It doesn’t feel like all that long ago we were waiting for the final reveal of the new Supra after an eternity of teasing from Toyota.
It’s hardly surprising then that after such anticipation, SEMA 2019 could easily be mistaken for A90 SupraFest instead. Our team on the ground counted over 30 examples during load-in and the main hall alone, and we’re sure there are more hiding throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center.
This was always going to be the case, as SEMA is the first major international aftermarket show since owners and shops started taking delivery of their own A90s after Tokyo Auto Salon.
You’re all aware at this point of the amount of conversation this car has generated since its official reveal, and it’s not territory which we’re going to cover here again. Everyone has their views on the car already, and it’s probably a waste of time trying to convince anyone to change their mind, either way.
There is, however, one thing which we should all be able to get behind, and that’s the injection of excitement that the A90 Supra has brought to the industry. It’s been a while since we’ve had a new car which has generated this much hype and interest straight from the factory.
And speaking of the factory, Toyota are using the SEMA Show to showcase a number of aftermarket tuner edition/concept builds, in a similar vein to their old Scion Tuner Challenge. It’s always great to see a manufacturer actively promoting customization and modification.
The best word I feel to describe the new Supra is ‘potential’. Sure, it looks a little awkward from certain angles in stock form, but there’s already a plethora of options available from aftermarket companies which go a long way towards solving this. Simple modifications like just better fitting wheels and a minor ride-height adjustment on even a stock-bodied car makes a huge difference.
You then have your wide-body options, with Pandem leading the way so far (in popularity anyways), which channels some of the extremities of the original FT-1 Concept.
Our friends at Air Lift Performance already have options if you want a significant drop in ride height without sacrificing usability. The Pandem x Air Lift Performance combination is a strong look, but is also in complete contrast to the stock-body modified cars.
With different approaches already emerging, it’s proof that Toyota and BMW have got it right with the A90 by delivering a platform with so much potential from the get-go.
While aesthetics are traditionally the first things developed (for fairly obvious reasons), we already know from BMW communities the world over that the B58 is an absolute power-house, and that too will be ripe for even further evolution. Even with simple bolt-on modifications, tuners are achieving 600+hp at the wheels on standard internals, and SEMA is showing us some pretty serious-looking setups that push the envelope even further.
The beauty of all of this is that we now have two different communities working together to further the Supra and Z4 platforms, and when car communities come together, good things happen.
It’s still early days, and we will be bringing you much more in-depth coverage of the A90 in the coming days, weeks, months and years ahead. This is just the very beginning of this car’s story.
Is it worth all the hype? All we know for certain is that the beers are on Kei Miura this year…
Photos by Mark Riccioni