Toyota has revealed a hazy rear image of a 'modern racing concept' to be revealed at the Geneva motor show next month, which it says will signal its "commitment to bringing its most iconic sports car back to the market". That is thought to be a reference to a forthcoming new Supra.
The image shows the silhouette of a sizeable rear wing on the back of a highly sculpted sports car. Although the accompanying release, headed 'The Legend Returns', makes no reference to the highly anticipated Supra, the concept is likely to be a precursor to the reinvented sports car.
While the Supra – which has been developed in partnership with the BMW Z4 – has been spotted several times testing on the roads in camouflage, BMW has already revealed its Z4 concept, ahead of a production unveil later this year. Meanwhile, the new Supra is set to be revealed early next year, five years after the FT-1 concept was shown at the Detroit motor show.
Back in January 2017, Koei Saga, Gazoo Racing boss, spoke to our sister publication, Autocar UK, and confirmed that the Supra will be branded Gazoo – the name of the Japanese carmaker's racing arm. With that in mind, the Supra’s full name could be either Toyota Gazoo Supra or Toyota Supra Gazoo.
Toyota is following in the footsteps of many manufacturers who are creating standalone brands for their respective performance divisions, such as Mercedes’ AMG, Audi’s Audi Sport and the recently announced Cupra from Seat.
The Supra is expected to use a BMW-derived powertrain which is also to be used in the Z4 – a turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine delivering 345hp. Drive will be channelled through an eight-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox that features steering-wheel mounted shift paddles.
A previous motorsport-themed concept, named the Gazoo GR Super Sport Concept, featured a 2.4-litre V6 petrol engine with electric assistance behind the cockpit and was said to preview the electrified powertrain of the new Supra.
The Supra is also built on the same platform as the upcoming Z4, which will use BMW's carbon-fibre architecture from its current i3, i8 and 7 Series.
However, while the Z4 will be only be offered as convertible, the Supra will only be available as a coupé – an outcome understood to be an agreement between the two companies to differentiate between the two models.
Recent images of the Supra testing also show the model using BMW switchgear, including a dashboard-mounted infotainment screen and accompanying rotary dial controller on the central tunnel, as well as BMW heating control buttons and a BMW automatic gear lever.
The fifth-generation model will be the first car to bear the legendary name since production of the previous model ceased in 2002.
The Supra started life in 1979, using a 2.6-litre straight-six engine with 110hp and 185Nm. Over its four generations, the Supra has been regarded as one of the most iconic Japanese performance cars, yet.
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