After years of teases, the new Toyota Supra was finally unveiled in January at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. But Toyota isn’t stopping there. The Japanese automaker will bring the Supra GT4 concept to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The concept previews a racing version of Toyota’s new sports car.
The Supra already races: it made its debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series earlier this year. But the NASCAR racer is a Supra in name only. Like all NASCAR machines, it’s based on a custom chassis that shares nothing with a production car except superficial styling details. The GT4 concept, in contrast, previews what a true race-ready Supra could look like.
Toyota did not offer many technical details on the GT4 concept, but the car’s name offers some insight. GT4 is a racing class comprised of lightly modified road cars. The class was created as a lower-cost entry point to racing for drivers who don’t have factory backing or major sponsors. Because modifications are limited to keep costs down, the cars also bear a fairly close resemblance to the ones race fans see on the road.
GT4 originated in Europe, but cars now race in the United States in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and Blancpain GT World Challenge America. Toyota did not confirm plans to put the Supra GT4 intro production (it’s officially a “racing study model”), let alone race it in the U.S. But if Toyota does pull the trigger, the Supra will do battle with everything from Ford Mustangs to Mercedes-AMG GTs on track.
The GT4 class’ emphasis on stock-appearing cars is reflected in the Supra GT4 concept. Aside from a big front splitter, wing-like rear spoiler, and a spiffy racing livery, the concept doesn’t look that different from a stock Supra. Typically for the race car, the interior was gutted to save weight and to make room for safety equipment like a roll cage. The race car concept uses the same BMW-sourced 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six as the stock Supra. The engine makes 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque in the U.S.-spec version of the Supra.
Expect a decision from Toyota on whether to race the Supra GT4 in the near future. In the meantime, the concept version will grace Toyota’s stand at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Geneva will have an eclectic mix of cars this year, from a tiny Honda electric car to the latest Lamborghini.
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