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This car will run in the hypercar class in the World Endurance Championship, but the regulations require that anyone who enters will also need to produce a minimum of 20 road cars based on the race car. Toyota says the car we’re looking at in photos here is a GR Super Sport development car that is customized as a convertible and wearing the now-recognizable GR camouflage. Remember the same camo on the GR Supra a couple years ago?
Details are scarce on the ground concerning the road car version headed our way, but here’s what Toyota said about it: “The GR Super Sport epitomizes Toyota Gazoo Racing’s commitment to use motorsport to make ever-better road cars for the enjoyment of customers, and it symbolizes the ever-closer relationship between Toyota Gazoo Racing race and road car products.”
From what we’ve witnessed so far, more GR in Toyota road car products is a very good thing. The GR Yaris (that isn’t coming here) is a great example of what Toyota is capable of doing when it harnesses its engineering might. As for this car, it’s likely going to have near (or over) four-digit horsepower and a price tag that’ll buy you many lifetimes of Camrys. Its relation to the now three-time-Le-Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid should help it immensely. And in case you missed it, Toyota just happened to win Le Mans again last weekend.
In this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by West Coast Editor James Riswick and Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. This week, they’ve been having some fun in the McLaren GT and the Toyota 86 GT. James has spent some time with the very lovely Vintage Electric Cafe e-bike. They’ve also been driving the Ford Ranger and Audi S7. In the news, Ford gets new leadership, and Micro Machines are back, baby!
Autoblog Podcast #639
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The Orange Sports Car Returns
We kind of can’t believe they’re shooting the ninth Fast and Furious movie. With that said, you have to admire the franchise for how it has helped to popularize performance cars. While these movies might not be amazing cinematic masterpieces, they’re darn enjoyable to watch and filled with plenty of beautiful cars.
According to the Instagram profile @_pw40_ a new orange Toyota Supra will appear in Fast 9. The user posted some images to the profiled showing the car being unloaded at the set of the movie. There’s also a video of the car during the filming of a chase scene.
The Instagram profile is a tribute page to Paul Walker. Walker famously drove a previous generation Supra in the first film. The orange Supra in the new film will mark the return of an orange Supra to the franchise. The movie is supposed to hit theatres in 2020.
It will be interesting to see how the car is worked into the storyline and if there are any references to the past character who drove an orange Supra. We would expect that would be the case.
So, You Can Get a Manual Afterall
If you were seriously disappointed with the fact that the Supra was without a manual transmission and further dismayed by the news that the car’s chief engineer said there’s not going to be a manual in the future and you’d be stuck with the 86, then you will be thrilled to hear that a Texas company will make one. Yep, the good folks at European Auto Group have your back. You can have the manual you want in the new Supra.
The company’s owner Art Bartosik told CarBuzz that there will be a six-speed manual available for customers who have an automatic Supra. “We are now taking customer deposits,” he said in an interview. European Auto Group is no stranger to manual enthusiasts. The company is known for putting gated manual gearboxes into supercars that didn’t come with them from the factory.
The job will take between 30 and 40 days to complete and will cost the customer about $12,000. That is pretty pricey for a manual transmission, but if you’re a manual gearbox enthusiast and you desperately want one, we can see forking over the money. To get your name on the list, you need to have the car and $6,000 to put down as a deposit.
The company has also partnered with Canadian tuning company ProTuner Freaks to give people’s Supra’s a little bit of a power boost should they want it. The tuner company will jack the power output up to about 420 hp. A 420 hp manual transmission Supra is what Toyota should have made in the first place.
Get Excited for a More Powerful Supra
It has recently come to light that the new Supra has more power than Toyota suggested. Dyno tests revealed the car actually makes more power than the company claimed. However, that doesn’t mean that Toyota won’t come out with new and more powerful variants of the car. According to a recent interview with the Supra’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, by Autoblog revealed that more powerful Supra variants may be coming soon.
The variants of the Supra that will be coming will use the same 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine that the current one has. This is not a bad thing. The engine has plenty of more power to give to the world. In the BMW Z4, the engine makes about 50 hp more than the Supra, so it stands to reason that Toyota could add that kind of power bump without doing all that much work to the engine.
Tada wouldn’t disclose what kind of power bump the next versions of the car would get, but he did say the following: “With a sports car, the promise is to offer more performance with each additional version.” Autoblog said that a new version could show up pretty much every year. That sounds pretty good to us.
Another thing Tada touched on is the fact that there will be no manual transmission in future versions of the supra. “Customers who want a manual should choose the Toyota 86,” he said. That makes sense Toyota has managed to get a lot out of the 86, and anyone who wants a manual transmission has a wonderful Toyota sports car with one in the 86. However, it would still be awesome to see one offered in the Supra.
The Supra Is Super Speedy
The 2020 Toyota Supra was less exciting than some people would have hoped, but there’s no denying even from its many critics that the car is an impressive and fast machine. The car might not be designed for the racetrack, but that doesn’t mean it can’t perform well on one. The guys at Evasive Motorsports proved that by taking their black Supra to the Buttonwillow Raceway.
The car was able to lap the track with a time of 1:58.92, which is wicked fast. To put that into perspective, Carscoops notes that a 997-generation Porsche 911 GT2 around the same circuit in roughly the same conditions managed to put up a time of 1:59.7.
The 2020 Supra is a little more than meets the eye. The stated power numbers for the car have proved to be under-reported in previous tests, so it’s clear that Toyota is able to get a lot out of this vehicle. This is good news for both people who only drive their car on the street but also the track-day bros, who want to lay down some serious lap times.
You can check out the full video below. The guys at Evasive Motorsports put together a nice video of the car’s time at the racetrack.[embedded content]
Gearing Up for Another Le Mans Already
Fresh off its second win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota is already testing its future race car. The vehicle is the GR Super Sports. The company has a concept version of the car that it’s already taking to the racetrack. In a recent video (included below), the car can be seen testing.
While little information about the car is out currently, it’s clear that Toyota is serious about continuing to power on. The company has its sights set on the World Endurance Championship with this particular car. According to Carscoops, the vehicle will make its debut in 2020.
The official name of this car is unknown. The Super Sport Concept appeared at the 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon and used many of the same components as the current Le Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid. The powertrain was very similar and utilized the same internal combustion engine and electric motor setup, though it’s likely improved for the new car. It will likely make around or more than 1,000 hp.[embedded content]
A Repeat Win for Toyota
The 24 Hours of Le Mans race for 2019 was not without its drama, but the end result was one that was expected. Toyota managed to come away with a one-two finish, and its second win of the race. This was in part thanks to the team’s hard work, partly due to the superb talent of its team of drivers, and partly due to the GAZOO Racing TS050 Hybrid cars.
Despite this, the #8 car, which actually won, was not the expected car to win. The #7 car was the in the lead for most of the race and it only slipped to second place after some issues with flat tires. This led to the car having to pit twice and that made room for the #8 car to take the lead.
Despite the kerfuffle at the end of the race, Toyota came out on top. Being that it was the only major automaker to compete in the LMP1 class, this was really not a huge surprise. We shouldn’t let that take much away from the Toyota team, though. It was a worthy win, and the TS050 Hybrid cars are true track beasts.
The TS050 is a prototype racing car that utilizes a 2.4-liter bi-turbo V6 hybrid powertrain to rocket around the racetrack. It uses a seven-speed sequential gearbox to get that power down to the track. The powertrain makes around 1,000 hp, which was plenty to secure the car and its drivers the win in 2018 and now in 2019.
How Did Toyota Do With BMW’s Parts?
It did pretty well according to Rory Reid of Carfection, but it’s not without its faults. The presenter noted that the new Toyota Supra isn’t really a true Toyota car, but with declining sports car sales, Toyota had to get creative to make the Supra and have it make business sense. The first half of the video review almost makes you think Reid didn’t care for the Supra much or was at least unimpressed with it’s decidedly not Toyota construction.
In the second half of the video is a little more positive, with Reid taking the car out on the track. He says the Supra feels “like a fighter jet.” That’s pretty high praise for any sports car. However, it wasn’t all good news on the track either. Reid noted the brakes, gearbox, and exhaust note could be better.
Reid makes a good point at the end of the video. He says even though the car isn’t perfect that it’s still a good sports car, and it should be celebrated as such. He also makes the case that cars like this aren’t about logic. There are other, faster options for roughly the same money as a new Supra. The new Supra and honestly all sports cars are about emotion.
