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Pocket Rocket – The Toyota GR Supra

My brother-in-law drove a Toyota Supra in the eighties and I remember being very jealous of him. Naturally, he revelled in owning a better car than any of his in-laws (I drove a lovely 1973 VW Beetle!) and he let us know how successful and cool he was – in reality he was not so cool but his car definitely was – complete with pop-up headlights and a 150hp!

And thus, it wasn’t until about thirty-two years later that I would actually get behind the wheel of the legendary marque and discover for myself that this is literally a bona fide supercar at Toyota prices (and thankfully with Toyota reliability!).

The Toyota GR Supra is the fifth generation of Toyota’s legendary sports car and the first globalGR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing – all models are made at the factory in Graz, Austria.

It 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 adhered to the classic form of a front-mounted, straight-six engine driving the rear wheels, building on the heritageof Toyota’s past Supra generations and original 2000GT sports car. Three principalelements behind the creation of the car were a shortwheelbase, large wheels and a wide stance – a taut, two-seat cabin – and finally a long bonnet with a compact body, reflecting the drivetrain combination of the in-line six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive.

The car offers an exhilarating blend of power, agility and precision handling, delivered by the car’s combination of a short wheelbase and wide track, lightweight, low centreof gravity and highly rigid body. The 3.0-litre engine is fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger and produces 335bhp and 500Nm of torque. Coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, it is characterised by smooth and powerful acceleration, with large amounts of torque available across the full spectrumof engine speeds.

Toyota Gazoo Racing was instrumental in honing the 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.

The first 3.0-litre models were delivered to UK customers in September 2019. In January 2021 the UK range was extended to include a new 2.0-litre version, equipped with an in-line four-cylinder turbo power plant.The new 2.0-litre engine widens GR Supra’s market appeal and, being lighter and more compact than the 3.0-litre unit, improves the car’s inertiacharacteristics and chassis balance for even sharperhandling.

The eight-speed, rapid-shifting ZF automatic transmission provides times of 0-62mph times of 5.2 seconds with GR Supra’s launch control system, and a top speed limited to 155mph.

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 has won multiple drivers’ and manufacturers’ titles in the FIA World Rally and World Endurance Championships, four editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours and the DakarRally. 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.

The driver’s cockpit in the new Toyota GR Supra neatly combines sports car elements with ultra-modern functionality. Designed to help the driver focus entirely on the business of driving, it is directly influenced by the layout found in single-seater race cars. The low, slim horizontal dashboard maximises the forward view through the windscreen, helping the driver place the car with precision in high-speed driving, while the principal controls are tightly grouped for quick and easy operation. The instrument panel, centre console and door trim are combined in a seamless design that gives the cockpit a strong, unified feel.

The line of the cockpit flows down into soft, supportive knee pads in the door trim and on the side of the centre console, their shape defined with the benefit of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s circuit racing experience.

The head-up display (3.0 Pro model), meters and paddle shifts all sit directly in front of thedriver, with additional switches located on the three-spoke steering wheel. The wheel itself is contoured for excellent grip and is wrapped in leather. The 8.8-inch high-definition driver’s instrument display is clearly visible through the steering wheel, with the 3D-effect tachometer and shift indicator positioned in the centre; a digital speed read-out to the left; and infotainment and navigation information to the right.

An asymmetric centre console marks a clear division between the enveloping driver’s cockpit and the more open passenger side of the cabin. Knee pads are provided for the passenger, too. The air conditioning control panel sits proud of the console with memory-touch switches for easy operation; an 8.8-inch central multimedia display is mounted above the console, operated using atouchscreen or a rotary controller.

The boot space is large enough for two people’s luggage for a weekend away and can be extended with a removable panel, creating room for a golf bag or all the personal kit needed for a track day.

The performance heart of the Toyota GR Supra is its 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, producing 335bhp and 500Nm of torque. It is fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger, high-precision direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve control that secure segment-leading torque performance from very low revs. The unit is powerful, well-balanced, smooth and free-revving, with an exhilarating acceleration feel and minimalvibration. It makes use of a motor-actuated variable valve-timing system that gives precise control of the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves, in line with the driving conditions and driver’s inputs. The result is linear delivery of high torque at all engine speeds and high output at high rpm. The intake valve lift is controlled according to the driving situation, reducing pumpinglosses and realising high output.

The engine uses direct injection with a 35MPa high-pressure system that provides spray atomisation and precise injectioncontrol for high combustion efficiency.

The engine is matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission that provides lightning-fast up and downshifts, with short ratios used for the lower gears. The driver can take control of gear changes using paddle shifts on the steering wheel; they can also select Normal or Sport driving modes to suit their preference and the conditions.

A launch control function enables powerful acceleration from a standstill with maximum traction, helping the car move from rest to 62mph in 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.

A sports braking system is fitted as standard with red aluminium Brembo callipers – ABS, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, and Hill-start Assist Control are also featuredas standard, together with Active Cornering Assist, which creates additional yaw movements by independent braking intervention to improve agility and line- tracing.

The Toyota GR Supra range is offered in a single Pro-grade for both the 2.0 and 3.0-litre versions. The specification for the 3.0-litre model includes black leather upholstery, a 12-speaker JBL premium sound system, head-up display, wireless mobile phone charger and storage andlighting packs. The phone charging tray is located in the centre console and can accommodate devices compatible with global Qi wireless charging standards. The charging status is shown on the centre display and if the owner forgets to remove their phone from the tray when leaving the car, a warning messageis shown.

High-performance features and systems to help the driver enjoy the car’s full dynamic potential. These include an active differential, Adaptive Variable Suspension, and 19-inch forgedalloy wheels with a high-performance brake package.

Other features include dual-zone automatic air conditioning, Adaptive Cruise Control with stop and go, smart entry and push-button start, steering wheel with leather trim and auxiliary switches and a digital combi meter in the driver’s instrument display. LED technology is used for the headlights with Automatic High Beam, 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 multimedia package has an 8.8-inch display, navigation system with Supra Connect (in applicable markets), Bluetooth and USB port. It enables smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay, allowing dedicated iPhone applications to be accessed using the display. A number of connected services can also be accessed, including real-time traffic information, map updates and a concierge service.

Safety features include the Supra Safety+ package, which provides a comprehensive rangeof active safety features. These include a Pre-Collision System with a pedestrian detection function and the ability to recognise cyclists during daytime driving; Lane Departure Alert with steering assist; Adaptive Cruise Control, AutomaticHigh Beam; AdaptiveFront-light System, 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 with Lane Change DepartureAlert, 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. All Toyota GR Supra versions are fitted with an alarm, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System and an eCall function that will send an automatic locationalert to the emergency services in the event of a serious collision.

The all-new Supra takes the passion of all Supras before it and adds modern technology and know-how to create a supercar fit for the ages and the thrill of driving is inherent and everlasting.


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