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New Supa racing concept signals return of a Toyota legend

By Paul Connolly

The return of the legendary Toyota Supra racing series is a massive step closer after the manufacturer revealed a GR Supra racing concept model.

When launched, the production model will be the fifth generation of the Supra.

It will come under the auspices of Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s high-performance wing.

The Toyota Supra was a sports car/grand tourer made by Toyota from 1978 to 2002. It was derived from the Toyota Celica, but it was both longer and wider.

In 1986, the A70 Supra became a separate model from the Celica, and Toyota then dropped using the term Celica Supra and started to simply call the car the Supra.

The GT sportscar remained in production until 2002, and in its final generation it was Toyota’s most powerful production model.

The Supra’s reputation was greatly enhanced by its success in motorsport. Most notably, the fourth generation Supra, introduced in 1993, became the dominant force in the All-Japan GT racing – today’s Super GT series – winning the GT500 class four times.

The Toyota Supra also competed in American IMSA sportscar racing in the 1980s and twice appeared at Le Mans in the 1990s.

It was also famous for being featured in the Gran Turismo video game series.

Latest news is that the new GR Supra will likely be rear-wheel drive, with a front-mounted six-cylinder turbo engine set-up.

Toyota has reportedly confirmed hybrid, electric and even fuel cell options are also being considered.

Created by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the new concept expresses the “fun to drive” quality that Toyota says is its commitment to making ever-better cars. The large “90” race number on its doors is a historical reference to Supra’s codename.

The racing concept has a dramatic bodywork design that includes a large rear wing. It makes extensive use of strong but lightweight composite material for elements such as the wide front and rear bumpers, front splitter and rear diffuser, side skirts, door mirror housings and the rear wing.

The concept’s chassis features lowered front and rear suspension using original equipment (OE) components. BBS racing wheels with centre-nut attachment are fitted with Michelin racing tyres. The braking system uses Brembo Racing callipers and discs and there is a racing exhaust.

The cabin is entirely competition-focused and is fitted with a racing dashboard and OMP driver’s seat and safety harness. OMP has also supplied the quick-release steering wheel, mounted on a racing column and equipped with a paddle shift system.

The doors are lined with carbon fibre panels and the dashboard includes a racing display.

Competition safety requirements are met by a full roll cage and fire extinguishers, and the fuel and brake lines, pedal box, battery and wiring looms are all designed to competition standard.

There is already speculation the production model will be available next year.

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