2018 Toyota Supra hits the Nurburgring

TOYOTA is buoying anticipation of its fifth-generation Supra sports coupe with an appearance of a heavily disguised prototype at Germany’s Nurburgring circuit – the industry standard for high-performance car development.

When the eagerly-anticipated model broke cover in September last year, the car was spotted sedately parading along public roads, but the latest outing at one of the most challenging racing circuits in the world suggests its Japanese maker is getting serious about potent performance opponents.

Reports suggest that the most recent outing has revealed a number of interior components that are shared with sports car development partner BMW, which is expected to announce its own new sporty model dubbed the Z5 or a new generation of the Z4.

The German convertible is reported to share much of its structural underpinnings with the Toyota, and with the Supra conducting the bulk of its performance testing on BMW’s doorstep, it is clear a sizable chunk of the Toyota project is being handled by European hands.

Its central infotainment screen, gear selector and indicator stalk are pure Bavaria, according to witnesses, although such obvious German DNA may only be adopted for the test cars and bred out of the final production vehicle during the latter stages of development.

Until Toyota is ready to spill the first details, all other Supra facts will remain speculation, including suggestions that the vehicle will be on offer with an automatic transmission only, and at least one drivetrain (if not the only one) will use a BMW petrol engine, paired with Japanese electric motors and power pack.

Its swirly wrapping does a good job of obscuring any meaningful Supra styling and an aesthetic connection to the Toyota FT-1 concept that debuted at the Detroit motor show in 2014 has yet to become apparent.

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