We have to agree with Reid. It’s an emotional purchase buying a sports car, especially a Supra, and that impulse is one worth celebrating. It’s nice to see Toyota embracing it’s sports car heritage with this model, even if it is flawed.[embedded content]
It’s Mostly Good News
When Toyota first let it be known that the new 2020 Supra would be developed in partnership with BMW, many hardcore Supra fans were not happy. It makes sense. The Toyota Supra is such an iconic car. It’s one that has a legendary following. To let the Germans design the engine, transmission, steering rack, and dampers is a sacrilege.
However, the more people see of the car, the more it becomes clear that the Supra does have some major differences than the BMW Z4 with which it shares so much. Toyota, of course, wants to point out as many differences as possible. The Supra should still feel like a Supra and not like a BMW. From what we’re hearing in the press, it does, to a certain extent.
The interior seems to be some people’s biggest issue with the car. It looks like a BMW, but that’s not the end of the world, necessarily. BMW makes high-quality interiors. Still, if you’re a Toyota purist, that’s unacceptable. One good thing is that it looks a lot different than the BMW Z4, which is nice.
What the Reviews Say
There’s a lot of views and opinions of the 2020 Supra. Toyota recently had several journalists out to drive the new car. Here’s a look at what was said.
“While fans might roll their eyes at the partnership with BMW, it helped to spawn a stylish sports car with an upscale interior, plenty of power and great handling characteristics,” wrote Michael Gauthier of Carscoops.
“That the Supra lacks the genetic purity its disciples might prefer is clear, but genealogy is far less important than creating a driving tool capable of fully immersing its pilot in the experience. And that’s what Toyota has done with the Supra,” wrote Josh Jacquot of Car and Driver.
“And yes, this car can feel a little too soft and maybe even too refined at times, but Supra historically has been a road-focused sports car and this new one fits quite nicely in that mold, offering far more power, poise, and polish than previous generations,” wrote Tim Stevens of Roadshow by CNET.
“This is a genuinely transcendent product, pushing the limits of what’s possible in a competitive class, albeit with a platform, engine, and interior borrowed from BMW ... But get behind the wheel and the end result is a product that far exceeds any preconceived notions. Haters be damned,” wrote Jeff Perez of Motor1.
“Although the Supra’s BMW roots and joint efforts pay off in spades from behind the wheel, I was hoping for a Toyota thoroughbred,” wrote Chris Chin of The Drive.
It’s clear then that if you can get past the fact that the new Supra is indeed a BMW car with some serious Toyota flavored spice thrown in, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy this car. We think we can get excited about a car like this, but understand why some people never will.
It Will Be Expensive, Though
The original Toyota Supra is a legendary sports car that people are now willing to pay large sums of money for. They’re willing to do so for good reason. These cars are iconic and awesome. With the new Supra out and disappointing to some, the original item has grown even more alluring to some folks.
The car you see above in the photos here is for sale on Bring A Trailer. Its auction ends in three days and it will fetch a high price most likely, but it’s worth it. The model is what most people look for in a Supra.
It is a 1997 car, has 62,500 miles on the odometer, a clean Carfax report, is a single-owner car, the twin-turbo model, and it comes with a manual transmission. It also comes in a beautiful Deep Jewel Green Pearl finish that would look really good in your garage or parked in your driveway or cruising along a twisty road, right?
The car was repainted once. It retains its 15th Anniversary Special Edition badges on the front fenders and still has the factory rear spoiler and color-matching removable roof. This version of the Supra made 320 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque when it first came out of the factory, and we would assume a car this well-maintained still makes pretty close to that. If you’ve always wanted a wonderful Supra, now is your chance.
Named After the Hakone Turnpike
The dark green 86 you see before you is the special edition of the car called the Hakone Edition that’s named for one of Japan’s best roads to drive. The car is designed to pay homage to international racing, according to Toyota. However, the company didn’t touch the 86 for the Hakone Edition from a performance standpoint, but it sure took the car to new heights in the styling department.
The company added a deep, dark green color to the exterior along with some additional equipment to complete the look. It has some 17-inch wheels with a bronze finish and a rear spoiler painted black.
Inside, the car gets two-tone leather and Alcantara seats. The armrest between the seats also has the two-tone treatment. Additionally, there’s tan contrast stitching and some embroidered 86 badges.
The car still has the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with 205 hp and 156 lb-ft of torque. Buyers have a choice between a six-speed manual or an automatic transmission. The car also comes equipped with all of the best goodies of the 86 line, including LED lighting, a dual-exhaust system with chrome tips, and a remote keyless entry system.
This special edition of the 86 will be available in the fall of this year. Pricing has not yet been announced, but it’s bound to be a significant upcharge from the standard model.
Can You Do It?
With all the new Supra news and multiple people putting the 2JZ engine in the new car, the Supercars.net team thought it best to get involved. We don’t have our hands on the new Supra yet. If we did, it’d be hard for us to not want to pull out the BMW-sourced engine and drop in the 2JZ engine that made the Supra so legendary.
To that end, we want to offer to you some incentive to make the conversion and then use it exactly how you should. If you can beat the righteous drift seen in the gif below in a new 2020 Supra that’s undergone the 2JZ engine conversion, then we’ll give you $500.
The $500 will go to the first person who pulls this off. If you can provide us photographic evidence of the 2JZ engine in your new Supra and video evidence of you performing a drift that beats the one above, then the money is yours.
The new 2020 Supra has spurred some vitriol from many enthusiasts due to the fact that it borrows so much from BMW. Despite this, it’s a killer car, and the fact that people are removing the BMW engine and putting in the 2jZ straight-six engine is amazing and hilarious. It’s a clear indicator of how important the Supra has become, and we want to be a part of that rich legacy if only peripherally. $500 is yours for the taking. Go smoke some tires and get back to us.
You can watch the whole video of the Supra doing its thing on the track below. The drift begins at the 2:40 mark.[embedded content]
Could the 86 Get a Funky Hatch?
We reported recently that the Toyota 86 will not be going away despite the fact that the Supra is here. According to the company, the vehicle will get another generation. This is good news for the well-loved coupe and sports car enthusiast everywhere. What the next generation 86 will be, however, is yet to be determined. Carscoops thinks it has the answer.
The publication shared the image above. It’s a rendering of what the next 86 could possibly look like. It’s a weird mashup of the current 86, the Supra, and a kind of funky hatchback. Carscoops points to the original Toyota AE86 as its inspiration. The AE86 was a masterpiece of a car, but the rendering from the publication doesn’t come close to its simplicity and beauty. It looks to us more like Toyota’s version of the Hyundai Veloster than the AE86.
Because Toyota has not hinted at changing the 86 coupe’s body style at all, we’d have to suggest that it won’t look much like this rendering at all. The one thing that Carscoops probably got right is the idea that it will take some styling cues from the new Supra, specifically on the front end. This rendering at least does that well.
The jury’s still out on whether or not the next 86 will have the same kind of body style as it currently does. We hope it doesn’t stray too far from its current form. There’s nothing wrong with the body style. All Toyota needs to do is update the styling a little and add a bit more power. If it can do that without cannibalizing sales from the Supra, it will have succeeded.
J.D Power just released its 2019 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study findings, and Lexus tops the list. Toyota’s luxury brand ranking the highest in dependability shouldn’t come as a surprise — this is the eighth year in a row Lexus earned top honors. What should raise a few red flags are a few industry firsts the study uncovered.
Now, 30-years running, J.D power’s study tallies up the number of problems experienced per 100 cars over the last 12 months by original owners of three-year-old vehicles. So 2019’s study is shining a light on 2016’s cars. The study scrutinizes 177 possible problems across the eight major categories: mid-size sedans, full-sized pickups, all the sizes of SUVs, etc. Then, each vehicle gets a score, using golf rules: the lower, the better.
With all the numbers crunched and Lexus in the number one spot, Toyota and Porsche tied for second. The Porsche 911 won the inaugural “Most Dependable Model” award. But, for the first time, mass-market brands like Toyota and GM outperformed luxury brands. J.D Power’s study also revealed Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen are better than the industry average for the first time in 30 years. If that doesn’t dismantle the urban legend of German cars being historically reliable, nothing will.
