Those hoping for a more powerful Toyota Supra should find today’s announcement from Gazoo Racing racing rather exciting. The Japanese marque has confirmed that its upcoming GT4 machine will use a 430hp and 479lb ft straight-six when it reaches tracks in 2020, where it’ll face the likes of the new Saleen 1 GT4 and existing challengers from Porsche, McLaren et al in what’s fast-becoming one of the best-supplied categories in motorsport.
Extracting more power from the Toyota’s B58 straight-six heart needn’t have been difficult, given that its capacity and cylinder count matches the F80 M3's 431hp motor and Litchfield's recent efforts to extract 450hp from it. But the GR-influenced 110hp bump in power for the GT4 car marks the first time a Toyota-produced Supra has reached such heights. We needn’t explain why it adds fuel to anticipatory flames for a quicker, more focussed version of the two-door road car, which has pretty much been rumoured since the moment the J29 Supras arrived in the spring.
Such a car could even be based on the GT4 racer, since class regulations dictate minimal modifications. The GT4’s engine improvements come thanks in part to Akrapovic’s exhaust (likely related to the one already offered for the road car) and a new engine map. While the GT4’s exterior changes centre around a front splitter and fixed rear wing. Underneath, the MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension gains stiffer KW dampers, and there are bigger six- and four-piston brake calipers to complete the makeover. Not exactly ground-breaking stuff.
Even the gearbox is only a modified automatic with seven rather than the road car’s eight ratios. Although as a proper racing car, the GT4 does go the full hog and also get slick tyres, a motorsport differential, a fully stripped-out interior with a roll-cage, a bucket seat and six-point harness. It weighs only 1,350kg, meaning it’s a substantial 220kg less than the street Supra – and among the very lightest of the GT4 field before any Balance of Performance weight is added.
The first Supra GT4s will be ready for March next year, just in time for the motorsport season to kick-off. Gazoo Racing will also debut a 620hp four-pot version of the two-door for the more exotic Super GT series in Japan a month later, meaning the Supra should become a familiar sight on race tracks the world over pretty quickly. A nice build up to that hotter road version, some might say.