Has Toyota just given us a sneak peek of the new Supra?
The Toyota GR HV SPORTS concept (Toyota)
Published Tuesday, October 10, 2017 12:27PM EDT
For the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota will be unveiling the GR HV Sports concept, a proper two-seater roadster with a targa roof and a hybrid assisted engine.
Finished in matte black and with headlight clusters that run beyond the car's nose and into its grille, the concept has a stealth bomber feel about it but it also has a host of design cues that fans of fast Toyotas of decades past will pick up on immediately.
For instance, its rear haunches are reminiscent of the Sports 800 (the company's first ever sportscar from 1965) while its removable roof panel and sloping windshield are a direct nod to the final generation Toyota Supra, a car that gave Porsche and BMW engineers many a sleepless night -- thanks to its ferocious performance -- right up until it was discontinued in 2002.
However, bringing things up to date is the rear diffuser and the hybrid powertrain. Both are derived from the TS050, Toyota's current World Endurance Championship race car.
Toyota won't be revealing exactly how potent the engine is until the car's official unveiling but it has confirmed that the car will be rear-wheel drive and that the battery pack is placed as low and as centrally as possible to optimize the car's handling.
Therefore, at the moment at least, the most exciting piece of information the company is willing to share about the car is in relation to its transmission.
Technically speaking, the car has a full automatic transmission, but unlike in any other such car, select manual mode and drivers can change gear, with a gear stick in a traditional H pattern, for the ultimate sense of driving involvement, rather than simply flick steering column-mounted paddles.
What's more, just like on the groundbreaking McLaren Mercedes SLR hypercar, for an added sense of occasion every time you climb into the cockpit, the starter switch for the Toyota concept is hidden under a cover on the gear knob. To fire the engine up you need to flick up the cover to expose the button.