The wait is over, the first UK customers are taking delivery of their new Toyota GR Supra, completing a remarkable comeback story for one of the world’s most celebrated sports cars
It is a year-and-a-half since Toyota confirmed the long-running rumour that a fifth generation Supra would be built, and 10 months since eager British customers rushed to put their name down for a car. Such was the demand, the entire UK allocation for 2019 was snapped up long before prospective buyers had the chance to see the model close-up, let alone take the wheel.
A waiting list for 2020’s cars is already up and running.
The GR Supra’s Chief Engineer, Tetsuya Tada – also mastermind of the Toyota GT86 – promised a sports car in its purest form, with no compromise to detract from the sheer pleasure of driving. What Toyota has delivered is faithful to Supra’s heritage and Tada’s mission – a coupe powered by a front-mounted 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels, while embracing modern technologies and a perfectly balanced, super-taut chassis to deliver an exhilarating blend of power, agility and precision handling.
Supra’s special qualities and status are referenced in its “GR” designation, which references the work of Toyota Gazoo Racing in honing its performance, working extensively on the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack and roads around the world. It is the first global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing, the organisation behind championship titles in world endurance and rally competition, two successive Le Mans wins and overall victory in this year’s Dakar Rally.
In the build-up to this week’s new car deliveries, anticipation of something special was fuelled by glowing reports from the world’s media and an exclusive introduction for many of the first British customers at Thruxton race circuit earlier this summer. These first drives prompted equally enthusiastic responses from both the press and prospective owners, confirming that Toyota’s bold decision to bring back Supra had produced a very special machine.
In its production form, the GR Supra muscles 335bhp and 500Nm of torque from its engine, giving it a 6:1 kg/kW power-to-weight ratio. Using an eight-speed sports automatic gearbox, it can move from rest to 62mph in 4.3 seconds. For owners, this is potentially just the start of the car’s performance potential. Some of the UK’s leading tuners are already formulating packages that will enhance performance, handling and styling. Once again, this is faithful to Supra’s heritage as a car beloved of after-market specialists and has the support of Chief Engineer Tada himself, who always envisioned the GR Supra as a car that would be an ideal project for tuning houses.
Full details of the new Toyota GR Supra are available here
Toyota GR Supra timeline
|1978||The Supra name appears for the first time, designating a special version of the Toyota Celica sports car.|
|1981||Supra becomes a model in its own right.|
|1982||The first Supra are sold in the UK.|
|1996||Supra sales are brought to an end in the UK.|
|2002||Production of the fourth generation Supra finally comes to a close in Japan.|
|2014||Toyota reveals the FT-1 Concept, fuelling rumours that Supra is destined for a comeback.|
With the world debut of the Toyota GR Racing Concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March, Toyota confirms that Supra will return.
The concept model is seen in action for the first time in a demonstration run at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July, sporting camouflaged bodywork.
In September, leading motoring journalists drive a development version of the road-going GR Supra at a test event on road and track in Spain and are enthusiastic about the car’s qualities.
UK customers have the first opportunity to put their name down to order a new GR Supra. The entire allocation for 2019 is quickly snapped up.
In January, the production-ready Toyota GR Supra makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The official European GR Supra media launch takes place in May, based in Madrid.
The GR Supra makes its competition debut, taking part in the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
In July, UK customers who have placed orders for a new GR Supra enjoy an exclusive preview of the car, driving it on track and on local roads at the Thruxton race circuit in Hampshire. The same month, Toyota Gazoo Racing confirms will launch the GR Supra GT4, a race car that will be available for private/customer teams, built to international GT4 competition specifications.
New GR Supra deliveries to UK customers begin on 2 September.