“Vehicle dependability continues to improve, but I wouldn’t say that everything is rosy,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “Vehicles are more reliable than ever, but automakers are wrestling with problems such as voice recognition, transmission shifts, and battery failures.” So it would seem manufacturers have the most mechanical kinks worked out, but the more technology we pack into our cars, the more we’re leaving up to a chance of failure. At least now you know the best bet is a Lexus.
Toyota showed off a new TRD Performance Line Concept version of its 2020 Supra in Japan this past weekend. It’s not exactly Earth-shattering, but this marks the first time TRD has tinkered with the MkV Supra.
Much of the modifications in this concept car are focused on the aero parts. That means TRD didn’t change the car’s inline-six engine, a bummer for those who had been hoping for a slight power bump.
In any case, if you’re a fan of carbon fiber, you’re in luck. Nearly all the enhanced aero parts are made of the material. The parts were developed in the wind tunnel to produce tangible gains in downforce and stability, as well.
The concept includes a front spoiler, side skirt, door garnish, trunk spoiler, and rear spats. These all coalesce to produce an unspecified amount of added downforce thanks to all the extruding fins. All the aero parts make it look like the 2020 Toyota Supra is crouching lower, too. Note that the suspension and the brakes are still stock, though. Finally, TRD also went and swapped out the base’s 19-inch forged wheels for a different design.
Do these modifications significantly upend the basic 2020 Toyota Supra model? It’s hard to say. You’d have to drive it yourself to notice if those aero parts make a huge difference. In any case, the concept serves as an early look at what TRD’s parts catalog will look like once the car goes on sale.
Carbon fiber parts are extremely expensive, by the way. Expect to shell out far beyond the car’s base $50,000 2020 Toyota Supra.
Photos courtesy of TRD
Keep the Coupe Going
We recently reported that the Toyota 86 and its Subaru BRZ twin will continue into a second generation. This information came after speculation that the Toyota version of the car would be going away due to the Supra. Now, it seems that we’re getting some information about where the next 86 will fit in.
The Australian publication GoAuto spoke with Brodie Bott, a Toyota Australia PR Manager. He said the company looks for the 86 to slot right in under the Supra, nicely. “It’s a pretty important car for us and it will be the little brother to the Supra,” Bott said.
Bott also said that the 86 is coming soon. In fact, he told the publication that he and others within Toyota have already seen the car. That would seem to mean that it has to be pretty darn close to being ready for production. There’s no indication as to when it will come to production, but if the PR folks in Toyota have already seen it, it would probably come out in the next couple years.
No matter how soon the car debuts, Toyota will have to ensure it’s different enough from the Supra to entice its own group of sports car buyers. At first thought, we’d suggest the 86 to be the choice for anyone who can’t afford a Supra, but the automaker needs to be careful with the performance of the next 86.
It needs to be better than the previous car, but not rival the Supra or it could cannibalize sales of the car. With that said, there’s plenty of room currently between the Supra and the 86, so Toyota should be able to make both car’s enticing.
Toyota Wants More Than the Supra
As pumped up as everyone was for the new Supra, it seems there could be more to come in terms of performance cars from Toyota. According to Autocar, Toyota’s boss Akio Toyoda said that he would like to see more performance cars in the future.
“SUVs are nice but, at the end of the day, is there anything better than a tight rear-wheel-drive sports car? I hope this won’t be the last Toyota sports car you see from us in the future,” he told the publication. That’s not a confirmation for any particular model, but it would seem that he wants to see more sports cars. If anyone can make that happen, it’s him.
Since the Supra made its official debut, there have been rumors of the company reviving the Celica and the MR2. In an interview with Road and Track, Masayuki Kai the Supra’s assistant chief engineer said that he wants to see the Celica and MR2 back in production. That car would likely come through a partnership between Toyota and Subaru, according to Motor1.
Despite this possible move by the automaker, Motor1 thinks it more likely that Toyota would start with Gazoo Racing variants of its existing lineup. Cars like the Yaris, Corolla, and 86 could receive serious upgrades. This would be a cost-effective way of expanding the lineup.
However, those cars likely wouldn’t be monsters on the road, just more engaging models. The real test will be if Toyota brings back the Celica or MR2. With Toyota’s new TNGA platform, it may be relatively easy for the company to turn out some true performance models, so new sports cars could come sooner than you think.