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A sports car legend returns: Toyota’s new GR Supra arrives in SA

2019-07-19 05:30
Toyota GR Supra

Image: Motorpress

 • Fifth-generation of Toyota’s legendary sports car

 • First global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing

 • Conceived as a sports car in its purest form, with no compromise

 • 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder, turbocharged engine

 • A chassis designed for optimum balance and performance

 • Active differential, Adaptive Variable Suspension and sports braking system

 • Single engine, Two-grade line-up

 • Toyota Safety Sense

The all-new Toyota GR Supra is the fifth-generation of the Japanese automaker’s legendary sports car and the first global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Toyota GR Supra

                                                                 Image: Motorpress

The new Toyota GR Supra has been conceived as a sports car in its purest form, with no compromise that might diminish the pleasure of the driving experience. Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada has adhered to the classic form of a front-mounted, straight-six engine driving the rear wheels, building on the heritage of Toyota’s past Supra generations and original 2000GT sports car.

Single engine, two grades

The 3.0-litre engine, fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger, produces 250kW/500Nm and is coupled to an eight-speed auto. The GR Supra model line-up consists of two models, the GR Supra Track and GR Supra. The Track version is aimed at enthusiasts while the ‘normal’ GR Supra adds comfort and convenience to its list of specifications.

Toyota GR Supra

                                                                 Image: Motorpress

Toyota Gazoo Racing was instrumental in honing the new sports car’s performance, working extensively on the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife and surrounding roads in Germany to achieve the most agile, stable and rewarding handling possible. Further extensive testing was carried out on roads around the world.

To be certain that the car delivered on its promise, Toyota President Akio Toyoda put it to the test at the Nürburgring in his role as a Master Driver before giving it the final green light.  

A first for Toyota Gazoo Racing

The Toyota GR Supra is the first GR model to be produced by Toyota Gazoo Racing for the global market. Toyota Gazoo Racing is the umbrella organisation for Toyota’s global motorsports programme and in the past year it has achieved top-level success in winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Manufacturers’ Championship in the FIA World Rally Championship and the 2019 Dakar rally.

Toyota GR Supra

Starting with the Toyota GR Supra, Toyota Gazoo Racing will transfer the technical learnings it gains from the racetrack and rally stage to the development of new generations of Toyota’s sports-focused GR models and also its wider range of vehicles, driven by tens of millions of people around the world.

Toyota GR Supra

                                                                 Image: Motorpress

Tada-San’s story 

Tetsuya Tada, Chief Engineer of the Toyota GR Supra, gives his personal insight into the project and what he aimed to achieve with the new car:

Tada said: "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.

Toyota GR Supra

                                                                 Image: Motorpress

"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% 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 boot space is large enough for, says Toyota, "two people’s luggage" and includes a side stowage net and floor-mounted hooks.

The new Toyota GR Supra’s seats have a racing-influenced design that ensures comfort at all times and excellent support, in particular if the car is being used on-track. Body-holding side bolsters are featured on the cushion and high back, and there is an integrated head restraint. The upholstery specified for South African models comprises a combination of leather bolsters with a perforated Alcantara covering for the seat back and cushion - that provides a degree of air ventilation and additional body-holding performance. Customers have the choice between Black or combination Red and Black interior trim.Toyota GR Supra

                                                                 Image: Motorpress

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.

Toyota GR Supra

                                                                 Image: Motorpress

Active differential

An active differential has been specified for the local market, which operates both when accelerating and decelerating and can seamlessly adjust from zero to full, 100% lock, with instant response.

A dedicated ECU monitors a wide range of inputs, including steering wheel, throttle and brake pressure, engine and wheel speed and yaw rate, for appropriate triggering of the actuator. The torque difference between the left and right wheels is controlled flexibly and seamlessly depending on the driving situation.

The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) enhances performance with instant response to changes in the road surface, adjusting the shock-absorber force at each wheel to maintain a flat vehicle posture, excellent steering response and supple ride comfort. Sensors constantly monitor the way the car is being driven and the road conditions, controlling the damping force accordingly.

The driver can choose between two AVS modes – NORMAL and SPORT – to suit their mood or the driving conditions. NORMAL mode strikes a high balance between vehicle stability and ride comfort, enabling a sporty drive without sacrificing comfort. SPORT mode delivers a flat vehicle posture, reduced body roll and a more agile steering response.

The electric power steering is rack-assisted and sports-tuned. Its characteristics are automatically adjusted in accordance with vehicle speed, reducing the level of effort needed at lower speeds and gradually weighting up to offer greater control and stability at higher speeds. When driving in SPORT mode, steering effort is increased, in line with the changes to the chassis and powertrain.

Toyota GR Supra

                                                                 Image: Motorpress

The system features a steering rack with the motor and reduction gear mounted separately. This gives greater flexibility for the engine mounting system and also contributes to the lowering of the Toyota GR Supra’s centre of gravity.

A sports braking system is fitted as standard with red aluminium Brembo calipers – opposed four-piston at the front and floating single-piston at the rear. The ventilated discs measure 348 x 36mm at the front and 345 x 24mm at the rear. The parking brake is electric.

A full suite of active safety system include; ABS, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, and Hill-start Assist Control together with Active Cornering Assist, which creates additional yaw movements by independent braking intervention to improve agility and line-tracing.


At the entry point to the new model range, the GR Supra Track benefits from a high specification level that extends to high-performance features and systems to help the driver enjoy the car’s full dynamic potential. These include an active differential and 19" forged alloy wheels with a high-performance Brembo brake package.

The Track grade includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, smart entry with push-button start, leather-trimmed steering wheel with thumb-mounted switches and a digital instrument cluster. LED technology is used for the adaptive headlights, rear lights and daytime running lights, and the mirrors (door mirrors and rear-view mirror) are all auto-dimming. Further convenience is provided by rain-sensing wipers and a rear-view camera.

The infotainment specifications feature a 10-speaker audio system with 6.5" display with Bluetooth and USB port.

The GR Supra model receives an upgrade to 8.8" infotainment system with built-in satellite navigation and 12-speaker JBL audio system with mid-mounted subwoofers for superb acoustics. The sports seats are upholstered in a combination of leather and Alcantara (Track model features fabric seats) and are power-adjustable (including lumbar support), with integrated heating and memory functions.

Wireless charging, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Park Distance Control (PDC) and Heads-Up Display (HUD) add to the convenience spec tally. The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) forms part of the higher-grade feature list.

Another key differentiator between the Track and ‘normal’ GR Supra models is the Toyota Safety Sense system (covered below) – the Track grade foregoes this system in lieu of weight savings and purposed driving environments.


The Toyota Safety Sense system which encompasses a wide array of active safety technologies.

These include a Pre-Collision System with a pedestrian detection function and the ability to recognise cyclists during daytime driving; Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with steering assist; adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), automatic High Beam (AHB); adaptive Front-light System (AFS), which adjusts the headlight illumination in line with the car’s steering angle; and Road Sign Assist.

In addition, the car is also equipped with a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Rear-end Collision Alert, and Intelligent parking sensors with automatic braking to help prevent collisions with objects or vehicles approaching from either side when reversing out of a parking space or driveway.


Toyota GR Supra Track* - R953 000

Toyota GR Supra (Prominent Red) – R1 072 300

Toyota GR Supra (Metallic) – R1 082 300

Toyota GR Supra (Matte Grey) – R1 092 300

*Available in Prominent Red paintwork only

A "4-services 80 000km service plan" is provided as well as a 3-year or 100 000km Warranty. Customers can also purchase extended service plans via their Toyota dealer. 

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