Toyota’s Supra GT4 Concept Headed to 24 Hours Nürburgring
New Supra has racing in its blood, and soon the GT4 will be pushed to the limit.
Although the new 2020 Toyota Supra might be classified as a grand touring sports car, we knew that, eventually, Toyota would show a little more focus toward its racing heritage. This is it: the Supra GT4 Concept. We believe Toyota is calling it a concept for now because it can’t be purchased by private racing teams quite yet. Also, we know that the car is currently being tried and tested as popular automotive concept artist Khyzyl Saleem posted some photos of the car on his Instagram after getting a couple of laps riding along in it.
What do we know about the car so far? Well, like any factory GT4 race car, there are some obvious modifications made to the production vehicle, such as the aerodynamics and bodywork. Toyota says the standard McPherson strut front suspension, and multi-link rear suspension are retained, through, different springs, shocks and sway bars have been specified. Then, there’s the 18×11 OZ Racing competition wheels, which house even larger Brembo brakes than the road car. Additionally, the interior is stripped out, and a roll cage is fitted, obviously.
However, there’s more to than that. How about the fact that carbon fiber has been ditched as the material of choice for the front diffuser and rear wing and instead, hemp and flax, both natural fibers, have been used instead. This is stated to be done by Toyota to reduce the impact of the construction of such materials on the environment. This is a curious solution and we are unsure if any other manufacturer on the grid will be resorting to using natural fibers such as hemp for body work or aerodynamics. Considering the well-known luxury that carbon fiber incurs, if these natural fibers provide similar rigidity and use, they might be a truly innovative solution.
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BMW fans will be happy to see that Toyota has left the production B58 motor intact in the vehicle, sans some motorsport-specific external modifications. Toyota claims that the car uses a motorsport-grade ECU, likely for data reasons. Additionally, they have upgraded the differential, likely to a more aggressive racing-style, buildable, clutch-type unit. They have also specced a carbon fiber driveshaft, as well. Power figures have not been specified, yet, but, based on the GT4 rule set, we expect the numbers to be similar to the road-going model, perhaps around 350 horsepower.
We will have to wait until next year to see how the car will stack up to its rivals in the European GT4 Series, American IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, and the Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia and Super Endurance Series. For now, we can be excited to see the new Supra make its racing debut alongside a Lexus LC with Toyota Gazoo Racing at the 24 Hours Nürburgring later this month, when the event kicks off on June 20.