Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept screeches into legend at Geneva
Toyota is signalling a return to racing with the GR Supra Racing Concept, unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show. Based on Toyota's most iconic sports car, the GR Supra Racing Concept is the forerunner to a new Supra model, the automaker says.
Featuring red and black on white livery with a huge rear aerofin and a ready-for-racing look, the GR Supra Racing Concept is meant to show a modern take on Toyota's racing heritage from the late 1970s to the mid-90s. The Supra was originally a sport-tuned Celica model before becoming its own rear-wheel drive sports car in three successive generations. The fourth-generation Supra GT dominated the All-Japan GT (now Super GT) in the mid-1990s. The Supra also competed in the American IMSA and Le Mans races during that time.
The GR Supra Racing Concept is both an homage to that bygone racing heritage and a look forward to a future of racing. The car will first appear digitally in the Gran Turismo Sport video game in April 2018. The racing livery on the concept features a huge "90" on its doors, referencing the car being the fifth-generation of the Supra. Previous generations of the Supra were the A40, A60, A70, and A80.
Toyota's GAZOO Racing arm created the GR Supra Racing Concept as a conceptual GR model for use in class-specific race events. Toyota currently competes in the World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship, and the Le Mans 24 Hours circuits through GAZOO.
Toyota has not revealed much about the concept's inner workings other than design cues and the interior's general setup for race-readiness. The bodywork is made up of (unspecified, but probably carbon fiber) composite materials for lightweight strength while the windows are made of plastic rather than glass, as per race specifications.
The chassis is low and tight, and uses Toyota-sourced original equipment components. Wheels are BBS racing units with center-nut attachments for pit changes. Those wheels are clad in Michelin tires, a partner of GAZOO Racing. Brembo provides the brake calipers and discs.
Inside, the competition-focused cabin has a racing dashboard, OMP driver's seat with safety harness, an OMP-sourced quick-release steering wheel, paddle shifting, and carbon fiber-lined door panels. A full roll cage, fire extinguishers, etc. are all competition standard.
The Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept measures 4,574mm (180 inches) in length, 2,048mm (80.6 in) in width, and 1,230mm (48.4 in) in height with a 2,470mm (97.2 in) wheelbase.