Toyota Supra fully revealed - at last

250kW coupe designed as an enthusiasts' car with 50:50 weight distribution, low centre of gravity and active rear diff

15 January 2019 - 08:33 By Denis Droppa
Classic front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout for the two-seater-coupe. Picture: SUPPLIED
Classic front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout for the two-seater-coupe. Picture: SUPPLIED

After one of the longest teaser campaigns in automotive history, Toyota has finally unveiled its Supra sports coupe in its full, undisguised form at the Detroit motor show.

The car has already been leaked to the world as a disguised prototype and many of its technical secrets have been leaked along the way, but it’s been confirmed that the rear-wheel drive two-seater will be available in two grades: 3.0 and 3.0 Premium.

Both will be powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder petrol engine that produces 250kW of power and 500Nm of torque and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with racing-style paddle shifters.

Both grades will also come standard with serious performance features including adaptive suspension, an active rear differential. With the assistance of a launch control function the car takes 4.3 seconds to sprint from rest to 100km/h, says Toyota.

The car has a Sports mode that changes the engine sound and response, shift pattern, damping, steering and active differential. The vehicle stability control has a special "track" setting that can be selected, reducing the level of system intervention.

Large twin exhausts poke out from the muscular rear end. Picture: SUPPLIED
Large twin exhausts poke out from the muscular rear end. Picture: SUPPLIED

A 50:50 front to rear weight split gives the Supra the handling manners to thrill enthusiast drivers, and to aid cornering traction the active differential operates both when accelerating and decelerating and can seamlessly adjust from zero to full 100% lock. The suspension comprises double-joint spring MacPherson struts at the front and a five-link system at the rear. 

The 3.0 grade has a 16.5cm infotainment display with Bluetooth and iPod capability, as well as Alcantara seats.

The 3.0 Premium grade will feature an upgraded 22cm wide-format touchscreen display with Navigation, Supra Connect telematics services, wireless Apple CarPlay, a premium 12-speaker JBL audio system, wireless phone charging and a colour Head-Up Display. The 3.0 Premium grade will also feature heated, leather-trimmed seats.

Conceived as a sports car in its purest form, the new Toyota GR Supra builds on the heritage of Toyota's past Supra generations and the 2000GT sports car with its classic layout of a front-mounted, straight-six engine driving the rear wheels.

“Driving enthusiasts can look forward to an exhilarating blend of power, agility and precision handling, achieved thanks to the car's combination of a short wheelbase and wide track, light weight, low centre of gravity and highly rigid body,” says a Toyota spokesperson. 

Sports seats and dual-tone cockpit provide racy vibes. Picture: SUPPLIED
Sports seats and dual-tone cockpit provide racy vibes. Picture: SUPPLIED

The 5th generation Supra is based on the new BMW Z4 in a collaboration between the Japanese and German automakers, and uses BMW’s engine.

Toyota Supra chief designer Nobuo Nakamura gave his team a simple brief around the concept of "Condensed Extreme" for styling of the new Supra. The landmark 2000GT's influence is evident in the long bonnet, compact body and double-bubble roof, while the distinctive look of the previous generation Supra is captured with its muscular rear wings and the arc of the integrated spoiler.

The first Supra range first broke cover in 1978 and gained fame in the Fast & Furious movie franchise when the fourth-generation version was driven by the late Paul Walker.

The Supra will go on sale in SA around the middle of the year, with pricing still to be announced.

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