Toyota Wants to Build Lighter, Faster, More Hardcore Supra GRMN Track Car
Supra program chief Testuya Tada shared his thoughts on a hyped-up Supra, and we like what he’s cookin’.
Toyota's Gazoo Racing performance division head and Supra program lead Tetsuya Tada revealed his desire to build a refined track variant of the upcoming A90-generation Supra.
Tada claims to be unsure if the hypothetical Supra track car would be road-legal or just a mere track toy, but he compared it to the Porsche Cayman, which is consistently one of the best-driving cars in its price range.
"At some point, I would like to make a track-limited Supra with less weight," Tada told Top Gear. "We're already making a racing version, so we know if you take out 100 kilograms, it's a completely different car—you don't even need any more power."
"The Porsche Cayman has been our dynamic benchmark from the start," continued Tada. "The Cayman has the advantage with its engine positioning, but I've driven the cars back-to-back on track, and we're definitely in the same zone."
The upcoming Supra can be expected to be within the current Porsche Cayman's performance neighborhood. German publication Sport Auto tested a Cayman S on the Nürburgring in 2016, and its test driver Christian Gebhardt achieved a lap time of just under 7:47 minutes. Last week, the same driver lapped the new BMW Z4—with which the Supra shares a platform (and possibly a powertrain)—in just over 7:55, less than nine seconds behind the Cayman, and faster than BMW's comparable, more powerful M2 coupe.
Because the Supra will be a fixed-roof vehicle, however, its torsional rigidity and aerodynamic drag should be less than that of the Z4, meaning it could, in theory, be capable of a quicker lap time. Tada admitted that he initially tried to chase the Cayman on equal footing by making the A90 Supra mid-engined too, getting as far as receiving BMW's approval to jointly develop the Z4-Supra platform as a mid-engined, inline-six powered car. However, a voice from above commanded him to keep the Supra front-engined.
"In the planning stages, we suggested a mid-engined layout, and BMW was happy to go with it, but I took the idea to Akio Toyoda and he told me off," Tada admitted. "We stuck with a front engine because of feel and control. We know how to control a front-engine car, we already have that capability."
Since we can expect the A90 Supra to be approximately as fast as a Porsche Cayman, and Tada says their driving experiences are of comparable quality, the Supra GRMN of which Tada dreams of could be a legitimate rival to the likes of the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport. Both the Supra and its Z4 sibling will reportedly go into production next quarter, so The Drive hopefully needn't wait long to compare the two cars on the track.
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