New Toyota Supra: 2019 UK allocation sells out ahead of Geneva
Toyota pits ‘pure sports car’ against Porsche 718 Cayman after 17-year absence, priced from £52,695
The new Toyota GR Supra – a model that returns after a 17-year break – is a sports car “in the purest form”, according to the Japanese manufacturer, with a singular focus on driver pleasure.
The new machine will make its European debut at the Geneva motor show, and Toyota has confirmed that reservations have been received for every car destined for the UK and Europe in 2019. Given the demand for those 900 cars, Toyota says it will shortly open reservations for the 2020 allocation.
Toyota says it is in the process of converting registrations into customer orders, and people are still welcome to register their interest and be added to the waiting list, which “runs into thousands across Europe”.
The fifth-generation Supra retains the front-engined, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat layout of previous versions. The Porsche 718 Cayman rival has been honed by Toyota’s Gazoo Racing performance division and was developed alongside the BMW Z4, with which it shares its turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, producing 335bhp and 362lb ft, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The entry-level Supra is priced at £52,695, rising to £56,945 for the fully loaded, limited-run A90 edition. Deliveries will begin in the summer.
The BMW-developed straight six engine used in the Supra features a twin-scroll turbocharger, with direct fuel injection and variable valve control. It has been tuned, says Toyota, to offer “segment-leading” torque from very low revs. The maximum 362lb ft is available between 1600 and 4500rpm.
That gives the Supra 52lb ft more torque than the 310lb ft the Porsche 718 Cayman S produces from 2100-4500rpm and, at a claimed 4.3sec, the Toyota is 0.3sec quicker from 0-62mph. The 335bhp developed by the Supra’s engine is 10bhp down on the 718 Cayman S.
The Supra offers Normal and Sport drive modes, launch control and a special ‘track’ setting that reduces the influence of the stability control system. In Europe, it will be sold exclusively with an active differential.
The car is based around a ‘condensed extreme’ concept, the long bonnet and bubble roof reflecting the famed Toyota 2000GT of the 1960s and front and rear styling that nods to the fourth-generation Supra. It also features prominent curved rear wings that, according to Toyota, approach the limits of what can be manufactured at high volume.
Toyota says the dimensions were set around achieving a “golden ratio” between the wheelbase and the track widths. The new Supra has a wheelbase of 2470mm – compared with 2570mm for the existing 2+2 GT86 – with a track width of 1594mm at the front and 1589mm at the rear. Overall width is 1854mm, excluding door mirrors.
The Supra sits on double-joint MacPherson struts at the front and a five-link system at the rear. It has 19in alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres – slightly wider at the rear than the front – and four-pot Brembo brake calipers.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s development team was key to refining the car’s handling, which was honed both on public roads and race tracks including the Nürburgring. Toyota says the Supra has higher structural integrity than the Lexus LFA supercar, a lower centre of gravity than the cheaper Toyota GT86 and 50/50 weight distribution front to rear. Achieving the latter involved pushing the engine as far back as possible beneath the bonnet.
The car’s styling features a large central grille with air intakes and six-lens LED headlights, which lead into the long, low bonnet, which, along with the double-bubble roof, has been designed to minimise drag.
Inside, Toyota says the Supra cockpit has been inspired by single-seat racing cars, with a low dashboard to maximise forward views and the main controls tightly grouped together. Reflecting its development alongside the Z4, the interior of the Supra makes extensive use of BMW switchgear.
There is a three-spoke, leather-covered steering wheel, racing-influenced Alcantara-covered seats and an 8.8in digital instrument display, along with an 8.8in central multimedia display that can be operated via touchscreen or a rotary controller. The boot measures 290 litres, compared with 281 litres for the Z4.
The regular Supra will be launched with two trim levels, called Active and Premium. Higher-spec Premium models gain black leather upholstery, a 12-speaker JBL sound system, a head-up display and a wireless smartphone charger.
The limited-edition A90 – offered to the first 90 European customers – will come with a Storm Grey matt paint finish, black alloy wheels and a leather interior.
While the Supra will be a comparatively low-volume product, its importance to Toyota as a halo model is demonstrated by the fact that Akio Toyoda, the company’s president, tested the car on the Nürburgring before giving it his final approval.
Source: Autocar Online