 kilowatts) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque, while the base tune generates a more modest 194 hp (145 kW) and 236 lb-ft (320 Nm) of twist. While certainly not as thrust-worthy as the bigger six, both engines should still be entertaining in the four-cylinder Supra’s lighter packaging at approximately 3,130 pounds (1,420 kilograms).
Whereas the U.S. will have the Supra 3.0 and 3.0 Premium, Japan will receive traditional branded Supras with RZ, SZ-R, and SZ badging. As you’d expect, the RZ packs the big engine while the SZ-R get the high-output four-cylinder mill. The SZ serves as the base model with the 194 hp engine. All versions receive the same eight-speed automatic transmission, and despite the differences in weight with the smaller engines, all Supra models claim a 50:50 weight distribution.
What is the likelihood that the four-cylinder Supra will head to U.S. shores? We’re digging for some insight from Toyota, which has been silent on the subject thus far. In many ways the Toyota 86 already fills that role, so a lower-output Supra could be a moot point. If there’s demand from U.S. buyers for such a machine, however, we suspect Toyota would be happy to bring the SZ across the pond.
Toyota Premieres New Supra at Detroit Auto ShowThe first global model of the GR series
Toyota City, Japan, January 14, 2019―Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) premiered its much-anticipated all-new Supra today at the 2019 North American International Auto Show*1 in Detroit. Sales in Japan of the new Supra are slated to start around spring 2019.
The new Supra is the first global model of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing's GR sports car series. Ever since first competing in Germany's 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race in 2007*2, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing has been aiming through its motorsports activities to develop its cars and people, with the goal of "making ever-better cars." The knowledge and know-how it has built up over the years have been funneled into bringing the Supra back to life in the form of the "GR Supra,"*3 as a car that people the world over will find fun to drive.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who is also a master driver, said: "Back in the day, I spent countless hours driving an old Supra at Nurburgring to become a master driver. Supra is like an old friend that holds a special place in my heart. While other manufacturers were putting their beautiful new prototypes which they were going to introduce through the 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 Nurburgring, and I can honestly say that it is a car that is fun to drive and better than ever."
The all-new fifth-generation Supra marks the end of a 17-year hiatus since the conclusion of production of the previous generation in 2002. Ever since the Supra's inception in 1978*4, all generations have been front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles powered by an inline six-cylinder engine. The latest rendition is no exception. This time around, extensive attention has also been paid to the three fundamental elements of wheelbase, tread, and center of gravity, thus achieving handling performance befitting a pure sports car.
Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada, who headed development, said: "We set out to create a pure sports car that would attain the ultimate in the fun of driving. Rather than only working toward specs such as horsepower and circuit lap times, we emphasized sensitivity performance, such as the degree to which driving could be felt to be fun, with car and driver becoming one."
Also today, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing launches the "Supra is Back" edition of a global television commercial series to promote the new Supra. Appearing are top-class TOYOTA GAZOO Racing drivers*5, making a good match for the first global model of the GR series.
Key features of the new Supra
- Packaging in pursuit of the fundamental origins of a pure sports car
- To achieve excellent handling and a stable cornering stance, the three elements of wheelbase, tread, and center of gravity were positioned as the most important factors in pursuing the ideal conception of a pure sports car.
- Being straightforward about the model being a two-seater, at 2,470 mm, its wheelbase is 100 mm shorter than that of the 86.
- The relatively short wheelbase results in a wheelbase-to-tread ratio of 1.55, one of the smallest ratios among mass-production sports cars, contributing to excellent turning performance.
- All-out efforts were made to lower the center of gravity, resulting in a lower center of gravity than in the 86, which features a horizontally opposed engine.
- An ideal 50/50 distribution in front/rear weight balance, which is one of the crucial elements in determining cornering performance, was achieved.
- Styling that fully leverages sports car packaging and layout characteristics
- The styling is based on the concept of "Condensed Extreme L6 FR 'TOYOTA' Sports."
