Toyota premiered its much-anticipated all-new Supra recently at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The Supra name evokes power, performance and handling that defined a succession of world-class cars for a quarter of a century. As a thoroughbred sports car, the Toyota Supra built a reputation both as a formidable performer on the road and as an all-conquering machine on the racetrack, earning legions of fans around the world.
The all-new Supra is the first global model of GAZOO Racing’s (GR) sports car series. Ever since first competing in Germany’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race in 2007, GR has been developing its cars and people through its motorsports activities with the goal of making “ever-better cars.” The knowledge and expertise it has built up over the years have been funneled into bringing the Supra back to life in the form of the GR Supra as a car that people the world over will find fun to drive.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who is also a master driver, commented: “Back in the day, I spent countless hours driving an old Supra at the Nürburgring to become a master driver. Supra is like an old friend that holds a special place in my heart. While other manufacturers were putting the beautiful new prototypes they were going to introduce through their paces, I was driving an old Supra that was no longer in production. So even though Toyota had no plans to make a new Supra, just like a lot of other die-hard Supra fans around the world I secretly wanted to make it happen. The new GR Supra was born through testing at Nürburgring, and I can honestly say that it is better than ever.”
The all-new fifth-generation Supra marks the end of the 17-year hiatus since production of the previous generation concluded in 2002. Ever since the Supra’s inception in 1978, all generations have been front-engine, rear-wheel-drive vehicles powered by an inline six-cylinder engine. The latest rendition is no exception. This time around, extensive attention has also been paid to the three fundamental elements of wheelbase, tread, and center of gravity, thus achieving handling performance befitting a pure sports car.
Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada, who headed the vehicle’s development, said: “We set out to create a pure sports car that would deliver the ultimate in exciting driving experiences. Rather than only working toward improving specs such as horsepower and circuit lap times, we emphasized sensitivity in performance, such as the degree to which driving could be felt to be enjoyable, with car and driver becoming one.”
It is worth mentioning that the first production 2020 Toyota GR Supra to roll off the assembly line, ‘Global #1,’ was auctioned for charity recently for $2.1 million (~ AED 7.7 million) at the 48th Annual Barrett-Jackson Auction at WestWorld of Scottsdale, with proceeds going to the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF).