Gazoo Racing Supra?
If you need any indication Gazoo Racing is serious about road cars, look no further than the all-new Yaris GRMN set to launch at this years Geneva show. Of course it doesn't stop their, Gazoo Racing Boss Koei Saga wants to fulfill his dream of a halo hybrid model, and his team is reportedly working on a road focused hybrid system. Could it be the Supra?
Toyota could launch the new Supra sports car under their Gazoo Racing motorsport sub-brand as the company is trying to turn Gazoo into a performance division for road cars. If this is true, the Supra will Gazoo’s halo model.
Although the boss of Gazoo Racing, Koei Saga, has not outright stated what the brand’s range topping model will be, he has mentioned to Autocar that working on a halo Supra hybrid is a “dream” of his. In fact, he has suggested that the road car team is already making use of Gazoo Racing’s hybrid powertrain technology.
Saga has previously shared his intent to increase Gazoo’s presence in road car markets outside of Japan and he emphasized the importance of hybrid powertrains. Their first production model will be a hot Yaris hatchback and it is set to debut at the upcoming Geneva motor show in March. Powering the hatchback could be a 210bhp, 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine but it’s not exactly the hybrid Saga is hoping for.
He did say more hybrid Gazoo-badged models could be on Toyota's roadmap of future products and he’ll be hard pressed to find a better model to kick off the hybrid lineup than the new Supra.
We’re expecting to see the new Supra on showroom floors in 2018, but whether it’ll be called the Gazoo Supra or Toyota Supra Gazoo is still unknown.
Unveiled In October
If you have been following the last few rounds of spy shots and seen the differences take place, you might know at this point we're getting much closer to see a pre-production model reveal this year. Hopefully before its expected Tokyo Auto Show reveal we'll get one last and final look from spy photographers.
Held from the end of October to November each year, the Tokyo Motor Show normally sees more concept cars than production ones and this year will be no different. For 2017, Toyota plans to debut the Supra concept model at the Tokyo show alongside the S-FR and Corolla GTI concepts.
Car And Driver found the debut date in Japanese publication Best Car, and claims that the new Supra will take design elements from the FT-1 concept that was unveiled back in 2014. As seen from the above rendering of what the Supra concept could look like, its styling hints strongly of the FT-1, especially that hood which curves into a beak. Perhaps the A-pillars will remain pulled back for better vision when going into corners.
Toyota’s headquarters in Toyota City will collaborate with the company’s California Calty studio to produce the final Supra design, but it’ll used the rear-wheel-drive platform co-developed with BMW.
We still have no word about its powertrain however, it is speculated to be initially released with two turbo options and a hybrid variant later on. The base model may be powered by a 255 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four and one step up could be a 340-hp turbo 3.0-liter V-6 engine paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Later down the line, Toyota may release a 2.5-liter hybrid version a year after the Supra’s launch.
Officially open to the public on October 27th, we may see the Supra debut before then on press day.
True To FT-1 Design DNA
The typical trend with Toyota/Lexus is to reveal concepts that stay true to their production versions, more than what you might see from other car makers. The MKV Supra is shaping up to be no different as you might have noticed by now. If not, see this photo comparison
Spy shots have emerged again of the 2018 Toyota Supra, except this time, we get a better look at what the production body will look like. Before there was definitely some misleading panels, ie. tailights, that were implemented to throw everyone off, but now, it's much more cleaned up.
The big thing is, it obviously doesn't look like the FT1 concept did. However, they're are remnants of the FT1 thrown around certain areas if you look close enough.
In the following pictures, I've highlighted the areas that I found look very similar to the FT1 concept on the Supra spy shots which leads me to believe this is definitely the Supra. I think these features will be the key things that will stand out and show the relation between the two Toyota pieces of art.
--- Click for photo comparison ---
Toyota working on a performance hybrid powertrain currently and while there's no confirmation of it going into the Supra (yet), combining this with what Gazoo Racing CEO said in the first point above, there are few models in Toyota's not too distant future appropriate for this application.
Nothing has been confirmed yet but, rumor has it that the next generation Toyota Supra may be sporting a turbocharged hybrid powerplant.
According to a Dutch automotive news site called AutoRAI, the next-gen Supra’s top end trim is said to be powered by a performance-focused hybrid drivetrain. If that is true, maybe the more affordable models will house a 400 horsepower V6 engine
that is code named 943F and its twin turbochargers are able to push out 300 pound-feet of torque
This was gathered from an interview that Toyota’s vice president and director of business operations Rob Leupen had with AutoRAI. He didn’t specifically say that the powertrain will make an appearance in the Supra but he did confirm the powertrain’s development process. It usually takes around three to five years for an engine to reach production so we still have a while to wait.
Developed under the Toyota BMW partnership, the new Supra will share its basic platform with the BMW Z4 but, the Z4 will come with in house turbocharged four and six cylinder engines instead of Toyota's new six-cylinder engine.
Of course, this is all based on rumors and we won’t be getting confirmation from Toyota anytime soon since the next Supra is tentatively scheduled to debut on 2019.