The all-new Toyota GR Supra is the fifth generation of Toyota’s legendary sports car and the first global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing.
The new Toyota GR Supra has been conceived as a sports car in its purest form, with no compromise that might diminish the pleasure of the driving experience. Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada has adhered to the classic form of a front-mounted, straight-six engine driving the rear wheels, building on the heritage of Toyota’s past Supra generations and original 2000GT sports car.
Driving enthusiasts can expect an exhilarating blend of power, agility and precision handling, delivered by the car’s combination of a short wheelbase and wide track, light weight, low centre of gravity and highly rigid body.
The 3.0-litre engine is fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger and produces 335bhp and 500 Nm of torque. Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, it is characterised by smooth and powerful acceleration, with large amounts of torque available across the full spectrum of engine speeds.
Toyota Gazoo Racing was instrumental in honing the new sports car’s performance, working extensively on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife and surrounding roads in Germany to achieve the most agile, stable and rewarding handling possible. Further extensive testing was carried out on roads around the world.
To be certain that the car delivered on its promise, Toyota President Akio Toyoda put it to the test at the Nürburgring in his role as a Master Driver before giving it the final green light. New Toyota GR Supra deliveries to UK customers will start from September 2019. All cars are being manufactured in Graz, Austria.
The Toyota GR Supra is the first GR model to be produced by Toyota Gazoo Racing for the global market.
Toyota Gazoo Racing is the umbrella organisation for Toyota’s global motorsports programme and in the past year it has achieved top level success in winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Manufacturers’ Championship in the FIA World Rally Championship and the 2019 Dakar rally.
Its work is based on three pillars: developing people through participation in motorsport; creating fans through the excitement of motorsport; and applying the knowledge gained from motorsport to make ever-better, fun-to-drive cars for the road.
This ethos was fully embraced by Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of Toyota’s car-making business, and is shared today by Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation President, to support the company’s commitment to make ever-better cars.
Starting with the Toyota GR Supra, Toyota Gazoo Racing will transfer the technical learnings it gains from the racetrack and rally stage to the development of new generations of Toyota’s sports-focused GR models and also its wider range of vehicles, driven by tens of millions of people around the world.
Even at first glance, it’s clear to see how Toyota’s sports car heritage is referenced in the design of the Toyota GR Supra. The influence of the landmark 2000GT is particularly in evidence in the long bonnet, compact body and double-bubble roof, while the distinctive look of the fourth generation Supra is captured in both the front and rear styling, notably in the muscular rear wings and the arc of the integrated spoiler. The resemblance is more than skin-deep, though, as the Toyota GR Supra has the same classic sports car format of a powerful, front-mounted six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive as its celebrated predecessors.
The Toyota GR Supra’s design theme was first previewed in the dramatic FT-1 concept car, styled at Toyota’s CALTY studio in California and revealed in 2014 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Toyota GR Supra Chief Designer Nobuo Nakamura gave his team a simple brief, purposely avoiding any emotive words so that they were free to express their vision of a pure and individual sports car in a truly original design.
“With Chief Engineer Tada pursuing driving pleasure, I knew that my mission was to create a design that would be visually and physically exciting to sports car fans,” he said. “By using a straight-six front engine/rear-wheel drive layout – something rarely seen in cars today – I was able to reach something beyond Toyota’s boundaries.”
The key words Nakamura-san used to guide his team were “Condensed Extreme”. This refers directly to the vehicle’s packaging, comprising three principal elements:
- A short wheelbase, large wheels and a wide stance
- A taut, two-seat cabin
- A long bonnet with a compact body, reflecting the drivetrain combination of in-line six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive.
Nakamura envisioned a car that is indisputably modern in design, yet evokes the romance of classic sports car styling. The result approached the limits of what can be manufactured in higher volume, in particular with the powerful curves of the rear wings.
In the finished design, the ‘Condensed’ theme is evident in the relationship between the Toyota GR Supra’s large-diameter tyres, short wheelbase and overall length. It’s notable that the wheelbase is in fact shorter than in the GT86 coupe and that the tyres are larger. ‘Extreme’ is interpreted in the car’s wide stance, with tight cabin proportions and a broad tread, contributing to a high level of manoeuvrability and stability.
