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2018 Geneva Motor Show: Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept previews next-gen hero coupe

By Tony O'Kane, 06 Mar 2018 Events

2018 Geneva Motor Show Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept previews next-gen hero coupe

Toyota has brought the Supra name back from the dead, with the GR Supra Racing Concept our first proper look at the Japanese automaker's keenly anticipated next-generation sports car halo

IT'S confirmed: Toyota will revive the Supra nameplate, and this is our first good peek at what it will look like.

Dubbed the Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept, the company's Geneva Motor Show showstopper is a track-ready version of the car that is expected to sex up Toyota dealerships from next year. Subtract the big wing, rear diffuser, vents, stickers, and motorsport-grade wheels, brakes and tyres, and you're left with sheetmetal and bumpers that appear virtually production-ready.

2018 Geneva Motor Show: Toyota Supra scooped ahead of official reveal

The sheetmetal faithfully echoes that of the stunning FT-1 concept that Toyota wheeled out at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, though the bumper plastics deviate significantly from the form of that concept.

The GR Supra Racing Concept sports a classically proportioned cab-rear, long bonnet silhouette that pays homage to the last-generation JZA80 Supra, while also introducing a distinctive ducktail and double-bubble roof. Underneath, a front-engine, rear-drive chassis that's shared with the upcoming BMW Z4 continues the Supra tradition of having an inline-six up front, and the driven wheels at the back.

Few clues to the production car's interior are given by this concept, with the cabin stripped-out and fitted with a roll-cage, simplified dashboard, racecar steering wheel, fixed bucket seat and featureless door cards. We'll have to wait a little longer before we see that aspect of the new Supra.

Precise mechanical details also remain under wraps for now – and will likely stay that way until the production-spec Supra is revealed later this year, likely at the Paris Motor Show in October, or the Los Angeles Motor Show soon after.

Even so, BMW's B58 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six is a hot candidate for a flagship Supra, which currently offers up 250kW and 500Nm in performance-oriented BMWs like the M240i. A 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with around 188kW – also BMW sourced – is rumoured to power entry-grade variants. An 8-speed ZF automatic will likely equip all models, with no manual option.

The next-gen A90 Supra has yet to be confirmed for the Australian market and Aussies were cheated out of the last-generation A80 model in the 1990s, however local Toyota boss Sean Hanley is optimistic that the new coupe will come down under.

“We haven't yet confirmed that we'll get this car, but I can assure you that we're certainly very keen to take Supra,” Hanley said to media at Geneva.

“I think that there's a strong desire in Australia for affordable sports cars, so in every sense we certainly hope to bring Supra to the Australian market. For us, it's about bringing cars that are fun to drive back to Toyota.”

Hanley wouldn't be drawn on pricing, but said that the car's arrival in Australia wouldn't necessarily follow the same bargain-pricing strategy of the 86, which launched in 2012 with a completely unexpected sub-$30K pricetag.

Logical comparisons would line the new Supra up against Ford's segment-dominating Mustang, but indications are that Toyota isn't necessarily aiming to undercut its Blue Oval rival – which starts from $45,990 in four-cylinder form, and $57,490 as a V8 - when time comes to stick a dollar value on its new sports coupe.

“I see this as a niche car,” Hanley continued. “Being [price] competitive is important, but it will play a very different role to a volume car. We think that this car will stand on its own in name, design, performance and desirability.”