- Side-view packaging that emphasizes the presence of the wheels and tires, thanks to a short wheelbase and large-diameter wheels
- A two-seater-appropriate, close-fitting cabin and a super-wide stance born of a wide tread
- The long-nose, short-cabin silhouette of an inline-6, front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car
- The space of a quintessential front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports car created by a vertically slim instrument panel and a high, wide console
- A driver's seat-oriented, close-fitting, new-generation cockpit layout resulting from a shift-by-wire gearshift, an 8.8-inch TFT gauge display, and a large, full-color head-up display
- By fully leveraging the sports car packaging and layout characteristics described above, efforts were made to achieve sports styling suitable for the first global model of the GR series.
- The styling inherits the traditional features of Toyota sports cars, such as a "double bubble" roof, which contributes to reduced air friction (found in the Toyota 2000GT), and an approach for creating a condensed body design by positioning vehicle exterior lamps more inward from the sides of the vehicle to make the fenders appear more voluminous (found in the Toyota 2000GT and fourth-generation Supra).
- A high-rigidity body for a higher state of driving performance
With a skeletal structure that employs both aluminum and steel, and by pursuing ways to increase bonding strength among materials of differing composition, body rigidity up to 2.5 times higher than that of the 86 was achieved. Rigidity is even higher than that of the Lexus LFA, which features a cabin constructed of carbon fiber-reinforced plastics.
- An inline-6 turbo that carries on tradition and an inline-4 turbo to easily enjoy sporty driving
- The tradition of an inline, six-cylinder engine found in successive generations of the Supra is carried on in the form of a 6.3-liter, inline-6, twin-scroll turbocharged engine*6. Maximum torque of 500 N･m is produced at a low engine revolution of 1,600 rpm, allowing exhilaration from acceleration that perfectly matches expectations in line with accelerator-pedal operation.
- Available*7 are two differently tuned 2.0-liter, inline-4, twin-scroll turbocharged engines. One, with a high-performance maximum output of 190 kW (258 PS), is ideal for light, sporty driving, while the other, which musters 145 kW (197 PS), allows for a brisk driving sensation from in-town to highway.
- A suspension that enables precise vehicle control
- A newly designed suspension (front: double-joint spring strut; rear: multi-link) is characterized by reduced unsprung weight, high-rigidity assembly, and minute movability.
- Certain grades feature the Adaptive Variable Suspension system*7, which provides a high level of both drivability and riding comfort by optimally controlling such elements as the selected driving mode and the damping force of each wheel's shock absorber depending on the conditions of the road surface.
- An active differential for heightened turning performance and stability
- While coordinating with the Vehicle Stability Control system, an active differential optimally controls the locking ratio between the rear left and right wheels in a stepless range of zero to 100 by way of an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch.
- When entering a corner, the differential selects the locking ratio for a high level of balance between turning performance and stability. When coming out of a turn with the driver pressing on the accelerator pedal, the locking ratio is increased for optimal traction performance.
- Maneuverability honed on the roads of the world
With importance placed on the environments in which customers drive in the real world, proving runs were thoroughly and repeatedly conducted on regular roads during various stages of development. Such runs naturally included racing-speed drives at Nürburgring. But numerous tests were also held on a wide range of roads throughout the world, such as country roads in Europe, the Autobahn in Germany, snow-covered and ice-covered roads in Northern Europe, highways in the United States, and winding roads in Japan. The result is tuning aimed at enabling drivers to experience the joy of driving the new Supra even in everyday situations.
*6In Japan, the RZ grade features the inline-6 and the SZ-R and SZ grades feature the two inline-4s.
*7In Japan, available on the RZ and SZ-R grades.
New Supra Main Specifications (for the Japanese market)
|Engine displacement (liters)||2.998||1.998|
|Turbo type||Twin-scroll turbocharger|
|Transmission||8-speed Sports Automatic Transmission|
|Powertrain layout||Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive|
|Curb weight (kg)||1,520 (Based on Toyota calculations)||1,450 (Based on Toyota calculations)||1,410 (Based on Toyota calculations)|
|Length (mm)||4,380 (Based on Toyota calculations)|
|Width (mm)||1,865 (Based on Toyota calculations)|
|Height (mm)||1,295 (Based on Toyota calculations)||1,290
(Based on Toyota calculations)
|Front tread (mm)||1,594||1,609|
|Rear tread (mm)||1,589||1,616|