The design was optimal for achieving both the best drag and lift characteristics and an ideal front/rear weight balance. For example, the double-bubble roof is not simply a heritageinspired feature, it is effective in reducing drag by reducing the car’s frontal area, without sacrificing headroom in the cabin.
The frontal design was inspired by the fourth generation Supra, but has an even more expressive look with a low stance emphasised by a prominent central grille flanked by large air intakes. Again, these intakes are not simple design cues, but are essential for engine cooling. The distinctive headlight units have a six-lens LED arrangement and incorporate both the turn indicators and daytime running lights. Positioning the lights closer in towards the car’s nose adds further visual volume and power to the shell-like front wings.
In side view, the low bonnet generates a dynamic line that flows rearwards from the car’s low nose, while the back edge of the bonnet and the rear spoiler are set almost at the same height, linked by a low belt line. The underbody has a slight forward angle, while the cabin has a strong rearward slant. Blacked-out A-pillars and character lines on the side of the roof emphasise the taut, compact cabin. Sharp-looking, robust sills express the car’s high rigidity.
In Europe, the Toyota GR Supra is fitted as standard with lightweight but highly rigid 19-inch forged alloy wheels with alternating black and polished slim spokes.
At the rear, the arching spoiler has been optimised to suppress lift, while the bumper’s trapezoid shape generates a sense of movement down and out towards the tyres. The combination lights have a simple internal ring arrangement, while the distinctive fog lights and reversing lights are formed by dot-LEDs grouped in the centre of the lower bumper.
The Toyota GR Supra’s evocative styling is shown to its best effect with a choice of seven different paintwork colours, including strong new Prominence Red, Lightning Yellow and Deep Blue Metallic. An additional new Matt Storm Grey is featured on the Toyota GR Supra A90 Edition, an exclusive launch model reserved for the first 90 European customers (further details below). This adds extra visual drama and metal-like texture to the car’s curved surfaces with a matt finish and a hint of blue.
Cockpit concept: putting the driver at the centre of the action
The driver’s cockpit in the new Toyota GR Supra neatly combines sports car elements with ultra-modern functionality. Designed to help the driver focus entirely on the business of driving, it is directly influenced by the layout found in single-seater race cars. The low, slim horizontal dashboard maximises the forward view through the windscreen, helping the driver place the car with precision in high-speed driving, while the principal controls are tightly grouped for quick and easy operation. The instrument panel, centre console and door trim are combined in a seamless design that gives the cockpit a strong, unified feel.
The line of the cockpit flows down into soft, supportive knee pads in the door trim and on the side of the centre console, their shape defined with the benefit of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s circuit racing experience.
The head-up display, meters and paddle shifts all sit directly in front of the driver, with additional switches located on the three-spoke steering wheel. The wheel itself is contoured for excellent grip and is wrapped in leather. The 8.8-inch high-definition driver’s instrument display is clearly visible through the steering wheel, with the 3D-effect tachometer and shift indicator positioned in the centre; a digital speed read-out to the left; and infotainment and navigation information to the right.
An asymmetric centre console marks a clear division between the enveloping driver’s cockpit and the more open passenger side of the cabin. Knee pads are provided for the passenger, too. The air conditioning control panel sits proud of the console with memory-touch switches for easy operation; an 8.8-inch central multimedia display is mounted above the console, operated using a touchscreen or a rotary controller.
The boot space is large enough for two people’s luggage for a weekend away and can be extended with a removable panel, creating room for a golf bag or all the personal kit needed for a track day.
The new Toyota GR Supra’s seats have a racing-influenced design that ensures comfort at all times and excellent support, in particular if the car is being used on-track. Body-holding side bolsters are featured on the cushion and high back, and there is an integrated head restraint. The upholstery options include full leather and a combination of leather bolsters with a perforated Alcantara covering for the seat back and cushion that provides a degree of air ventilation and additional body-holding performance.
POWERTRAIN AND PERFORMANCE
The performance heart of the new Toyota GR Supra is its 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, producing 335bhp and 500Nm of torque. It is fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger, high-precision direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve control that secure segment-leading torque performance from very low revs. The unit is powerful, well-balanced, smooth and free-revving, with an exhilarating acceleration feel and minimal vibration.
