No more games, Toyota.
Overnight, at the 2019 Detroit Motor Show (or North American International Auto Show, NAIAS, as they insist on calling it these days), Toyota finally uncovered their all-new A90 Supra. The Toyota GR Supra, to be specific. Much fanfare followed, of course, but we can’t help but feel a the whip of shock and awe lacking its crack as so much of this car has already been either leaked, teased, or just plain guessed prior to this unveil.
Still, the 5th generation Supra does bring with it a whole wave of details to explain and unfurl, so let’s no tarry. First of all, yes, those leaks were pretty much accurate, especially those concerning the final look of the car. That aside, it echoes many past Toyota cues such as the A80 and 2000GT as well as remaining faithful to newer ones established with the FT-1 Concept that preceded it.
On that point, it’s perhaps fitting that the car is manufactured in Austria by Magna Steyr alongside the BMW G29 Z4 (it’s sister car with which it shares a platform and drivetrain), as their manufacturing expertise might have been essential to recreating the double bubble roof in the kind of volume they’re expecting the Supra to sell in.
The prefix GR is perhaps the least foreign element to this Supra; ironic given how recently Toyota has been using it. Meant to denote the Japanese automaker’s factory motorsports efforts, the Gazoo Racing division has been expanded to oversee its performance cars, hence its initials finding their way onto the Supra now and indeed subsequent models in a similar vein.
So far, there aren’t any official plans to explore a Targa body style like the version that it succeeds, but one can’t help but reckon that there’s a good chance Toyota are already plotting some kind of roofless or semi-roofed variant. Otherwise, the coupe shape here boasts a very sloping silhouette that tapers immediately after the blacked out A-pillar, creating an almost wraparound effect to the cockpit.
Inside, they’ve done commendable work at making the GR Supra’s occupants shed any notion that they’re in a Toyota. Certain elements such as the central infotainment display is still very reminiscent of BMW’s iDrive, sure, but other than that the aesthetics very much exude an Aichi vibe over one from Munich.
Despite being the current flagship in Toyota’s sports car arsenal, the Supra is comparable in overall size to the 86 thanks to a more compact wheelbase. However, they also claim that its clever construction translates to a body that’s more rigid than a carbon fibre Lexus LFA despite being hewn from a mixture of steel and aluminium.
Most controversial, though, has to be the engine and drivetrain combination that powers the all-new Supra. Fans and enthusiasts have had years to come to grips with a part-German product, and the initial distaste has mostly faded into a more openminded stance. Nonetheless, only time will tell if BMW-sourced internals are worthy of their new home.
In the range-topping 3.0 Premium’, under the bonnet we find the B58 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-6 producing 250kW and 500Nm, analogous to the new BMW Z4 M40i. For now, it’s exclusively mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic which is capable of sending it to 100km/h from rest in 4.3 seconds. Curiously, that’s 0.1 seconds slower than what BMW claim their Roadster is capable of in its North American tune.
Below this, Toyota will also be producing a lower rung variant with a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol - a B48 unit also sourced from BMW. At the higher spectrum of this smaller engine is a 190kW/400Nm tune while more entry-level grades will receive 145kW and 320Nm. All units coming to Australia will be equipped with a mechanical locking rear differential and Adaptive Suspension, optional extras in other markets.
Toyota AU have yet to make mention of any other spec other than the full-fat 250kW version so it’s probably safe to assume that it will be the sole mechanical configuration headed Down Under, its local rollout scheduled for somewhere in late 2019 with an initial allocation of 300 cars for the 1st year.