THE fact the next-generation Toyota Supra will enter professional motorsport is no surprise, but the first confirmed category that the reborn icon will compete in has raised some eyebrows.
2018 Geneva Motor Show: Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept previews next-gen hero coupe
Toyota has chosen NASCAR’s feeder-category, the Xfinity Series, to debut the racing iteration of the new Supra, which aside from the name will share little with the Supra road car – NASCAR regulations dictate much of the body design (the headlights are simply painted on) that’s underpinned by a spaceframe chassis.
Toyota’s racing Supra will be powered by a 5.8-litre pushrod V8 with will send 521kW to the rear wheels, via a four-speed manual gearbox.
It is a radical departure from what will thrust the road-faring Supra forward, with Wheels understanding the BMW Z4’s twin-brother will be powered by a 3.0-litre turbocharged dual overhead cam six-cylinder engine.
The Supra’s racing debut, against local metal such as Mustangs and Camaros, will take place before the road car is launched, with the first round of the year pencilled in for February 2019 at Daytona.
Xfinity isn’t the main NASCAR championship, with that privilege going to the Cup Series, where the Toyota badge is represented by Camry racers.
Supra fans hoping for a return to Super GT need not give up hope, as it’s highly likely the sports coupe will also spawn a GT3-spec racer which will compete in its native country, and around the globe.