It makes use of a motor-actuated variable valve-timing system that gives precise control of the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves, in line with the driving conditions and driver’s inputs. The result is linear delivery of high torque at all engine speeds and high output at high rpm. Intake valve lift is controlled according to the driving situation, reducing pumping losses and realising high output.
The engine uses direct injection with a 35MPa high-pressure system that provides spray atomisation and precise injection control for high combustion efficiency.
The design of the twin-scroll turbocharger divides the path from the exhaust manifold to the turbine into two parts. This suppresses exhaust gas interference between the cylinders, allowing the turbine to operate from lower engine rpm and giving direct response to the driver’s use of the accelerator.
The engine is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission that provides lightning-fast up and downshifts, with short ratios used for the lower gears. The driver can take control of gear changes using paddle shifts on the steering wheel; they can also select Normal or Sport driving modes to suit their preference and the conditions.
A Launch Control function enables powerful acceleration from standstill with maximum traction, helping the car move from rest to 62mph in just 4.3 seconds. Engine sound and response, shift pattern, damping, steering and active differential performance are adjusted when the driver selects Sport mode. The Vehicle Stability Control has a special, selectable “track” setting that reduces the level of system intervention, giving the driver greater control of the vehicle’s dynamic performance.
The Toyota GR Supra sold in Europe is fitted with an active differential that operates both when accelerating and decelerating and can seamlessly adjust from zero to full, 100 per cent lock, with instant response.
A dedicated ECU monitors a wide range of inputs, including steering wheel, throttle and brake pressure, engine and wheel speed and yaw rate, for appropriate triggering of the actuator. The torque difference between the left and right wheels is controlled flexibly and seamlessly depending on the driving situation.
This delivers huge benefits in stability and efficiency when the tyres are reaching their performance limit. The effect is felt in all phases of cornering, with increased stability during the braking and cornering, and then maximum grip as the driver accelerates out of the bend. Operation is adjusted when Sport mode is selected, to give more efficient cornering in highspeed driving, for example when using the Toyota GR Supra on a circuit.
Chassis designed for optimum balance
A car’s wheelbase and track dimensions are the first thing to consider when starting the design process with a clean sheet of paper. Where the Toyota GR Supra is concerned, these were defined in order to prioritise the car’s agility and handling. The key calculation is the ratio between the wheelbase length and the track. It is widely recognised that the best balance of agility and stability is obtained with a ratio of between 1.5 and 1.6; achieving the 1.55 “golden ratio” was thus the starting point for the Toyota GR Supra development team, the key building block on which everything else has been optimised. (For reference: wheelbase = 2,470mm; rear track = 1,589mm).
Intensive handling development programme
High targets were set for the handling performance and these were achieved in a development programme led by Toyota Gazoo Racing that included extensive testing on a wide variety of challenging roads worldwide. The on-road testing was complemented by sessions on race tracks, including the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
High structural rigidity (greater even than the Lexus LFA supercar), a centre of gravity lower than the GT86 coupe and ideal 50:50 front/rear weight distribution were fundamental to achieving the car’s dynamic goals, but they required bold engineering decisions. For example, the desired weight balance was gained by moving the engine as far as possible rearwards, which itself introduced new production challenges.
The high body rigidity allowed for more precise and detailed refinements to the suspension geometry and tuning of the shock absorbers. The suspension design comprises double-joint spring MacPherson struts at the front and a five-link system at the rear. The front suspension subframe and control arm mounting points have been made extremely rigid to yield precise cornering characteristics, while the use of aluminium for the control arms and swivel bearings reduces the car’s unsprung weight, giving superior agility and efficiency. The new GR Supra also features high-performance wheel hubs with an increased camber and optimised kinematics.
The rear suspension benefits from a similarly lightweight design for the rigid subframe and the bracing that connects it to the body, helping ensure extremely precise wheel control. The 19-inch forged alloy wheels are fitted with high grip Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. These are slightly wider at the rear than the front.
