Supra finally ditches the camo



IT’S BEEN teased for what seems an eternity, but the fifth-gen Toyota Supra has finally been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Spy photographs and leaked images of the much-anticipated A90- generation car had primed many for what to expect beneath the red, white and black dazzle camouflage, but the undisguised Supra undoubtedly espouses chief designer Nobuo Nakamura’s philosophy he terms ‘Condensed Extreme’.

The wheelbase is shorter than a Toyota 86, but the broad track width gives it what its design team call a ‘golden ratio’ of 1.55:1 between those two metrics. The camo wrap also did a very good job of disguising quite how aggressive the rear haunches are. There’s a subtle raid on Toyota’s back catalogue with the 2000GT-style double-bubble roof, while the arc of the integrated rear spoiler is claimed to reprise the beloved A80 Supra.

Power comes courtesy of a BMWderived turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six that develops 250kW and 500Nm. It drives through an eight-speed automatic via an active differentialthat operates on both acceleration and deceleration, with up to 100 percent locking ability. From standstill, the Supra reaches 100km/h in a claimed 4.3 seconds, which is 0.3 quicker than the identically powered BMW Z4 M40i.

The first global model produced by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the Supra has undergone extensive testing, including stints on Australian roads, where chief engineer Tetsuya Tada undertook local spring MacPherson strut front and five-link rear suspension set-up.

The interior doesn’t brook too much by way of surprise, with Supra-specific seats, steering wheel, instruments and dash top doing their best to divert from a distinctiy Bavarian-looking fascia, gear lever and drive controller. The cockpit features soft knee pads on the door trims and centre console, developed with the help of Gazoo Racing’s competition experience.

Built by Steyr in Graz, Austria,the Supra undertook an extensive Nurburgring development program, with company president Akio Toyoda undertaking final sign-offs. “Even though Toyota had no plans to make a new Supra, just like a lot of die-hard fans around the world, I secretly wanted it to happen”, he said. “The new GR Supra was born through testing at the Nurburgring and I can honestly say that it is a car that is fun to drive and better than ever,” he added. Our first drive in the prototype car on track at Jarama (Wheels, Nov ’18) more than underscored Toyoda’s assertions.

There’s no word on Aussie pricing as yet, with Toyota pointing to an on-sale date late this year, and less than 300 cars up for grabs in the first 12 months.


Supra funds

Supra that there’s been a knock-on in prior-gen A80 values. A pristine 1994 model with just 71,111miles on the odo recently sold for US$121,000. The Renaissance Red example isn’t an auction record for an A80, though. That’s held by the $US199,800 paid for the 1993 example that featured in The Fast and the Furious