BMW-Toyota sports car moves on to the concept phase

Article by Christian A., on November 7, 2014

BMW and Toyota already announced their partnership to develop a new sports car and it appears that the project has now moved on to the concept phase. According to BMW, everything is working according to plan, while Toyota said that the project moved beyond the feasibility stage.

Earlier this year, Toyota showed the FT-1 Concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, a vehicle inspired by the iconic Supra, 2000GT and the Celica. Although the company denied that the concept previews a Supra successor, there are plenty of rumors online which suggest a production version.

The two companies are also cooperating on fuel cells, lightweight technology and lithium-air batteries. Despite the good news regarding their jointly-developed sports car, both manufacturers declined to give more details about the upcoming vehicle.

The GR Supra Racing Concept is a compact two-door car from TOYOTA GAZOO Racing that has a true front-engine/rear-wheel drive configuration as well as advanced lightweight construction.

This racing concept is a perfect embodiment of the "fun to drive" character crucial of Toyota's commitment to building better cars. Its doors feature the large "90" race number, which is a historical reference to Supra's codename and serves as a visual clue to the fact that the GR Supra Racing Concept marks Supra's return as a fifth generation model.

The development of The GR Supra Racing Concept stays faithful to the belief of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda that participation in motorsport offers challenges – in terms of performance and durability -- that could be leveraged to develop better cars, while generating both interest and excitement from motoring fans.

From Toyota’s founder to current company president Akio Toyoda and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, this belief continues to live, as evidenced by the continued pursuit of success at the highest levels of motorsport, like the World Endurance Championship, World Rally Championship and the Le Mans 24 Hours race. Toyoda and TOYOTA GAZOO Racing believe that these races generates technical learning that can be used to develop not just new generations of sports-focused GR models, but other vehicles in the carmaker’s range.

Interestingly, the GR Supra Racing Concept will be included in the latest new update of the Gran Turismo Sport by Polyphony Digital Inc. that will be released in April 2018.

As designed, the GR Supra Racing Concept is given a dramatic bodywork design that includes a large rear wing made from composite material. The concept also features a number of elements made from this strong but lightweight composite material like its front and rear bumpers, side skirts, front splitter and rear diffuser as well as door mirror housings, and a bonnet with louvered air inlets. The windscreen and side windows, on the other hand, are made of plastic.

Meanwhile, the chassis of the GR Supra Racing Concept comes with lowered front and rear suspension that employ original equipment (OE) components. It rides on BBS racing wheels -- with center-nut attachment – shod in Michelin racing tires. Its braking system employs Brembo Racing calipers and discs. The concept also makes use of a racing exhaust.

Inside, the GR Supra Racing Concept features a competition-focused cabin featuring a racing dashboard with a racing display, OMP driver's seat and safety harness as well as an OMP quick-release steering wheel – with a paddle-shift system – as mounted on a racing column. The doors of the concept are lined with carbon fiber panels.

To comply with competition safety requirements, the GR Supra Racing Concept is equipped with a full roll cage and fire extinguishers. Moreover, its fuel and brake lines, wiring looms, pedal box and battery are designed to comply with competition standard.

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Topics: bmw, toyota, sports car

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