The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) enhances performance with instant response to changes in the road surface, adjusting the shock absorber force at each wheel to maintain a flat vehicle posture, excellent steering response and supple ride comfort. Sensors constantly monitor the way the car is being driven and the road conditions, controlling the damping force accordingly.
The driver can choose between two AVS modes – NORMAL and SPORT – to suit their mood or the driving conditions. NORMAL mode strikes a high balance between vehicle stability and ride comfort, enabling a sporty drive without sacrificing comfort. SPORT mode delivers a flat vehicle posture, reduced body roll and a more agile steering response.
The electric power steering is rack-assisted and sports tuned. Its characteristics are automatically adjusted in accordance with vehicle speed, reducing the level of effort needed at lower speeds and gradually weighting up to offer greater control and stability at higher speeds. When driving in SPORT mode, steering effort is increased, in line with the changes to the chassis and powertrain.
The system features a steering rack with the motor and reduction gear mounted separately. This gives greater flexibility for the engine mounting system and also contributes to the lowering of the Toyota GR Supra’s centre of gravity.
A sports braking system is fitted as standard with red aluminium Brembo callipers – opposed four-piston at the front and floating single-piston at the rear. The ventilated discs measure 348 x 36mm at the front and 345 x 24mm at the rear. The parking brake is electric.
The brakes are equipped with standby, drying and anti-fade functions: the drying function applies the brakes at pre-determined intervals when the car’s windscreen wipers are operating to dry the discs; fade prevention automatically increases brake pressure when the discs become hot.
ABS, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, and Hill-start Assist Control are also featured as standard, together with Active Cornering Assist, which creates additional yaw movements by independent braking intervention to improve agility and linetracing.
EQUIPMENT AND CONNECTIVITY
The Toyota GR Supra 2019 was introduced with two high-performance grades: Supra 3.0L and Supra 3.0L Pro.
At the entry point to the new model range, the Toyota GR Supra 3.0L benefits from an allinclusive specification that extends to high-performance features and systems to help the driver enjoy the car’s full dynamic potential. These include an active differential, Adaptive Variable Suspension, and 19-inch forged alloy wheels with a high-performance brake package.
Other Supra 3.0L grade features include dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop and go, smart entry and push-button start, steering wheel with leather trim and auxiliary switches and a digital combimeter in the driver’s instrument display. LED technology is used for the adaptive headlights, rear lights and daytime running lights, and the mirrors (door mirrors and rear-view mirror) are all auto-dimming. Further convenience is provided by rain-sensing wipers and a rear-view camera.
The sports seats are upholstered in black Alcantara and are power-adjustable (including lumbar support), with integrated heating and memory functions. The infotainment specifications feature a 10-speaker audio system with 8.8-inch display, navigation system with Supra Connect (in applicable markets), Bluetooth and USB port.
The multimedia system provides smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, allowing dedicated iPhone applications to be accessed using the display. A number of connected services can also be accessed, including real time traffic information, map updates and a concierge service.
Safety features include the Supra Safety+ package, which provides a comprehensive range of active safety features. These include a Pre-Collision System with a pedestrian detection function and the ability to recognise cyclists during daytime driving; Lane Departure Alert with steering assist; Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic High Beam; Adaptive Front-light System, which adjusts the headlight illumination in line with the car’s steering angle; and Road Sign Assist.
In addition, the car is also equipped with a Blind Spot Monitor with Lane Change Departure Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Rear-end Collision Alert, and Intelligent parking sensors with automatic braking to help prevent collisions with objects or vehicles approaching from either side when reversing out of a parking space or driveway. All Toyota GR Supra versions are fitted with an alarm, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and an eCall function that will send an automatic location alert to the emergency services in the event of a serious collision.
The Supra 3.0L Pro grade, expected to account for most of the model sales in the UK, builds the specification with black leather upholstery, 12-speaker JBL premium sound system, head-up display, wireless mobile phone charger and storage and lighting packs. The phone charging tray is located in the centre console and can accommodate devices compatible with global Qi wireless charging standards. The charging status is shown on the centre display and if the owner forgets to remove their phone from the tray when leaving the car, a warning message is shown.
All 300 GR Supra models for 2019 in the UK were reserved by customers, in advance of the car’s launch. A waiting list is in place for 2020.