This murky teaser picture previews the new MkV Supra which is due to take its bow at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6th, 22 years after the last Supra was sold in the UK. As Toyota has been tweeting, “The legend returns”.
A legendary sports coupe? Not quite perhaps, but there can be no denying the Supra’s popularity, defined from the start (1978) by plenty of bangs for your buck thanks to a straight-six engine up front and simple rear-drive layout. It was a formula that reached its apogee in 1993 with the MkIV Supra Turbo boasting the most muscular looks – and a then-giant-killing 326bhp.
Muscular body, plenty of grunt, huge rear spoiler, straight-six engine, twin-turbocharging and clear driver focus are likely givens with the comeback kid. An automatic (which the Supra has always offered) is the favourite transmission, while the scuttlebutt is the 3.0-litre twin-cam six will put out 335bhp for 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds – all numbers not so far confirmed by Toyota.
At some point in its life, it is likely the new coupe – which shares a platform with the upcoming BMW Z4 convertible being developed in parallel – is likely to get all manner of new-tech, up to and including a hybrid petrol-electric drivetrain.
We may not find out about that just yet. In fact, it is likely the full story of Supra MkV won’t come out even at Geneva, since the car is being shown off first as a concept of a Supra race version from in-house competition arm Gazoo Racing.
We predict it will still be Supra enough to make it one of the performance car hits of Geneva 2018…
10 things you may not know about Supra…
1. Intended as Toyota’s answer to the hot-selling Nissan Z-car, the first Supra (or Celica XX) in 1978 was a Celica stretched and widened so that a straight-six petrol motor would fit.
2. What began with 110bhp bowed out after four model generations and 20 years as the Supra Turbo with 326bhp and a reputation as a supercar rival – but still resolutely straight-six powered and rear-wheel drive.
3. The Supra and illegal street racing have long been bedfellows in video games and movies, including most famously The Fast and the Furious series.
4. The MkII Supra has a bit of Lotus magic in it. After Colin Chapman agreed a tie-up between the firms in 1982 (just months before he died), Lotus engineers helped Toyota with the Supra and Toyota in return helped Lotus with the then-new Excel.
5. British Saloon Car Championship stalwart Win Percy campaigned a Supra in 1983-4, fending off the Rover 3500s to win one round; the car was driven by Barry Sheene the following year.
6. An optional all-white pack for the Supra Turbo, which saw the body, exterior trim and even the wheels finished in white, reflected the must-see TV show of the time: Miami Vice.
7. Along with its trademark power door locks, power windows and pop-up lights, in 1981 the first-generation home market Celica XX became the first car to get… a navigation computer.
8. Toyota’s avowed intent to re-inject some fast-car vigour into its range in 2018 is understandable given its 1980s sports car prowess; in 1987 its Celica, MR2 and Supra were first, second and third in What Car? magazine’s best coupe awards.
9. With its simple layout and robust mechanicals, the Supra has long been a tuner’s delight, with outputs up to 2041bhp recorded.
10. 16,000 Supras were sold in the UK up to 1996 when the model was killed off here; it died in the US two years later while production ceased in Japan in 2002 – and there hasn’t been a Supra since.