Looking a lot like an 86 on steroids, Toyota’s born-again Supra has finally been unveiled and is ready for Australian deliveries later this year.
Toyota whipped the covers off the smart two-door sportster at the Detroit Motor Show overnight, revealing its own take on the shared mechanical package of the upcoming BMW Z4 convertible – a recipe which includes a six-cylinder turbocharged engine and rear-wheel drive.
The new Supra has the personal backing of Toyota’s car-crazy chief, Akio Toyoda, who was also the driving force behind the successful 86 project and is rolling the car into action under his personal competition brand - Gazoo Racing.
The Toyota GR Supra is the fifth generation of the car, although it has been absent from showrooms for nearly 20 years.
Its return has only been made possible by the collaboration between Toyota and BMW on the joint Supra-Z4 project, just as Toyota partnered with Subaru to create the 86 in tandem with the BRZ.
The biggest difference between the cars is the open-air roof on the Z4, although the styling of the Supra is much less aggressive and edgy than the German car originally designed by Australian Calvin Luk.
Inside, there are clear clues to the BMW heritage in the Supra in the controls and display screens.
The new Supra is priced from $50,920 in the USA, which translates to just over $70,000 at today’s rates and means there is unlikely to be any change from $90,000 by the time the car - complete with Luxury Car Tax and GST - for Australian buyers.
Local deliveries will begin before the end of the year and Toyota Australia has an initial allocation of 300 cars, which should keep Supra fans satisfied through to the end of 2020.
Supra testing including time on Australian roads to ensure the car’s various systems, including the suspension and air-conditioning, could cope with local conditions.
The Supra is already committed to a race program in Japan in 2020 and Toyoda says he is satisfied with the sports car focus of the program. He did many laps of the Nurburgring racetrack in Germany in the original Supra and also turned test laps in the new car.
“Even though Toyota had no plans to make a new Supra, just like a lot of other diehard Supra fans around the world, I secretly wanted to make it happen,” Toyoda reveals.
“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.”
Despite the Toyota badge and Japanese input, the 21st century Supra is being built at a factory at Graz in Austria, a site chosen because of its expertise on the folding roof for the Z4.
Technically, the Supra’s engine produces 250 kiloWatts and 500 Newton-metes of torque, and it is fitted with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
It is promised with a benchmark 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.3 seconds with a launch-control program and the car has a special ’track’ setting for drivers who want to hit a racetrack.