As any gearhead would tell you, the Toyota Supra is a proper 90s hero car. Production ran for nearly 24 years, but it wasn’t until the Mark IV arrived in 1992, that the Supra cemented its place in history as the lovable, tunable, affordable sportscar king of the mid-90s.
Unfortunately- after a successful ten-year run- production ended with the Mark IV in 2002, leaving the Toyota lineup to sulk in its own facade of beige nothingness. The Camry, the Corolla, and of course, the Prius, sell well and meet the automaker’s “Global Vision” program, but don’t do much to inspire.
But now, there’s hope. President and CEO Akio Toyoda (a former racing driver), brings a fresh face to a brand that had seemed to have lost its “fun” perception of the 80s and 90s. With cars like the GT 86, it’s the first step in the right direction, and a new sportscar which many have pegged as the successor to the Supra is in the works.
What it will officially entail has yet to be determined. But based on previous reports, rumors, and a little bit of research- we pulled together 7 things that you need to know regarding the upcoming new Supra, and an exclusive rendering done up our friends at Hansen Art:
It might not actually be called “Supra”
And that’s going to be rather disheartening for a lot of people to hear. As the Gen-Y car-buying market begins to bloom, many are looking for familiar nameplates. It brings back a sense of nostalgia, a sense of what was once great. As of now, Toyota tells us that the Supra moniker is only but a “candidate” in a long list of possible names for the new sportscar.
It’s going to be hybrid
Strike two, for many Supra faithful. The 2JZ (twin-turbo, inline-six) engine was well-loved for its ability to churn out massive amounts of aftermarket power. But as with many hybrid powertrains we see today, many shops tend to stay out of harms way, as working on such a vehicle gets overly complicated and expensive.
Emission standards are hitting automakers hard, and as Toyota sits at the forefront of hybrid research, we don’t doubt the Supra will be the automaker’s next pet project in a line of high-performance, fuel-efficienct sportscars.
It’s going to be powerful
Finally, some good news. Yes, it’s going to be about as powerful as many of the other competing supercars hitting the market at the time (GT-R, R8, Evo XI, etc.). 500-hp, or more, is predicted to come from under the hood.
It’s going to be rear-wheel drive
A breath of fresh air for many worried as to the softening of the Supra. It will remain rear-drive, as confirmed by GT 86 chief engineer Tetsuya Tada. Previous rumors suggested that all-wheel-drive would be in play, but Toyota is sticking to its guns (somewhat) and keeping the buyer in mind.
It might not come with a manual
But then again, neither will most high-performance sportscars succumbing to the hybrid era. Sigh…
It’s going to use plenty of carbon fiber
Carbon fiber is a must on top notch performance vehicles. And with the new Supra, Toyota isn’t slacking on the good stuff. Together, including BMW– with whom they partnered on the i8, you may remember- the Supra successor should come with a similar lightweight build derived from the i8. Although many details are still unclear.
It’s going to be “fun”
I think this is the most important factor here. Sure, it might be a paddle-shifting, hybrid-driving, soft sportster, but Toyota knows how to make fun sportscars. And make them well. The original Supra, the Celica, the 2000GT, the GT 86 have all been heralded as some of the most fun rides on the planet.
We just hope the Supra lives up to expectations. And that we see it soon than later.