Before the new A90 Toyota Supra receives the official go-ahead for mass production, the car must first undergo an extensive and world-spanning real-world final test phase and/or PR tour. With its premiere set for the Detroit Motor Show in January, Toyota must be keen on boasting their car is 100% finished as the wraps get pulled off in Michigan.
It makes sense, then, that the Supra would make its way to Australia as part of this last run dynamic trials to iron out the more nuanced imperfections in its suspension and drive calibrations and powertrain tune. Our mixture of tropical humidity, the arid outback, searing heat, coastal sweeps, and mountainous terrain can’t really be found within a single border.
To that end, the Supra’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, also made his way Down Under to personally test the car on our roads in various locations under different conditions. He and his team of have spent the five-day evaluation replicating real-world driving conditions to show up any chinks in the A90’s armour before the final sign-off.
"We know your drivers tend to favour strong levels of body control and steering feel, particularly for your undulating road surfaces," Mr Tada said. “It's vital the driver feels confident during rough-road cornering and that the car is very stable under braking. Speedo accuracy is also very important. Working on aspects of handling and other details here in Australia allows us to make refinements that will result in a better car right up until production starts in the first part of next year.”
Frankly, it’s nice to see the Supra driven on real roads instead of stationary in a studio, even if the pre-production prototype here is dressed in the same camo pattern we’ve seen it wear for months and months now, and it’s a boon that they are Australian roads. Hopefully we won’t need to wait too long after the official unveil in Detroit for the real thing to reach our shores.
The Toyota Supra will be the flagship in the newly minted Gazoo Racing (GR) performance brand the company is carving out for itself following the success of its factory motorsport efforts under the same name.
It shares a fair few components and common platform with the Z4 roadster and was developed in tandem as a result of a technical partnership between and Toyota. Thusly, when a new inline-6 was needed to succeed the 2JZ, they turned to Munich.
Under each new Supra will be a BMW B58 3.0-litre six-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger producing around 230kW and over 500Nm, operating on a custom tune by Toyota GR - some of that being influenced by what is learned during this late-stage shakedown in Australia, hopefully.