Living up to its promise as being a sports car for the masses.
Japanese marque Toyota is seriously enjoying all the well-wishes and positivity they’ve garnered since the introduction of the A90 GR Supra, a car that fans have been wanting to see since the original A80 died in the early-00s. And with massive praises levelled at it and the engineers behind the project already coming from those invited to preview drives of the iconic new model, it’s no wonder then that related players, like chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, are more than willing to let some air out of the Supra bag for journalists with the right questions.
There are so many questions surrounding the Supra. Will there be a bigger engine, a manual gearbox, different bodystyles, or a balls-to-the-wall GRMN version that’ll make us grin wider than our faces? Teda addressed them all one-by-one, which has gotten us all rather excited.
Tada did however talk about a lighter, more focused Supra, which is well within what Tada & the team at Gazoo Racing are capable of.
“For GT86 we came up with a 100-unit special version called GRMN, for Japan only, and in one day we had 3,000 orders. That kind of special version is what we have in mind also for Supra. But this time I hope that customers worldwide can enjoy this. Engines obviously need to get better, horsepower probably needs to be improved, the suspension or the body balance is something that could also be improved or reviewed.” – Tetsuya Tada, Chief Engineer, Toyota Motor Co.
In keeping with the original Supra’s intent to bring sports-car performance to the masses, there will be more affordable variants of Toyota’s sports car halo in the future. This will include 4-cylinder engines from the BMW range, which Tada says will not only offer economic benefits (both in terms of acquisition & fuel) but perhaps even in dynamics.
“The 2.0-litre engine will be lighter, which would improve the balance, so in a way you’ve come up with an even better handling [version] of the car. And it’s not only the engine that will be lighter, we can make the transmission lighter, so it’s actually a considerable difference in weight, about 100kg lighter.” – Tetsuya Tada, Chief Engineer, Toyota Motor Co.
Additionally, Tada has expressed that both himself and Toyota are fully supportive of tuners keen to go nuts with the Supra. Aftermarket tuning is big in Japan and was a major highlight of the original A80 Supra, and the A90 will keep that flame alive.
“Actually, just one week ago, I showed the Supra prototype to tuners in the training plant, so that they can start working on tuning parts.” – Tetsuya Tada, Chief Engineer, Toyota Motor Co.
Finally, Tada talked about the idea of different bodystyles for the Supra, specifically touching on the idea of a targa version. A roadster Supra might seem like a great idea to you and I, but it would put it in direct contention with the BMW Z4 that the Supra shares its oily bits with, which BMW might not be too keen on. But as TopGear pointed out in the interview, a targa would sidestep any bad feelings as it’d be a nod to the Supra’s original form, and it wouldn’t add too much weight with a folding mechanism.