Development chief gives some new details about reborn sports car.
Toyota's chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, has touted the capabilities of the upcoming Supra sports car, six years after he started the project.
"Akio [Toyoda] has always said that as a company he would like to have Three Brothers, with the GT86 in the middle and Supra as the big brother," he said.
"So we’ve tried to aim for the Supra to offer an overwhelming superiority in all attributes. For example, people were happy that the GT86 had a very low centre of gravity… but the Supra has an even lower centre of gravity, and its body rigidity is twice that of the GT86."
"It’s actually the same level of rigidity as the Lexus LFA supercar, and it has been achieved without using carbon fibre so we could keep the price point at an affordable level," he continued.
"That was the most difficult thing to achieve. But I’m pleased we were successful because when I was sitting in the queue to go up the hill at Goodwood, I was surrounded by all these amazing supercars and thinking: ‘This is the cheapest car in the line by a long way – probably about a tenth of the price – but we got the biggest cheer!’
"The track width is also wider, of course. But it may surprise people to know that the new Supra has a shorter wheelbase than the GT86. The car was developed with a specific ratio of wheelbase and track in mind, and I think we’ve been able to achieve the balance that we were looking for," Tada added.
Tada-San then gave five things Supra fans would want to know about the new car. First was the front-mounted inline six-cylinder engine – though we know a four-cylinder model will also be available – with second being the fact it's rear-wheel drive.
Third was the design, with Tada noting that Toyota has "taken cues" from the fourth-generation Supra to continue a family resemblance.
Fourth was the excitement factor. Tada believes the A90 will be "the most fun-to-drive car in its class" when it "goes on sale next year".
Rounding out Tada's 'five things to know' was that the Supra will likely be the last Toyota to not feature hybridisation.
"I think the new Supra will be the last present from Toyota to those who enjoy hearing the pleasing sound of a pure petrol engine at high revs," he said.
The 2019 Toyota Supra is expected to be fully revealed later this year or very early next. In terms of a market launch, the company's European division has previously said it "expects" the new sports car to go on sale in the first half of 2019.
An Australian launch is yet to be confirmed, however. Earlier this month, vice president for sales and marketing at Toyota's local arm, Sean Hanley, said: "The Supra nameplate commands enormous respect and there has been huge public interest in the development of the new model so we would like to see it on Australian roads".
While Hanley was unable to say whether the Supra will be offered in Australian showrooms, it seems Toyota Australia is definitely keen to get its hands on the reborn sports car nameplate.
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest updates.
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