The Next-Gen Toyota Supra Will Race in NASCAR–And It Looks Weird
First, the good news: Toyota has confirmed that the next-generation Toyota Supra will race in the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series, the proving ground and feeder series for the main NASCAR Cup Series.
The Supra race car for the NASCAR Xfinity Series will make its on-track debut in the XFinity Series’ race at Daytona on Saturday, February 16, 2019.
“When you talk Toyota and cool cars, Supra is the first thing that comes to mind for many auto enthusiasts,” said Ed Laukes, group vice president of Toyota Division Marketing. “Supra’s return in production form is huge news, but now we’re also going to see this iconic sports car return to American motorsport. From a marketing perspective, it’s important to have a race car that evokes the dynamism and character of its showroom counterpart. We’re confident we’ve accomplished that with Supra, and we hope racing fans the world over will proudly cheer its success on track.”
Currently, Toyota has run the Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Infinity Series since 2007, tallying four manufacturer championships while the Camry has earned two driver championships and 143 wins.
Now, the bad news: based on the photos provided by the Japanese carmaker, it doesn’t look anything at all like the Supra Racing Concept that Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s motorsport arm, revealed at the Geneva International Motor Show in March which, in turn, was based on the Toyota FT-1 Concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
While the Supra Racing Concept ditched the drooping, pointed nose of the FT-1 Concept–which obviously wasn’t going into production due to pedestrian safety issues–it retained the same silhouette. The Xfinity Series Supra though looks awkward, particularly from the A-pillar all the way to the back.
For one thing, the greenhouse looks too elongated and doesn’t flow as smoothly into the rear as the Supra Racing Concept–perhaps as a concession to race regulations which, for one thing, requires the use of a template to check the car’s form and shape is within a tight tolerance limit. This would also probably explain why the Xfinity Series Supra has an elongated trunk as well, which is a departure from the fastback shape of the Supra Racing Concept.
It looks like we’ll have to wait for Toyota Motor North America to release more information about the Supra in the future.