Motoring News

Toyota Supra: The legend revived – and they’re here in SA

  • Fifth iteration of Toyota’s legendary sport  car
  • First global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • 3.0-litre, in-line, six-cylinder, turbocharged engine
2019 TOYOTA SUPRA: A legend returns to South Africa. Image: Toyota SA

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – The all-new Toyota GR Supra is the fifth generation of Toyota’s legendary sport car and the first global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing – a group which has just won the Silk Rally with a Toyota Hilux assembled in South Africa.

The new Toyota GR Supra, however, is a whole different car, one Toyota says will add a glow to the pleasure of the driving . Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada has adhered to the conventional: a front-mounted, straight-six engine driving the rear wheels – just like the original 2000GT sport car.

2019 TOYOTA SUPRA: A legend returns to South Africa. Image: Toyota SA

The three-litre engine has a twin-scroll turbocharger to help it make 250kW/500Nm to pump through an eight-speed auto transmission.

TRACK LEARNING

”Toyota Gazoo Racing,” Toyota told The Corner, ”was instrumental in honing the car’s performance on Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife and adjacent German roads and under varying traffic conditions in other countries until Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda gave it a green light.”

”Toyota Gazoo Racing,” The Corner was told ”applied all its technical learning from racetracks and rallies to developing the GR.”

2019 TOYOTA SUPRA: A legend returns to South Africa. Image: Toyota SA
2019 TOYOTA SUPRA: A legend returns to South Africa. Image: Toyota SA

Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer on the Toyota GR Supra project, has given a personal insight into the project, Here’s what he had to say…

2019 TOYOTA SUPRA: A legend returns to South Africa. Image: Toyota SA

The Supra legacy

Being asked to make a sport car that offers the ultimate driving pleasure felt like a mandate from heaven, telling me to “make a Supra!” The GT86 helped broaden the scope and appeal of Toyota’s sports cars but I needed to deliver a car with limitless sense of control, one that would meet expectations and delight even hardcore fans.

In making Supra, I insisted on visiting enthusiasts’ clubs around the world to talk to owners of previous models. I asked what they thought the minimum requirements should be and the response was always “a straight-six turbo and front engine/rear-wheel drive”. It was pretty clear and I had more or less anticipated this. It was vital  to keep that combination intact.

The new Supra is not simply a revival; only the core engine and rear-wheel drive elements have been carried over. As the name Supra suggests, I was determined to deliver a “supreme fun-to-drive” car.

READ MORE Toyota features on Carman’s Corner

I repeatedly told the development team I wanted them to hone any aspect of the car that stimulated a driver’s senses. It wasn’t necessary to achieve perfect scores…  just to make sure the car is fun to drive. a

Being a two-seater was dictated by a car’s basic packaging – even though I was warned no four-seater would reduce reduce sales I politely but firmly stood my ground. For me, it was all about delivering a pure sport car.

2019 TOYOTA SUPRA: A legend returns to South Africa. Image: Toyota SA

We did everything possible with front engine/rear-wheel drive packaging. For example, the speed through a slalom course is about 20% faster than our target time. It’s not just a fast car, it’s exhilarating.

…AND SO TO THE MODELS  & PRICES

Toyota GR Supra Track* – R 953 000
Toyota GR Supra (Prominent Red) – R 1 072 300
Toyota GR Supra (Metallic) – R 1 082 300
Toyota GR Supra (Matte Grey) – R 1 092 300
*Available in Prominent Red paintwork only

WARRANTY & MAINTENANCE

A four-services/80 000km service plan is provided as well as a three-year or 100 000km warranty. Extended service plans will be available at extra cost.

2019 TOYOTA SUPRA: A legend returns to South Africa. Image: Toyota SA

 

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