Petrol heads in this country can finally breath easier knowing that the Toyota GR Supra not only made it in to production, but that it made it to South Africa. It is finally on local soil!
Driving enthusiasts can expect an exhilarating blend of power, agility and precision handling, delivered by the car’s combination of a short wheelbase and wide track, low centre of gravity as well as a lightweight and highly rigid body.
WHY IS IT SUCH A NOVELTY?
This is something only the Chief Engineer of the Toyota GR Supra, Tetsuya Tada, should explain. And he does so by giving insight in to the project and what he aimed to achieve with this car:
The Supra legacy
“Being asked to make a sports car that offers the ultimate, pure driving pleasure felt like a mandate from heaven, telling me to “make a Supra!” The GT86 helped broaden the scope and appeal of Toyota’s sports cars. Next, I needed to deliver a car that offers a seemingly limitless sense of control, a car that will meet expectations and delight even hardcore fans.
In making Supra, I insisted on visiting enthusiasts’ clubs around the world to talk to owners of previous models. I asked them what they thought the minimum requirements should be and the response was always “a straight-six turbo and front engine/rear-wheel drive configuration”. It was pretty clear and I had more or less anticipated this. The key point was to keep that combination intact.
The new Supra is not simply a revival, though; only those core engine and rear-wheel drive elements have been carried over. As the name Supra suggests, I was determined to deliver a “supreme fun-to-drive” car that could only be made in the modern era.“
Ultimate driving pleasure
“I repeatedly told the development team that I wanted them to hone any aspects of the car that stimulate the driver’s senses or instincts. I said that it wasn’t necessary to achieve perfect scores for every aspect, we just need to make sure the car is fun to drive. Anything that goes against that can be disregarded.
It was a key factor to make the car a two-seater. Driving quality is 90 per cent dictated by a car’s basic packaging – the track and wheelbase are particularly important. In fact, it’s the golden ratio (~1.5) between these two dimensions that delivers the best driving quality, and I was determined not to sacrifice this. But the only way to achieve the golden ratio was to make Supra a two-seater. Even though I was warned not providing four seats would reduce the number of cars we might sell, I politely but firmly stood my ground. For me, it was all about delivering a pure sports car with the ultimate driving pleasure.“
The Toyota GR Supra boasts a 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, producing 250 kW and 500 Nm of torque. It is fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger, high-precision direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve control. The unit is powerful, well-balanced, smooth and free-revving, with an exhilarating acceleration feel and minimal vibration.
A Launch Control function enables powerful acceleration from standstill with maximum traction, helping the car move from rest to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds. Engine sound and response, shift pattern, damping, steering and active differential performance are adjusted when the driver selects Sport mode. The Vehicle Stability Control has a special, selectable “track” setting that reduces the level of system intervention, giving the driver greater control of the vehicle’s dynamic performance.
The GR Supra model line-up consists of two models, the GR Supra Track and GR Supra. The Track model is aimed at enthusiasts wishing to use their vehicle predominantly for performance-orientated driving and prioritises vehicle dynamics over convenience specification. Whereas the GR Supra is a more comfy option.
MORE TO COME
I haven’t yet had a chance to drive this little beast, but as soon as I do, I promise to give you more detail. Right now, all you really need to know is what it looks like, what’s under the bonnet and what it costs. Stay tuned people…there is more to come.
PRICING OF THEW NEW TOYOTA GR SUPRA
Toyota GR Supra Track* – R 953 000
Toyota GR Supra (Prominent Red) – R 1 072 300
Toyota GR Supra (Metallic) – R 1 082 300
Toyota GR Supra (Matte Grey) – R 1 092 300
*Available in Prominent Red paintwork only