Toyota rolls out new Supra in Japan

By CARSIFU | 17 May 2019

TOKYO: Toyota Motor Corporation has announced the launch of the new Supra in Japan at Toyota dealers nationwide.

The new front-engine rear-wheel driven Supra has two engine choices - a 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre variant.

The 2.0-litre B48 engine is found in the SZ and SZ-R variants whereas the 3.0-litre B58 engine is exclusively designated for the range-topping RZ variant.

Both engines are mated to an eight-speed Sports Automatic Transmission and the variants cost 4.9mil, 5.9mil and 6.9mil Yen respectively.

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Although the new fifth-generation Supra is being offered in eight exterior colours and two optional colours, it seems the optional Matte Storm Gray Metallic is proving to be the more popular choice over Lightning Yellow.

Requests for sales appointments for the 24 Matte Storm Gray Metallic Supra RZ scheduled for production this fiscal year will be accepted online only for approximately one month from May 17 to June 14.

The order of the sales appointments will be decided in a draw to be announced on the day of Germany's 47th 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race (June 22 to June 23) in which the new Supra is taking part.

The Japanese carmaker made sure to dial in excellent handling and stable cornering stance via three elements of the wheelbase, track and centre of gravity for the two-seater coupe.

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At 2,470mm, its wheelbase is 100mm shorter than that of the 86.

Additionally, the company managed to lower the centre of gravity even lower than the 86 with its horizontally-opposed boxer engine, while having an ideal 50/50 front-rear weight-distribution.

Externally, it had to have a sports car look and layout with its short wheelbase, large-diameter wheels, long-nose, and short-cabin silhouette.

The design adopts a condensed body contour with optimal engine position to focus on suppressing the generation of lift in aerodynamics and the most suitable aerodynamic balance and weight distribution between the front and rear for a sports car.

The styling is inspired by the Toyota 2000GT and fourth-generation Supra, such as a "double-bubble" roof that helps reduce aerodynamic drag.

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Inside, it's all driver-centric with two colour choices of Ignition Red, and Black while being equipped with a thin, flat, and linear instrument panel for greater visibility at high speeds.

Visual recognition and operation system instruments (gauges, Head-Up Display, paddle switch and steering switch among others) necessary for sports driving are compactly arranged directly in front of the driver.

A centralized gauge layout (equipped with an 8.8-inch high definition colour monitor) features instruments required for fast driving such as the tachometer and shift indicator which has been optimally positioned to enable a natural line of sight for the gauges through the small-diameter steering wheel.

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The seats were designed by the company's interior designer who has actual driving experience on racing circuits and so gave the seats its high backs feature with strong lower back support while being able to securely cradle the driver.

The chassis is a highly rigid combination of aluminium and steel that's up to 2.5 times greater than the 86 or even the Lexus LFA and its carbon fibre-reinforced plastic cabin

The 2.0-litre (1,998cc) inline-6 turbocharged engine produces 197PS at 4,500rpm with 320Nm of torque from 4,500 to 4,200rpm and 258PS at 5,000rpm with 400Nm of torque from 1,550 to 4,400rpm for the SZ and SZ-R respectively.

The 3.0-litre (2,997cc) turbocharged inline-six however, churns out 340PS at 5,000rpm and 500Nm of torque from 1,600 to 4,500rpm.

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Dimensionally, the Supra measures in at 4,380mm-long, 1,865mm-wide and 1,295mm-tall (RZ is 1,290mm-tall) while having a 2,470mm wheelbase.

The body is suspended by aluminium front MacPherson struts with a rear multi-link setup and uses front four-pot, rear single-pot aluminium callipers to bite down on the ventilated discs

The Supra rolls on 17-inch wheels with 255/50 front and 255/45 rear tyres for the SZ, while the SZ-R gets 18-inch wheels with 255/40 front and 275/40 rear tyres. The RZ gets fitted with 19-inch wheels wrapped by 255/35 front and 275/35 rear tyres.

The SZ-R and RZ variants have been fitted with an active differential as well as an Adaptive Variable Suspension system that improves both drivability and ride comfort by controlling the damping force of each wheel's shock absorber.

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It also comes with Vehicle Stability Control system that communicated with the diff to control the locking ratio between the rear left and right wheels in a range of zero to 100 by way of an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch.

The result? High cornering speed, stability, and neutral steering characteristics were realised.

With importance placed on the environments in which customers drive in the real world, proving runs were thoroughly and repeatedly conducted on regular roads during various stages of development. Such runs naturally included racing-speed drives at Nürburgring.

But numerous tests were also held on a wide range of roads throughout the world, such as country roads in Europe, the Autobahn in Germany, snow-covered and ice-covered roads in Northern Europe, highways in the United States and winding roads in Japan.

All Safety technologies have been included in all variants as standard such as a pre-collision safety system (millimetre wave radar and monocular camera), blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control and Lane departure warning to name a few.

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