Fans of Toyota’s Supra sports car could see the return of the iconic model inside a year.

That’s the message loud and clear from Toyota after the debut of the Supra racing concept at the Geneva motor show.

“The debut of the GR Supra Racing Concept is similar to Toyota’s reveal of the C-HR Racing at the 2016 Geneva show, almost a year ahead of the arrival of the production version of the compact SUV,” a spokesman said.

Starry-eyed with the runaway success of its cheap, rear-wheel drive 86, Toyota has confirmed plans to produce a new generation of the Supra.

Toyota said the compact two-door concept, with its front-engine, rear-wheel-drive configuration, demonstrates the potential for a fun-to-drive car that can deliver high performance — both on and off the track.

The GR Supra Racing Concept provides a huge visual clue to the Supra’s return.

The large “90” race number on its doors is the codename for the fifth-generation Supra, following the A40, A60, A70 and A80 series produced between 1978 and 2002.

Toyota Australia’s Sean Hanley said the concept reflects the global company’s focus on using motorsport to accelerate development of production models.

“Supra is one of the most beloved Toyota cars of all time and its nameplate continues to command enormous respect,” he said.

“There has been huge public interest in a modern revival of the Supra legend – and this concept points to a sports car deserving of the famous name.

“Revealing a racing concept ahead of a production model highlights that motorsport is Toyota’s proving ground of choice for high-performance vehicles.

“The GR Supra Racing Concept makes it clear Toyota is developing the Supra to be a true driver’s car.”

The Toyota Supra still enjoys iconic status, even 16 years after production ended.

Its enduring popularity has been helped by the Gran Turismo game and with a starring role in the first film of The Fast and the Furious franchise.

The Supra badge first appeared in 1978 on a larger and more powerful version of the second generation Celica before it became established as a model in its own right.

Known as the A40, the original Supra was followed by three further generations: the A60 in 1981, A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993.

The front engine, rear-wheel-drive GT sports car remained in production until 2002, and in its final generation it was Toyota’s most powerful production model.

In Australia, Supra was introduced in 1983 with cumulative sales of 2895 cars over the next decade.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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