The lower-slung GR Supra has uprated aero and drilled brakes
The Toyota GR Supra is set to gain an extreme new high-performance variant, potentially called the GRMN, with a significant increase in power and a tighter, more composed chassis.
A new variant of Toyota’s sports coupé was recently spotted testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Clad in camouflage, it wore a new fixed rear wing, as well as a tweaked front bumper fitted with canards and an aggressive-looking lower lip.
Under the bonnet, the hot new Supra could go as far as trading the BMW Z4-sourced ‘B58’ straight six – which puts out 335bhp and 369lb ft – for M division’s tuned ‘S58’ powerplant.
That engine, used by the BMW M3 and M4, swaps the B58’s twin-scroll turbochargers for a pair of single-scroll units and features a revised piston design with a larger bore and shorter stroke, as well as stronger internals to support the resultant power boost.
The result is a versatile engine with a wide range of outputs: from 454bhp and 406lb ft in the new BMW M2 to 552bhp and 405lb ft in the limited-run BMW 3.0 CSL.
Details remain firmly under wraps at this early stage, but should the new car adopt the S58, its 0-62mph time is likely to be cut well below the current car’s 4.3sec.
These spy shots also suggest that it will receive a revised suspension set-up that positions the car slightly lower than the regular model for keener cornering performance.
It sits on track-style 10-spoke alloy wheels and what appears to be a slimmer tyre profile than on the current Supra, suggesting there has been a reduction in unsprung mass to improve handling.
The brake discs have also been drilled to improve cooling, giving more consistent performance under repeated hard loads, such as on a circuit.
The fact that the car is being honed at the Nordschleife lends credence to speculation that a hot new Supra could revive Toyota’s GRMN nameplate, which stands for ‘Gazoo Racing, tuned by the Meister of the Nürburgring’.
The badge has only been used in Europe so far, for a supercharged hot version of the previous-generation Yaris. The appearance of the new Supra comes soon after Toyota CEO Koji Sato hinted that the GR performance division will continue to play a core role in the company’s strategy.
He said: “The Gazoo brand will be acknowledged for the future – and maybe we can even speed it up.” He also suggested that ex-CEO and keen racer Akio Toyoda, now chairman of the company, will contribute heavily to the development of new GR products.
Sato said: “Our ‘Master Driver’ [Toyoda] was also president of the company at the same time as he had a steering wheel in his hand for Gazoo. Now he is only chairman, maybe he will have a lot more time to develop cars for them?” The Supra GRMN could be launched in conjunction with a mid-life facelift of the regular car.
The Z4, with which the Supra shares its underpinnings, was subtly restyled earlier this year but received minimal mechanical alterations.