The 2019 Toyota Supra has made its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. The new car took to Goodwood’s famous hill course with a dazzle-camouflage livery – a fairly light disguise that gives the best view yet of the forthcoming sports car. The production version is expected to hit UK showrooms in the first half of 2019.
The Toyota Supra’s Goodwood debut follows the appearance of a more heavily disguised version on test in London. Along with the Goodwood run, these images, captured by Auto Express reader Johnny Daley on the streets of Leyton, East London, offered early proof that the new Supra is nearing production readiness.
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Toyota has confirmed that the Supra is powered by a six-cylinder petrol engine with power sent to the rear wheels. Previous leaked specifications suggest a power output of around 330bhp. The Supra is expected to have at least 350lb/ft of torque and weigh in at around 1,500kg – performance should be impressive as a result.
In an official interview, the car"s cheif engineer Tetsuya Tada has suggested that "the new Supra will be the last present from Toyota to those who enjoy hearing the pleasing sound of a pure petrol engine at high revs".
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The nose design bears strong hints of Toyota"s most recent Supra production car, which left UK showrooms at the end of the 1990s and is still fondly regarded by enthusiasts who"ve long wished for its return. While there are also flavours of that model at the rear of the car, the prominent air exits and rear light shapes are reminiscent of the high-performance Lexus LC coupe and Lexus LF-A supercar.GR Supra Racing concept
Before the Toyota Supra’s Goodwood debut, the closest enthusiasts came to catching a clear glimpse of its styling was the Toyota"s GR Supra Racing Concept at this year"s Geneva Motor Show. Presented in the bold white, red and black livery of Toyota"s Gazoo Racing factory team, the production car can be seen lurking under its outlandish spoilers, scoops and skirts. The GR Supra Racing concept may have taken the place of the expected production version at Geneva, but the Japanese brand is still committed to “bring back its most celebrated sports car” later this year. Gran Turismo Sport players are able to "drive" the concept in the Sony Playstation game.
The concept appears every inch a racer, with its harnesses, full roll cage and competition-ready fuel and brake lines, battery and wiring system. It sits on special BBS alloy wheels wrapped in uncompromising Michelin tyres. However, under its racing get-up, the concept still boasts its original suspension system and its basic structure is virtually the same as what will reach the showroom.
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Strip away the extra-aggressive bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, and fit a glass windscreen and side windows in place of the show car"s plastic panels, and the GR Racing Concept is close to the car that you"ll be able to buy. Its front-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout follows established Supra tradition, albeit brought up to date with strong, lightweight materials.
The Gazoo Racing livery emphasises the Supra"s position as Toyota’s sporty flagship, joining the Toyota Yaris GRMN in the stable. Insiders suggest that the production version of the new Supra will be available in four key versions: Supra, Supra GR, Supra GR Sport and Supra GRMN, each with increased power and more aggressive chassis settings – and Gazoo badges could grace the car in place of Toyota emblems.
Carbuyer understands Gazoo – Toyota’s high-performance and motorsport division – was called upon during development to make sure the new Supra was as exciting to drive as possible. “The new car has to appeal to existing [Supra] owners first,” said Gazoo Racing boss Shigeki Tomoyama, speaking to Carbuyer at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. “The old cars had a straight-six engine, twin turbochargers and rear-wheel drive; the new car has to have the same philosophy.”Engines and performance
It"s no secret that the Supra will share its engineering fundamentals with the next-generation BMW Z4, but the Toyota will only be offered as a coupe. The Z4, meanwhile, will have a convertible roof, and is expected to hit showrooms a little earlier than the Supra.
The two models could also differ under the bonnet. The VW Vortex forum hosted pages scanned from Japan"s Best Car magazine, which revealed a 3.0-litre, twin-turbocharged engine for Japanese-spec cars. The article suggested 330bhp and short bursts of extra pulling power available through an "overboost" facility and a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds. Best Car mentioned an eight-speed automatic gearbox, but no mention of a manual option was made.
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The scanned information also outlined the Supra"s dimensions, at 4.38m long, 1.86m wide and 1.29m tall, with a 2.47m wheelbase, and there are rumours that the BMW Z4 will be slightly smaller overall, positioned as an outright sports car next to the more versatile Supra. It"s also unclear whether the Toyota engine will be shared by BMW, or whether the German company will use its own 3.0-litre six-cylinder and 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines for the Z4.On sale date
The Supra is expected to arrive in UK showrooms in the first half of 2019, with the closely related all-new BMW Z4 going on sale just before. When it goes on sale, Gazoo is set to support the Supra with aftermarket tuning parts, as with other models such as the Yaris GRMN.