Toyota Supra 3000GT Concept to touch down at SEMA

Published: Today 15:00

► We look at the variants of new Supra
► NASCAR, GT concepts
► And now a 690bhp drift car 

Heard about the new Toyota Supra? We thought you might’ve. It’s one of the most long-awaited cars in recent memory, and – just like the previous car – it’s becoming one of the most tinkered-with, too. Before we even saw the production version of the new Toyota Supra, we’d already seen a GT4 car, a GT3 car concept and a NASCAR – and there’s been a steady flow of variants ever since. We have of course, driven the road car, and you can read our review here.

At this year's SEMA show, Toyota will be revealing another version of the new Supra, this time a R+TRD 3000GT Concept which harks back to the legendary 1994 variant. Based on a kit by Toyota's performance branch, and designed to mimic the Super or Japan GT car at the time, the 3000GT features wider, more aggressive bodywork, a vented bonnet and enormous rear-wing. So, perfect for SEMA then. 

Other details are thin on the ground, and we only have a teaser video to go on right now – which you can watch at the bottom of this page – but it's certainly looking promising. 

HKS Supra drift car

HKS Supra

At the Goodwood 2019 Festival of Speed, Toyota is debuted yet another iteration of the Supra, and this on was a little more extreme than the rest. A drift car called the HKS Toyota GT Supra, the new modified sports car uses a 690bhp, 2JZ engine from a Mk 4 Supra – so it’s had a bit of work done, shall we say. Doesn’t the new Supra look more the part with a silly rear-wing and HKS’ retro-livery slapped on it? We certainly think so… 

Supra GT4 concept

Meet the GT4 ‘concept’ of the Toyota Supra, designed primarily for privateer racing teams. It now brings us up to a NASCAR Supra, a GT3 Concept Supra, Super GT Concept Supra, a TRD-Performance Supra, a Toyota FT-1 Vision GT (although technically not a Supra), the road car – and now this GT4 model, of course. Scroll down for more details on those. 

Anyway, as you’d expect from a race car, it’s lower and longer than the stock model, keeps the same MacPherson strut front and multilink rear suspension – but adds competition springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars.

We’re told the engine is unchanged but this GT4 Supra has a more aggressive ECU-brain, though Toyota don’t state how much power this car actually makes.

If you want one, you’ll have to make yourself heard. Toyota says it’s evaluating interest from potential customers before it decides to put it in production.

Supra Super GT concept

At the 2019 Tokyo Auto Salon, Toyota showed off the Super GT Concept. If you’re unfamiliar with Super GT, think silhouettes with DTM aero, LMP20ish speed and you’re pretty much there. Last year’s championship was won by Honda’s NSX with Jenson Button and Naoki Yamamoto sharing driving duties - and it’s also where Nissan’s Jann Mardenborough does his racing. 

Essentially, it’s an important and hugely popular sport in Japan.

The new car will represent the Toyota marque’s return to the top GT500 class of Super GT after a long absence; for the last few years Lexus has taken part in the series instead, and currently uses an extreme version of its RC F coupe.

Alongside the new GRMN racing concept which is set to race in the new higher tier of the sport, the new Supra will also complete in the GTE class. That means Toyota will be represented in both classes.

And it looks like Toyota is taking the GTE class very seriously; we were told that designers have gone back and forth between the race car and production car, making sure the GTE version had the best possible platform to work with. Most of the air inlets on the road car were positioned strategically for the GTE version.

And also a Supra TRD

Revealed at the Osaka Auto Messe car show in Japan, you’re looking at the new Toyota Supra Performance Line Concept, which is essentially the entire TRD catalogue draped onto the stock car.

Just like BMW’s M Performance parts, much of the kit appears to be carbonfibre icing on top of the Supra’s already rather muscular body. But aside from the aero furniture, the TRD car also gets massive 19-inch rims with a thin smear of Michelin rubber. There’s no word on any weight savings, or performance gains of the Supra TRD – but we'll update this when we know more.

And look! A NASCAR Supra

At this year’s Le Mans 24-hour race, Supra engineering chief Tada confirmed the car would race in the WEC GTE class – and we know it’s going to race in NASCAR, too. Toyota has confirmed the Supra would compete in the Nascar Xfinity series, replacing the Camry silhouette it currently uses. And you’ll be able to see the Supra Nascar on track on 16 February 2019.

‘When you talk Toyota and cool cars, Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,’ said Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota marketing. ‘Supra’s return in production form is huge news, but now we’re also going to see this iconic sports car return to American motorsport. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to have a race car that evokes the dynamism and character of its showroom counterpart.’

The GT Sport version?

At the beginning of the GT Sport world championship in Paris, Toyota revealed it’ll be a partner to the growing eSports series – and also revealed a new Supra-only racing series, soon to be introduced to the game.  In a chat with Yamauchi during the event, we were told that the average car takes around 6 months to put in the game – but the new Supra took a matter of weeks. 

Why’s that? Because the Supra was in GT Sport before it even existed in reality:

‘Supra was a car that we were already given access to during the development process, right from the start when they were still selecting the design for the car,’ Yamauchi tells us.

‘We were involved in the Supra before it was fully on the drawing board, so in that respect, that’s what really made it possible to release the model of the car in the game in the same month that the car was revealed to the world.’

What’s more, it turns out the first Supra the Toyota president saw wasn’t a clay model either…

'Toyota already talked about this at the Detroit motor show, so I don’t think I need to keep it secret anymore,’ continues Yamauchi. ‘But the design presentations internally in Toyota for the Toyota Supra were actually done using Gran Turismo. It wasn’t a powerpoint, they already had a running version of it in Gran Turismo to show to the president of the company.’

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast