How The Super GT Supra Will Save The Japanese Tuning Industry

Done hating or loving the new Supra yet? It’s interesting seeing all the negativity, as well as positivity of course, that this new car has been hit with since its unveiling in Detroit last week. It seems we all have our own little opinion on the A90, but with this post I’m simply going to expand on the subject, all thanks to the display that Toyota – along with its motorsports off shoots TRD and Gazoo Racing – put on at Tokyo Auto Salon last weekend.

First up, let’s state some facts. With the unveiling of the GR Supra Super GT Concept, I think it’s important to mention that in the coveted Japanese Super GT (formally JGTC) series, the Supra was never entered in the top-tier GT500 class with a 2JZ-GTE engine.


Instead, the GT500 Supra first ran a 3S-GTE and then later a 3UZ-FE V8.


Unlike Nissan, who used a race-prepped version of the Skyline GT-R’s RB26DETT in their GT500 car of the same era, Toyota decided to use its 3S-GTE (as the rules allowed), which was light and efficient, and in TRD-developed guise produced enough power for the Supra to win races.

And then the bigger naturally aspirated 3UZ-FE V8 became the obvious choice when low-end torque and throttle response is what everyone began chasing. It was nice that Toyota’s racing divisions had four racing Supras (including one Grp.A 7M-GTE-powered MA70) at TAS to remind us of this progression.


Seeing the A90 was set to be unveiled on the Monday after TAS in Detroit, what we got alongside the 2019 race car concept was a pre-production model wearing the same old camo we’ve seen for far too long. Talk about bad timing. I really do wonder what Japanese enthusiasts think of Toyota’s lack of attention to domestic market?

Truth of the matter is, the new Supra will be sold in far larger numbers in the North American market than in hybrid and EV-loving Japan, so from a marketing perspective I guess it does makes sense.


So let’s talk about the Supra’s return to Super GT.


The race car will be far more of a true Toyota than the road car, and that’s because there’s hardly any cross over with ‘base’ cars in the GT500 class. The tie-up with the DTM series started a good five years ago, a move to create a ‘Class One’ regulation so that the series could be mixed together for some additional entertaining international rounds, allowing DTM teams to run their cars in Japan and vice-versa.


That means the bespoke race chassis each car has shares little to nothing with the production car it’s trying to emulate. Engines are all turbocharged four cylinder units, so for the Supra this goes right back to that initial foray into GT500 that the JZA80 had with the 3S-GTE.


While the tangible link that those older JGTC cars had with their street counterparts was what got enthusiasts’ juices flowing, the design is just a far more evolved take on it all. It’s as if the donor car gets its floor and sills chopped and the whole thing gets squashed to the ground, the wheel arches rising above the hood line and bulging outward to create imposing shoulders peppered with beautifully functional aerodynamic details.


No car guy or girl out there can say this isn’t a thing of beauty; it’s the most exaggerated and functional interpretation of any car.


The rear of the new GT500 Supra still employs the A90’s recognizable taillights and integrated spoiler/upper deck line, but there is more than six inches of added girth on each side, not to mention a single-element rear wing as long as a dinner table.


Swan-neck wing stays have been the norm for years now.


Aside from basic dimensions and a curb weight of 1,020kg, there was nothing else confirmed about Gazoo Racing’s new GT500 Supra. We can guesstimate that the direct-injected, turbocharged four cylinder at its heart will be able to develop the 570hp or so, what current cars in the class are allowed to produce.

This year’s Super GT series kicks off on the 13th and 14th of April in Okayama, with a total of seven rounds in Japan and one in Thailand. But there’s no mention whether the long-awaited DTM crossover will actually happen this year.


There’s no better way to put a spotlight on a new sports car quite like having it in a top tier race series.


Despite all the moaning and criticising online, this is the year of the new Supra and it will be for years to come as the global aftermarket caters to it. Sure, it’s not what we really wanted, but come on folks, it’s a new Japanese sports car – this is something we have to be over the moon about. Plus the B58 straight six that the A90 uses has already proven to have lots of hidden potential.

Do you remember the 140i I drove last year at 3D Design? With just an exhaust upgrade and an ECU re-flash the engine churned out 457hp at the crank, or about 400hp at the wheels. The closed-deck design of the B58 over the open-deck N55 it replaced makes it a far stronger motor, able to take more boost and abuse. Think of when companies like HKS get their hands on one, develop bottom end components and bigger turbochargers – this is the beginning of another wave of awesomeness. Plus, whatever they develop means it will work on BMWs too, so we’ll probably end up seeing even more Japanese tuners fettling with those. Now that’s cool in my book.


I look forward to talking more about B58 tuning in the comments section, but to end this post I thought I’d share a shot of a GT500 Supra painted in satin gray that was on display at the TRD booth. This is possibly the best interpretation of the JZA80 that the world has seen. Full stop. Thank you.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I think that people need to realize that you're getting a better car (and motor) with this Supra than you ever would have gotten if Toyota worked from the ground up on their own chassis and motor. That B58 is proven, and probably the best contemporary 6 cylinder you can find on the market. Plus, you're getting it detuned with Toyota controls and a Toyota warranty. For it's what, 48hp and 4trq (torque is where all the fun is people) than the Z4 -- for 15k less.

So it's a reliable BMW Z4 -- or at least it's shaping up to be -- with a much prettier body.

Let's not forget that using German motors with Japanese engineering added on top is what essentially built Nissan into a competitive racing team. The L series motors of the 60s and 70s (which had a 15 year run over 1.3-2.8L and two cylinder count variations) was basically a Mercedes motor. And that motor dominated racing segments on every continent that we race on.

Your point, Dino, about tuners like HKS making pieces that cross marques bringing new enthusiasts to both BMW and Toyota is a good one. I think that's sorely overlooked, and at the end of the day it won't take anyone long to find that missing 50hp in the Supra's B58 variant. For A LOT less than 15k.


The Supra Turbo was 40k back in 1993 which would be 70k today. The new Supra isn't in the same price class as the previous version and it's faster and better than the previous one. The Bmw b58 engine is the modern 2jz so let the butthurt fanboy's irrationally cry all they want.


Toyota has the know-how to create stout engines. Why do you think they are always top in class in reliability? They can create a straight six engine if they wanted to. I mean they should have collaborated with Yamaha again to create it. Its like when it comes to engines, Japanese companies tend to skimp on it and most of the engines have been crap so they can sell more. The engines lately have been weaker than its predecessor. Prime examples are the VQ series, and the Renesis.


But the Renesis had to meet far more strict emissions regulations than any rotary before it... It's never as simple as "Build us a stout engine to make lots of HP from" when you have to cater to global legislations/regulations and still turn a profit... Times are changing, no one likes change, but it is and always will change. The new Supra is doing just that... Meeting business targets and providing enthusiasts the car they've screamed for at the same time.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

We can stay here and talk all day about "what ifs" I'd rather use that time to think of ways to make this A90 faster, cooler and just embracing it as part of the JDM. Not sure what you mean about "Toyota controls" though, I don't think the A90 gets a Toyota ECU, it's Bosh.


my yaris ECU is made by BOSCH or however you spell it, theres no such thing as a "toyota branded" in house made ecu, its all third party. even there toyota tools are relabled. toyotas been relabing and buying rights to things for years.


I mean the tune (both chassis and engine) appeared to be more in the hands of Toyota, at least before the launch.

I read in Road&Track that the tuning for the Z4 and Supra were being done separately. Looks like that info might be outdated, but it's hard to because of how they've updated the article:

"They're not totally twins, though. For starters, the BMW will only come as a roadster, while the Supra is a coupe. And while they'll share a lot of major components, the tuning work for each was carried out separately. We get the sense that the Supra will be the more focused sports car of the two."

And if we want to be on the subject of how nameplates are misused. We should talk about the fact that the GT86 is absolutely nothing like the AE86 (again, Toyota didn't even develop the motor in that car... not really at least). It's the next generation Celica. Which became the Supra, and yet spun off into it's own model again in the late 90s.

Funny, now that I think about it, the MkV Supra is actually very similar in shape and style to the GT86. Kind of like the Celica and Mk1 supra were the same car, at difference performance trims (or at least in most ways they were the same car). Coincidence? Maybe the next GT86 will carry a Celica nameplate instead of a Carolla chassis code refresh...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Ah, yes for sure, I'm sure the Toyota guys fine tuned the handling and the way the car feels to give it it's unique character.


Sorry but I want a manual option. Wonder if the engine will fit in a brz... not really. I would honestly have to drive the car first and see if I like the slush box. I know the slush box will shift faster than I will ever be able to, but first car I ever had was a manual and every car I have owned after has been manual. Except my current car which I hate and want to trade in which is auto and was going to be used as a family car.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

I would love to see them offer a manual, and I wouldn't be surprised if they do. However, don't underestimate the ZF 8-speed, I have it (albeit the 2015 version of it) in Project Drop Top and it impressed me every day. And I hate autos by default, so it's saying a lot


They already said that there will be a manual option if the consumer feedback is they want one which is pretty obvious


Stupid title for the article. How is this going to save the japanese tuning industry?? all gt500 and gt300 will use the mother chassis from DOME this year on. and the new supra is a BMW powerplant, so if its just different bodywork and all use the same chassis, hows this going to save the tuning industry...? Dino you're a great photographer, but you should let someone else do the writing.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Jack, you aren't reading into it. Which makes me think you probably didn't read the whole story. Did I ever imply that there's a trickle down effect with parts from a race series like SGT to street cars? You'd be pretty stupid to think there was honestly. If you had attempted to think a bit, you'd have realized that I was hinting at the effect that having the A90 in GT500 will have on potential owners. It's about pride, about seeing the car you drive in race version battling out in Japan's top tier race series. This is what builds brands, creates halo cars and so on. The effect that will come from it all is what has the potential to save the tuning industry. So there, I had to spell it out for you. Have a great day.


Yes you did with the title of your article. "How the super gt supra will save the japanese tuning industry" Yeah that pretty much implies that. You're pretty stupid to write those words. Hint at what, you're the one writing the article that way. Build what pride?? brand?? halo car?? wtf are you talking about?? The effect that will come from all?? You didn't spell anything out. Stick with your photography. you're not a journalist.


You're pretty stupid to read "those words" and then the article, and then his reply and still not be able to put 2 and 2 together? i'll give you a hint its not 5. use you're brain a bit you spoon fed retard


I'm afraid your complain is wasting your time....maybe you should leave the website instead of quacking like a duck


Damn Jack, apply some ice man to that burn


The the new supra looks kinda the same as so many other cars. with the sloping rear to a awkward rear end. Like a 370Z and a FT86 had a baby? the tuning industry i'm sure is going to start making their usual parts for it. having seen some poeples tuning renders it could actually look alot better with different bumpers.. Just slapping some tra kyoto style flares and big wheels under it tho. no substance the super GT aero looks alright nothing special..


Bluntly put I am just not a fan of BMW. They just have too many problems from the factory. But you are correct Dino, it will have an effect on the tuning industry. Now if Toyota found a way to fix BMW's constant issues then it might catch my interest. I will say the styling Is something I don't mind the more I look at it. Probably because it can be improved on. I am just not sold on the powertrain.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Would love to hear what issues, I'm on my third BMW right now and in the 5 or so years I've kept each nothing has ever gown wrong. Except for the odd recall taken care without issue.


In the latest TÜV report BMW fared pretty well in all age groups with much higher mileages than most other cars. Also in Forsa Institute's owner satisfaction based reliability index BMW was in tied 2nd place with Audi where Toyota was on tied 5th with MIni.


It seems like only Americans complain (a lot) about BMWs. Here in Italy there are A LOT of them, and often they’re much older than the normal lease...


The reason Americans complain is that we typically put way more mileage on these cars than Europeans do. Most of us put anywhere from 12k-20k miles on a car in a year. Parts for BMW/Mercedes are more expensive here too since they are considered more "upmarket" brands compared to domestic and neighboring markets.


12k-20k miles per year is actually quite normal for German cars in Europe and in line with the TÜV report. Also the cars are used for a long time. In Finland where taxes for new cars have always been high many people import used Mercs, Bimmers and Audis from Germany and continue to drive them until 500.000 km. I think there are big differences on how people treat and take care of their cars in different countries


I did not care what Toyota do. They may can even sold a Yugo as Toyota Yaris special.

However if you rebrand a BMW and sold as a successor of Legend, this was pure beancounting.

And shouting loudly to world I can't build better engine than BMW.

You can't become a legend with your incompetence.

This act was purely for miking new generations.

Keep your originals and if you want to drive BMW for less 15k. Look for bargain second hands...

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Could have Toyota produced their own A90? Built a "better" engine? Yes of course, I have no doubts there, it's proven what it can do with the LFA if it puts its best minds together and invests an astronomical amount of money. And the latter is just why it took this path, they knew they had to do it, they knew they'd never be able to invest what was required to pay for an all-new grounds up vehicle. Let's face it, the numbers this car will sell in aren't enough for Toyota to jump in all the way. That's why the 86 was done with/by Subaru. Why FIAT & Mazda teamed up for the MX5/124 and why BMW now makes the Supra. I'll take it even knowing this honestly, I'd rather have it exist than not.



I respect your work here and your words are pure PR.

Today I just spend some time on the internet about new supra and bingo... Somehow everyone was conviced to new supra is super / uber / manificent and whatever. I'm damn sure Toyota will screw this up. Because they are pushing so hard to shine new Supra and it's not hard to guess why ?

I understand Toyota's intention's what I'm rejecting was naming as SUPRA. For example why not call a Celica ?

There are very few names in the scene you should approach very carefully one them is Supra especially 2jz. Please remember that F&F scene.

Toyota was betraying own Legend for money thats why people pissed off.

And also there is a very strong contender for gaijin 3jz which called Barra.

This PR stunt going to collapse...


Don`t forget that bmw also created legends …. and I`m not even talking about BMW`s, but let`s take the McLaren F1 for example, do you remember it? Guess what, BMW powered. Everybody talking shit about the A90, and the same people will love it in 2-3 years, off course the hate fashion has to fade away first. Now is still cool to hate the Toyota.


yeah im waiting for people to do the same shit they did with the new RX8 and the new evo and the new GTR all of those are now JDM industry gotta buy it FUTURE classic.

people talk shit about a car and never buy it so it sells low numbers and those that invest in the beginning make a killing when they sell it off at auction.


Yes and I admire them.

Legend's born from, passion, determination, committement, pain, tears and blood.

Not from beancounting.

This is not Supra. This is BMW Z4 rebranded as Supra. Thats the my point of view.


I don’t doubt Toyota’s strength. If the frs launched taught as anything. Is this large manufacturer can be a powerful puppet master. From speedhunters to top gear. From active to retired pro drivers in Japan. Everyone sang the same tune. This is the rebirth of the sportcars. It’s great blah blah.

What did we get. A hallow shell that in all popular arenas needs a motorswap and it’s steering rack kicked in the nuts. I mean even Orido-san was a huge hype with his motorcswap build. Right from the beginning. The chassis on the other hand helped give birth to rocket bunny and others. But he mainly came out of this winning.

The new Supra will suffer the same fate. Imo. But this time around. I feel people are insulted that a manufacturer would sEll a DOA vehicle. That once again needs a motor swap. To do any damage. Competition on the street or race track “drift” who races anymore ? Is not regulated like the gt series in Japan. So every new shop or team will be looking at how to rip that pos motor out of that bay and slap in power.

And ride the wave of press that comes with using Toyota’s new shell for racing

Dino Dalle Carbonare

No doubt people will swap 2JZs (and V8s!) into the A90, in fact that's what makes it fun that the car exists to some extent. People will continue to knock it but despite it all, it is a cool car. And it will be a blank canvas for tuners and builders alike. This is what keeps car culture moving along. I can't wait how it all plays out...


I guess the silver lining to all this "no JZ" hate is that there will be a bunch of low-mileage B58s being ditched and laying around to be snatched up by those who aren't so biased that they see it for the incredible engine it is.


yeah i cant wait to snatch up a used one of these lower trim supras and ride the wave to glory because its a BMW and will break or be expensive to maintain making them a killer deal on the used market.


The satin grey TRD car is what it should be from factory.


wrap it. it was a troll on the industry hype and supreme kids who are all doing satin grey wraps. toyota is a master troll. legit.



I have no doubt it will be a great car. But it doesn’t deserve the supra name.

It’s sad that the richest and best selling Japanese manufacture can’t even be arsed to build and develop their own flagship model. Supra owners have made the name iconic.

Aygo was a body/engine share and the gt86 and now the supra. Pretty lazy from such an amazing car manufacturer.

I’d do Toyota a solid and let most things slide if they actually built them in Japan. Could understand the “collaboration” then. But the fact they are going to be built in Austria by the company that builds G Wagons is pretty lame.

It’s basically just a pr stunt to sell cars. If the new supra was called anything else but supra there would be little to no hype and no way near as many sold.

Some of the best Toyota cars/engines have been collaborations especially with Yamaha. But at least they actually built those.

Hugely disappointing from Toyota.

But still. I’m sure once people get there hands on them there will be absolutely badass builds and I’m sure they will be awesome cars.


Wow, the amount of hatred for this car, to the amass of different (and positive!) things it brought with it is just mind-blowing. Why? Why are people so keen to jump to Toyota's neck? And what is wrong with a BMW engine. I don't get it, people knew for at least two years that the car will be developed alongside the Z4 and will have a BMW engine. Why do you start hating it now? for seeing it in person? For "not looking like a "continuation"? What does that even mean? I persoally feel like it looks nice and I can see an evolution of the A80 in it. I personally believe the new Supra is cool. And yes, Dino, I agree with everything you mentioned in the article. And for everyone hating on it for being a BMW, BMW makes legendary engines, the N54/N55 is the absolute best i6TT engine of the last 15 years, so I believe they have the knowledge to build a proper engine. Remember, the car industry is a business, car makers can't make cars just for us to jerk off to. And I personally that the new Supra is welcomed bright spot in the car market today.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

To add to this, nobody seems to commend BMW for actually sticking with the inline six. Everyone dropped it yet BMW kept developing and perfecting it and that alone my friends deserves respect from us all. Now Mercedes have brought back inline sixes too! If BMW hadn't been there for this Toyota/BeeEm A90 project, the new Supra might have ended up with a V6, or possibly not existed at all. If Toyota had developed the car in house (provided they'd have secured the budget to do so) it would have 100% received the V35A-FTS 3.5L V6 twin turbo out of the LS500, or a development of it. I don't know...the more I think about it the more this A90 actually makes sense.

Alejandro Da Costa

I agree with you, Dino. IMHO BMW picked up where Toyota left with the 2JZ. For example, the 335i TT 6L is a proven engine. I have no doubt this B58 will be a riot. Yes, maybe the new Supra it´s a notch down on performance compared with the new NSX and GTR, but, by today standards, the gentlemans agreement is pretty much gone, thats why Nissan and Honda are up there with their 500+hp engines and Toyota maybe didn´t want to push that hard from the begining leaving space for tuners and companies to do their thing. I think the A90 will be a nice car, looking forward to see one in person. People nowadays think they know it all and spread hate based on stupid arguments.


Sometimes it makes me wonder how many fanboys who critizise this cool car ever owned a supra or have the money to afford it. just my 2 cents..








Am I the only one that is praying for Toyota to consider adding a twin clutch transmission to this thing as an option? Maybe like the ones M3/4 cars come with? I'd be all over this thing if that was available... I don't mind the BMW-ness of it... not one bit...


I've got a feeling like they just molded the A90 shape onto their current LC500 GT500 car. Far stronger silhouette-car look than with their previous models. I was very excited for this thing, but this is just too much for me.
And as much as I think that the stock and most tuned A80s are too thicc, these GT500 A80s have just perfect proportions. I know that this stance on a road car would require Rocket Bunny NSX-level of modifications (pretty much entire body replaced), but I still hope someone will pull this off one day.
Or just give me 10-15 years ;)


The new Supra is going to be a great car with an amazing tuning platform
Sure it has a BMW engine but Toyota took that to make it tunable and more reliable
I really like the design as the lines remind me of the 3000GT
Think about a 2JZ swap with the ZF 8-speed for the A90 Supra that is like the tuner of the future
Or maybe Supra 5.0 with the 2UR-GSE from the Lexus RC F


The Supra Turbo was 40k back in 1993 which would be 70k today. The new Supra isn't in the same price class as the previous version and it's faster and better than the previous one. The Bmw b58 engine is the modern 2jz so let the butthurt fanboy's irrationally cry all they want.


If people knew the details of the B58's later stages of development and how much Toyota/GR involvement there really was there was 3 years of joint development happened before the first B58 even came in the 3 series, 7 years of development before the revision in the Z4 and Supra. It's Not just a bmw idiots.


"It’s basically just a pr stunt to sell cars. If the new supra was called anything else but supra there would be little to no hype and no way near as many sold."

^ This was the most accurate statement made by anyone in the entire comment section.

"I think that people need to realize that you're getting a better car (and motor) with this Supra than you ever would have gotten if Toyota worked from the ground up on their own chassis and motor."

^ this really shows who understands history and knows cars. You're talking about the company that built the GT-One.


name it anything else. celica, or create a new name. but don't call it supra. weak attempt to hype sales on a z4 with a body kit


Maybe it's just my age, but to me the Celica in its most proper form will always be a rally car. If that name is resurrected, it should be competition for the WRX/STi, Focus RS, etc. Regardless of who made it, this Supra does what the previous model did, but that little bit better in every way that I can see.


Secretly, Toyota was testing their mk5 Supra with amg v8 in them because they know people don’t want bmw’s straight-6. Just kidding. I see more European supras with Mercedes m104 then bmw m3’s straight-6. Denis martinsson of the meguiars Sweden team is one of them. They had both m119 and m104 supra.


We can always talk about :
-) the look ( which really a question of personal taste) ,
-) the BMW parts (yeah, welcome in real economic worlds boys. There could be worse choices)
-) or how wrong the name is ( that's still L6 motor in front and RWD. That's still more adequate than celica which were FWD since mid 80's)
but at the end if someone who bought it, enjoy being behind it's wheel that's the only thing that matter.

The only things i'm personally really curious about it's how it handle.
I'm eager to see the first videos/articles about the driving itself and which are the touches that GR bring in the mix.

Unfortunately, for most of western Europe countries, tuning a car legally is a hell of a mess (which is certainly the reason why only the L6 was available in France for example) but luckily for Toyota it's a small market vs America.

No matter the name, seeing a new sport car and an "entry version" to play with means that there's still some place where ecology/ full ev trend hadn't overwhelmed everything.
to quote Dino " That's cool in my book" ^^


Two things don't look good: over 1500 kilos and automatic transmission only. The engine is the least problem, also because a 2JZ would not pass environmental regulations. In my opinion the tvr griffith is a better interpretation of the FR sportscar: manual gearbox, lightweight, more sporty engine.
At the same price, a cayman s, on paper at least, is better under any aspect: lighter, central engine, same power.
Not a bad car, just meh, at least from a petrolhead perspective.


Sorry, but (like a lot actual cars) it looks ugly.


I have no problem at all with the mechanicals of the car and I am sure it will prove to be tuner friendly and a ton of fun. Did they have to make it so ugly though? haha Even in race car guise it is not a good looking car and turning something into a race car almost always works for me.


Best possible option.