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New Toyota Supra Is Just As Rigid As The Lexus LFA

Interview / 15 Comments

And it's twice as rigid as the Toyota 86.

As we continue to anxiously await the arrival of the all-new Toyota Supra, the Japanese automaker continues to offer clues about its specs and the countless hours of development work involved. Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada sat down for a Toyota-conducted interview to talk more about the upcoming new coupe as well as what might come next in regards to a future sports car.

One of the interview's most interesting Supra highlights was this: "It's actually the same level of rigidity as the Lexus LFA supercar, and it has been achieved without using carbon fiber so we could keep the price point at an affordable level. That was the most difficult thing to achieve."

Another interesting revelation is that the new "Supra has an even lower center of gravity (than the 86), and its body rigidity is twice that of the 86." One of the things we noticed about the near production ready Supra while walking through the paddock section a couple of weeks ago at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was that it didn't look much longer than the 86. Turns out, it's not. "The track width is also wider, of course. But it may surprise people to know that the new Supra has a shorter wheelbase than the GT86," Tada said. "The car was developed with a specific ratio of wheelbase and track in mind, and I think we've been able to achieve the balance that we were looking for."

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Another interesting subject Tada touched upon was the possibility of a third Toyota sports car, supposedly something smaller than the 86. "Akio (Toyoda) has always said that as a company he would like to have Three Brothers, with the GT86 in the middle and Supra as the big brother."

This isn't really anything new. If you recall, a few years ago Toyota unveiled the S-FR concept, a small sports coupe that also had a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. Combined with a six-speed manual transmission, independent rear suspension, and an attractive yet kind of funky design, the S-FR was a very intriguing proposition. To us, it sounds like Tada and Akio Toyoda himself are still very much keen to make this happen, despite somewhat disappointing 86 sales. The all-new Toyota Supra is widely expected to debut this January at Detroit.