It was the worst-kept secret in the automotive industry: Japanese automaker Toyota was developing a new car, and that new car is the Supra.
It was not exactly a new car. Four decades ago, Toyota introduced the Supra as an offshoot of the Celica. It was spun off because it was beginning to have its own identity and following. The Celica itself followed the trend begun when the market was hungry for a stylish, mid-priced sedan that could deliver performance with its big engines.
But what really did it for the Supra was when it shed the boxy look of the 1980s and lost a lot of weight. The hood, for example, was now made of aluminum. Thus was born the A80 (called the Mk IV in the US), the very same car that left Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto asking for 10-second car.
In 2002, Toyota decided to stop making the Supra, but thanks to the tuners, it became one of the most in-demand second-hand cars in the market. In fact, its fourth – and last – generation could fetch several times more than its selling price (try six-figure USD’s for an original selling price of $40,000 for the A80) when it was brand-new. And when it stopped production, it continued to be a much-desired car for tuners and racers.
Thanks to the 2001 blockbuster movie The Fast & the Furious, it was reintroduced to a new generation as the car that could kick your sweet, brand-new ride all the way back to the shop where it no doubt started its sad life.
What the movie also highlighted was the secret of the Supra’s enduring appeal. It showed the main character spending most of the time building the Japanese muscle car to peak performance, reflecting the real-life romance of most tuners with the Supra.
Another legend surrounding the Supra is its unexpected inclusion in a stock car racing match, and its equally unexpected triumph over newer racing models at the time. It was perhaps the 1990s automotive version of Andy Ruiz, Jr., defeating champ Anthony Joshua Jackson and becoming the new (and unexpected) heavyweight champion of the world, and holder of the WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles. The story only served to cement the Supra’s place in the racing world.
Thus, it was quite understandable why the Supra achieved legendary status, and its return fueled much Internet buzz.
Toyota was not oblivious to the fact, and it continued to tease and tease. In 2014, it showed the 2014 FT-1 Concept at the Detroit Motor Show. “FT” stands for Future Toyota, and though the concept car didn’t come with specifications, it suspiciously looked like the fourth-generation Supra (the mythical Mk IV). When it debuted the GR Racing Concept, however, all rumors were put to rest, and it was quickly followed by a prototype version unveiled in 2018. It turned out the company was already working on the All-New Toyota GR Supra since 2012.
All the excitement was not lost on Toyota. Company president Akio Toyoda, himself a racing enthusiast, even drove it himself at the 24-hour endurance challenge at Nürburgring, listing himself in the lineup as “Mr. Morizo.”
The All-New Toyota GR Supra was finally launched officially at the Detroit Motor Show early in 2019. It was launched in the Philippines this week, following a teaser at the Vios Racing Festival, ending its hiatus of nearly two decades. The arrival of the All-New Toyota GR Supra is also significant as it will be the first time a Toyota Supra will be retailed in the Philippines.
From all indications, the specs of the fifth-generation Supra all point to hypercar performance.
The All-New Toyota GR Supra will be known as the A90 or Mk. V. The ”GR” in the name, by the way, stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s performance development arm, and the new fifth-generation Supra will be first to be a Toyota Gazoo Racing model.
The Philippine variant is powered by a twin-scroll turbocharged, in-line six-cylinder engine, with a maximum output of 335hp and 500 Nm of torque. Staying true to its sportscar reputation, the GR Supra is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive coupe that comes exclusively in 3.0L displacement and 8-speed automatic transmission.
The All-New Toyota GR Supra pays tribute to its great predecessors and has key styling features from both the Supra A80 (1993) and the Toyota 2000 GT (1967). Its most striking feature is the double bubble roof and curves in the sheet metal. These features are both form and function as they reduce lift and drag.
The stance is low and wide, and its grille is flanked by large air intakes on both sides. The lines taper down the flared spoilers and trapezoidal bumper with dual exhaust pipes plus a diffuser. Nineteen-inch forged aluminum wheels, with custom-made tires by Michelin complete the look.
The chassis and body frame have a 50:50 front-rear weight distribution for optimum cornering performance. In addition is a wheelbase-to-tread ratio of 1.55*1 is one of the smallest among mass production sports cars, important if you are to have excellent turning and responsiveness.
The interior of the Philippine variant comes purely in black, accentuated with luxurious muted carbon, Alcantara sports seats, and a three-spoke leather steering wheel. A narrow-sectioned dashboard that offers expansive forward visibility promises millimeter-precision.
Philippine owners can choose from eight colors, and the price ranges fro Php4.9 million to Php5.09 million. Toyota is also making sure that such performance receives competent and committed service to match, so it is making it available in Luzon. Visayas and Mindanao through 16 certified GR Performance dealerships.