I was one of those that mourned the loss of Toyota sports cars, the Supra, MR2, and Celica, after they were discontinued. The reason given at the time was a refocusing on developing mass market models for growing markets in China, Russia, etc. and a general scarcity of engineers in Japan. Toyota felt their loss within a couple of years with the average age profile of their customers rising, and it entered Formula One to try to address this.
Now, many years later, the new Toyota Supra, one of the world’s most keenly anticipated new sports cars, has made its international debut in prototype form at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this month.
The development model was be seen in action on the hill course at the famous motoring celebration in the UK, making an exclusive contribution to the programme for the festival’s silver jubilee year. The prototype was driven up the hill course by two of the people leading its development – Chief Engineer Testuya Tada, who has overall responsibility for the Supra project, and Master Driver Herwig Daenens.
Following the announcement of a new Toyota Supra at the Geneva Motor Show in March, Toyota can confirm the model will be faithful to its distinguished heritage as pure, sports car thoroughbred by using a front-mounted, in-line six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive.
The Toyota Supra prototype was camouflaged in Goodwood, in the black-red- and-white colours of Toyota Gazoo Racing..
The thousands of motoring fans that attended the festival also had the chance to take a close-up look at the Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept. Created by Toyota Gazoo Racing, this concept heralded the return of the Supra name when it was unveiled at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It explores the potential for a high-performance competition model, featuring dramatic bodywork crafted in advanced, lightweight composite materials, lowered suspension, racing wheels and cockpit equipped to competition standards.
Toyota expects its new Toyota Supra to reach the global market during the first half of 2019.