Harder, faster Supra GRMN in the works

A Gazoo-fettled variant is likely to sit atop the Supra range, enthusiasts rejoice

Toyota Supra Camo Jpg

A HARDER, lighter, and faster Toyota Supra is on its way, according to the car’s chief architect.

Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer of both the Toyota 86 and reborn Supra confirmed to TopGear.com a more focussed Supra could be in the works.

Gazoo Racing, which Tada-san heads up, will be responsible for the work, with the end result likely to be badged as a Supra GRMN.

At some point I would like to make a track-limited Supra with less weight,” Tada told TopGear.com.

Tada indicated that work already conducted on a racing version of the Supra has shown that the more hardcore version may not need a significant power bump to thrill drivers.

“We know if you take out 100kg it’s a completely different car – you don’t even need any more power,” he explained.

Wheels understands the new Supra will have a 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine sourced from BMW, with power to sit somewhere between 225-250kW and torque peaking between 450-500Nm. With the car expected to be of similar size to Toyota’s current RWD sports car, the 86, that should be plenty of grunt. A less powerful variant, likely powered by BMW’s B48 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo with a 195kW tune, is also expected to be part of the A90 Supra’s range.

Wheels is currently in Spain driving a prototype of the new Supra, which was developed jointly with BMW’s new Z4 roadster. We will have a full review coming later this week.

Tada-san says the dynamic benchmark for the new Supra is the Porsche Cayman, with Toyota even initially evaluating a mid-engine design for the cult hero.

“The Cayman has the advantage with its engine positioning but I’ve driven the cars back-to-back on track and we’re definitely in the same zone,” Tada said.

“We stuck with front engine because of feel and control. We know how to control a front-engine car, we already have that capability. In the planning stages we suggested a mid-engined layout and BMW was happy to go with it, but I took the idea to Akio Toyoda and he told me off.”

Gazoo and Toyota are still deciding if the more focussed Supra GRMN will be restricted to a track-only toy, or be able to wear numberplates.

“We’re investigating both avenues, there’s always a trade-off because being road-legal brings restrictions,” Tada added.

The Supra’s chief engineer also enthused about his eagerness to see the car compete in motorsport around the world.

Toyota will run the Supra in NASCAR’s second-tier XFINITY series, however there is almost no link to the road car, with styling cues painted onto a stockcar body, with an old school V8 under the hood.

Japan’s SuperGT would be a logical home for the Supra, likely in the GT3-esque GT300 class. Toyota’s luxury arm Lexus already fields the LC500 coupe in the flagship GT500 class against the Honda NSX and Nissan GT-R. If built to GT300 regulations, a leap to GTE wouldn’t be a stretch, allowing the Supra to race at Le Mans against the likes of the Porsche 911 RSR and Ferrari 488.

 

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