Surprise, surprise. Toyota has confirmed the next generation is bound for Botany Bay.
The fifth-generation Supra, code named A90, is expected to arrive here in the third quarter of next year.
No word on the price yet, but there will be no shortage of eager customers — not with the promise of a 220kW 3.0-litre turbocharged six cylinder engine and performance to match.
Boosted by a twin-scroll turbocharger, highly precise direct fuel-injection and variable valve control, engine outputs are expected to exceed 220kW and 450Nm — with 0-100 km/h projected at well under five seconds.
A focus on performance and handling has resulted in an extremely short wheelbase, low centre of gravity, high body rigidity and ideal 50-50 weight distribution.
Supra will be the first vehicle sold in Australia to carry Toyota GAZOO Racing (TGR) branding, the company’s new performance sub-brand.
Gazoo’s role is to support Toyota’s development of “ever better” road cars, forging new technologies and solutions under the extreme conditions of motorsport.
Toyota Australia’s vice president sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the 2019 Supra will elevate Toyota’s brand image well beyond its relatively exclusive production numbers.
“As the halo model for Toyota sports cars and our new GR brand, Supra points to a new-generation of driver-focused vehicles that will offer dynamic styling and faithful handling, even at the limits of performance,” Hanley said.
“These inherent qualities will also flow into our regular production models, enhancing Toyota’s DNA as a company committed to bringing the freedom, adventure and excitement of driving to everyone.”t
The production Supra, to be unveiled in the first half of 2019, will be built by Magna Steyr in Austria, reportedly alongside the new BMW Z4 sports car.
Toyota’s intensive development of the two-seat, rear drive coupe has concentrated on delivering pure driving pleasure, with meticulous attention to drivetrain tuning to ensure precise control of cornering forces and response to accelerator pedal operation.
New Supra’s wheelbase is shorter than the Toyota 86 and the centre of gravity is even lower, which combined with a wide track, delivers a “golden ratio” of less than 1.6:1 — better than most two-seat sports cars.
Its performance credentials are boosted by a new aluminium and steel composite frame with body rigidity close to the carbon-fibre based LFA supercar, enabling the engineering team to specify high-performance suspension components.
A low ride height is supported by the adoption of adaptive suspension and the re-profiled design of Supra’s 8-speed automatic transmission.
The suspension system delivers tailor-made damping forces based on road conditions and driver input, combating understeer at high G-forces with consistent performance and rapid lap times.
An electronically controlled active differential with a high reduction gear distributes up to 100 per cent of available torque to either rear wheel.
It results in ultra-quick and precise responses to steering-angle inputs when decelerating into a corner and full traction potential coming out.
The transmission was chosen for its shift speed and direct feel, as well as for maximising torque converter characteristics for powerful take-off acceleration.
Supra’s pure sports-car architecture is complemented by high-performance tyres, specially designed wheel hubs with optimised camber and kinematics, and stiff wheel bearings for maximum rigidity.
Four-pot Brembo callipers, large-diameter discs and an optimised brake booster provide state-of-the-art pedal feel.
In keeping with Toyota’s “go where the customer goes” philosophy, 90 per cent of development work was undertaken on public roads, including autobahns, and test tracks including the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife, Germany, and in Miramas, France.
Long-distance drives in Europe and the United States resulted in changes including boot-space design, digital-speedometer sensitivity and fine-tuning of the noise and vibration package.
Supra’s fun-to-drive nature was also built into the way it performs power slides and doughnuts, confirmed in strictly controlled conditions.
The Supra itself name dates back to 1978 to a car that was essentially a Celica with a six-cylinder engine.
By 1987, Supra was no longer part of the Celica range and was equipped with a 3.0-litre turbo engine, later upgraded to twin turbo in 1993.
In the decade from 1983, Toyota sold a total of 2895 Supra sports cars in Australia.
The first sign of a modern Supra was the FT-1 Concept shown at the 2014 Detroit motor show.
A camouflaged production version of the new Supra made its debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.