Toyota Supra to debut in Geneva, offer four levels of tuneby Ben Hsu
The car will also see performance-tuned versions under the Gazoo Racing sub-brand.
After what seems like ages of spy shots, we may finally have a release date for the fifth-generation Supra. Toyota is apparently readying it for a debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and it may not carry the Toyota name.
According to Auto Express, the Supra will actually be sold under Toyota's Gazoo Racing performance sub-brand, which launched last September, and without Toyota branding. This is based on a statement by Gazoo Racing president Shigeki Tomoyama, who said, "The Supra will be by Gazoo."
However, we think Tomoyama was referring to the Gazoo team's significant role in the Supra's development. There will still be a Toyota-branded Supra. That does not preclude Gazoo versions in increasing levels of tune, a pattern established with other models sold both as Toyotas and Gazoo Racing-modified vehicles. Auto Express also believes that there will be four such levels, with a significant performance difference between the top and bottom levels.
One promising note is that Tomoyama has noted that "The new car has to appeal to the existing owners first." He then reiterated that "The old cars had a straight-six engine, twin turbos and rear-wheel drive; the new car must have the same philosophy.”
Since Toyota no longer makes an inline-six engine, that could refer to a BMW 3.0-liter, as the Supra is reported to share a platform with the BMW Z4. However, the Z4 will be convertible only, and the Supra will be a fixed head coupe. The same reports say that the Supra will debut in 2019, a year after the Z4.
Meanwhile, Evo reports that Tomoyama has suggested a sub-3,300 pound curb weight and promised a 50/50 weight distribution. He also implied that a hybrid powertrain based on the TS050 Le Mans race car could power the Supra. With the Gazoo Racing Super Sport Concept that just debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon, that certainly seems more likely.
Time will tell if the Supra fills the big shoes of its predecessor. However, these sources say that Tomoyama himself owns a previous-generation Supra modified to 600 horsepower and significantly lightened, so that's a good sign.