It hasn't been tried yet, but the vehicle's chief engineer is confident
Toyota's Gazoo Racing has declared itself the Masters of the Nürburgring – quite a claim, considering all the automakers that use the Nordschleife as their testing ground. So just how fast could its new flagship sports car hustle its way around the circuit?
The Japanese automaker has yet to undertake a time attack with its new Supra, or released any official projections. But speaking with Road & Track, the vehicle's chief engineering Tetsuya Tada indicated that it could prove much faster than the BMW Z4 with which it shares its underpinnings.
"We haven't had an official time attack yet," Tada told R&T, speaking through an interpreter. The Supra's electronically limited top speed of 155 mph would likely hold it back on the long straightaway, but removing the limiter could easily fix that and unleash the vehicle's top-end potential. "But even just driving it as it is, it's really fast. On the old course, it's very easy to break eights – 7:50, 7:40. It will do that easily."
BMW hasn't released an official time for the Z4 either, but fortunately someone else already has.
German publication Sport Auto took a Z4 M40i to the Ring and clocked a lap time of 7:55. So why is Tada-san so confident the Supra could do better?
It's not because of the power: though the two share essentially the same engine – BMW's 3.0-liter turbocharger straight six – the Z4 M40i's makes 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, while the Supra makes "only” 335 and 365. The kicker is that, because of the weight and structural penalties inherent in a convertible (like the Z4), the Supra is both lighter and stiffer.