Toyota Supra A90 inspired by A80 due to chief engineer link

Which legend inspired the new Supra?
Malcolm Flynn
Editor
CarsGuide

9 Mar 2018 • 3 min read

Personal inspiration has driven the new Supra’s development rather than bean counters or product planners.

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The new Supra won’t just form a logical continuation from its A80 predecessor when it likely appears within the next 12 months, with chief engineer Tetsuya Tada highlighting a deeper meaning behind its development. 

Speaking with CarsGuide after the unveiling of the Supra-previewing Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept at this week’s Geneva motor show, Tada-san explained that the new model will be most closely linked with the legendary A80 rather than the A40, A60, A70 generations that came before.

This is despite all Supras to date conforming to the straight-six engine, rear-drive layout identified by Tada San as key development goals for the new model.

The A80 indeed represents the pinnacle of Toyota sports cars to date, but Tada-san revealed that its chief engineer, Isao Tsuzuki, was his teacher. “He taught me all about designing cars,” Tada-san explained.

Underlining the formality of this mentor/student relationship is the fact Tada San couldn’t remember Tsuzuki San’s first name when asked, given the Japanese tradition of referring to those deserving respect almost exclusively by their surname.

  • The Geneva show car hides the much-anticipated new production car behind GT3-esque styling and race tweaks. The Geneva show car hides the much-anticipated new production car behind GT3-esque styling and race tweaks.
  • Look beyond the giant swan-neck wing and diffuser... Look beyond the giant swan-neck wing and diffuser...
  • ...pumped wheelarches, jutting front splitter and winglets... ...pumped wheelarches, jutting front splitter and winglets...
  • ...centre-lock wheels, bonnet vents and latches and racing door mirrors... ...centre-lock wheels, bonnet vents and latches and racing door mirrors...
  • ...and it’s not hard to imagine the production version’s look. ...and it’s not hard to imagine the production version’s look.
  • The concept’s race-spec parts are a smorgasbord of high-end brands. The concept’s race-spec parts are a smorgasbord of high-end brands.

Tada San also confirmed there will be a visual link between the production A90 and its A80 predecessor. 

“So to give an example of its exterior design, the rear fender design, and how it is curved, it is something I’ve taken from A80.”

The production version of the new Supra is expected to be revealed within the next 12 months, and will ride on a Toyota-calibrated version of the next BMW Z4’s platform, with a turbocharged straight six also from the Bavarian brand. Its Australian future is yet to be locked in, but the brand’s local arm has both hands raised.

Do you agree that the A80 was the right model to inspire the new Supra? Tell us what you think in the comments below.