The Toyota Supra Performance Line Concept TRD Is A Masterpiece Of Carbon Bits


The Toyota Supra Performance Line Concept TRD Is A Masterpiece Of Carbon Bits

Oh, the wonders of carbon fibre. Not only is the material incredibly light for the strength, when unpainted (or in the more expensive dry form) it adds a subtle touch of aggression that is only known to those who are familiar with the motorsports-derived usage. With the all-new A90 Toyota Supra, you wouldn't expect there to be a huge deal to be done to the exterior of the car given its complex and fluid design - but TRD (Toyota Racing Development) has proven us wrong.

At the 2019 Osaka Automesse (like a smaller Tokyo Auto Salon, held since 1997), TRD unveiled the Supra Performance Line Concept. For a fairly long time, TRD has been sidelined within Toyota and hasn't really produced much to shout about, more known for bodykits and trim pieces than performance parts these days. But it turns out that expertise in adding aggression to quite nearly everything has paid off, because what they've done to the Supra has transformed it from sublime to one-big-wing-away-from-time-attack.

It took a bit of studying to understand how they pulled it off. In essence the entire concept is the replacement of the front splitter, sideskirts, rear diffuser, boot spoiler, and wheels. It sounds simple enough, and yet it completely transforms the look of the Supra without going entirely overboard. If you compare this concept to the regular road car, you will see that many of the elements are present on the road car but in a far less prominent manner.

And perhaps that's the key to the allure of this concept - a mild massaging of the original components, completed in lightweight materials. The main benefit from theses trim replacements is better aerodynamics and more downforce, with specific focus on shifting the downforce balance towards the rear to make the car more drivable and predictable at higher speeds. The wheels are 19-inch in size, but now forged for better strength and lower weight, resulting in better steering response (yes, even wheels can flex under load).

What will be really interesting to see is if Japan's own BMW specialists - most notable Studie AG and Assist - will start developing components for the new Toyota Supra, given its shared roots with the BMW Z4. These two companies have build some truly impressive machines that have featured in Hot Version and Best Motoring, as well as competed in Super Taikyu, so their expertise could come in handy with Supra aftermarket parts.