As far as badly kept secrets go, this ranks right up there with the most widely known and poorly kept of the lot. The Toyota Supra is back! Or, as Toyota have claimed at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show – the legend returns. We’ve known this for some time though; just as we’ve known the new Supra is a joint development project between BMW and Toyota, and just as we know the Toyota FT-1 Concept has given us our best pre-production look at the final thing. To an extent, it’s still our best look, as the GR Supra Racing Concept displayed at Geneva is well, A- a concept, and B- decked out in racing livery with flared arches and a giant spoiler.
Still, the GR Supra Racing Concept serves as official confirmation of the Supra’s return; and additionally that the Supra will be produced under the Gazoo Racing performance sub-brand. Crucially, it serves as an extra injection of excitement, following the GR Super Sport Concept’s sporting pretences that are most contrary to Toyota’s recent spate of boredom inducing appliances.
The GR Supra Racing Concept debuted in Geneva provides all manner of hat tips towards the Supra heritage though. Toyota has confirmed that the Supra will definitely be a front engined, rear-wheel driven sports car – thankfully – but additionally, the large “90” adorning the concept’s Gazoo Racing livery of red, white, and black, is a continuation of the Supra series denominations – A40, A60, A70, and A80 – clearly denoting the new one as the 5th generation Supra.
The GR Supra Racing Concept also provides us with a deeper look at design elements and construction technologies likely to make their way to the production model. The concept’s dramatic bodywork, for example, makes use of lightweight composite construction for the bumpers, front splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts, mirror housings, bonnet, and rear wing – alluding to the use of similar composites to keep weight down on the production model.
With BMW’s involvement, it’s not too farfetched an idea that a carbon fibre roof may also be used to increase torsional rigidity whilst keeping weight down. The concept’s windscreen and side windows are made of plastic too – though this is not likely to occur on the production Toyota Supra.
The GR Supra Racing Concept rides lower than the production model will, thanks to Toyota front and rear race suspension components. The concept also rides on centre-locking BBS racing alloys with Michelin race tyres – which again won’t reach production. However the Brembo brakes on the concept suggest similarly potent stopping power to be used in production, whilst the race exhaust suggests Toyota may endow the Supra with a fitting soundtrack.
The GR Supra Racing Concept features a full race-spec interior; competition focused and equipped with a racing dashboard, OMP driver’s seat, safety harness, quick release steering wheel, and a full roll cage with fire extinguishers, as well as competition standard fuel and brake lines, pedal box, battery and wiring looms.
With the full reveal of the 5th generation Toyota Supra expected in 2019, with production occurring late the same year, the GR Supra Racing Concept gives us a fresh look and renewed hope for what Toyota’s future holds.
Whilst no details have been provided on the drivetrain to be expected, rumours suggest a choice between two powerplants, either a turbo 4 cylinder or a turbo 6 cylinder, with thoughts that the latter may even be derived from the 3.0-litre unit found in the BMW M3 and M4, with similar outputs. A more plausible engine would be the B58 3.0-litre straight-6, with outputs expected to sit in the 250-280kW region.