Toyota Supra: One Step Closer to Production Reality

Supra sports coupe debut is imminent.

Toyota Supra NASCAR Xfinity
The Supra will replace the Camry for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The Toyota Supra sports coupe is set to return and this time the confirmation comes through an unlikely party: NASCAR. Indeed, this week, Toyota announced that beginning with 2019’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS), the Supra will replace the Camry, the latter fielded in races since 2007.

So, why does this signal that the Supra will, indeed, make its production return? For the simple reason that NASCAR models are based on production versions only — the models raced on Sunday attract customers to dealer showrooms on Monday.

Sure, the Camry and its competitors are nothing like the vehicles available for consumers, but the name is the same. Even the canvas is usually quite different, with painted on “headlights” and other embellishments included to at least suggest a correlation with the model you can find at your local dealer. After all, you cannot purchase a two-door Camry — at least one that isn’t new and one without the Solara appellation following the model name.

Daytona 500 NASCAR Race Debut

How close are we to seeing a new production-ready Supra? Very close, as the NASCAR variant will debut at Daytona Beach on February 16, 2019. That date marks the Daytona 500, the event that launches the new racing season. Thus, sometime between now and then, Toyota will make an official announcement.

In years past, that announcement would come at an auto show. For instance, the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November or early December or at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit beginning in mid-January.

But we don’t expect either show to debut the 2019 Toyota Supra. Instead, the automaker is likely to determine a time and place of its own choosing to introduce the new model.

2019 Toyota Supra NASCAR Xfinity
A production-ready Supra will return, sharing design elements with this race car.

We see one of two possible scenarios unfolding:

1. Toyota will debut the Supra during a lull in the automotive news cycle.

But not in a dead period when people’s attention is elsewhere, namely when their feet are buried in the sand, as at their favorite beach. Instead, Toyota might tie the announcement to another event, such as the Monterey Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

This year’s event will take place August 18-26, which means Toyota could time its announcement for the Friday before, which would be August 17, 2018. Certainly, they could wait for the show to begin and roll out the new model at Pebble Beach on the main show day.

2. The automaker might choose an unexpected show to debut the Supra.

Another scenario is to simply debut the Supra at the Miami Auto Show, which this year will be held Oct. 5-13, 2018, at the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center. Last year’s show was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. This year’s show launches following a $620 million renovation of the convention center.

Although not a major show, some manufacturers have chosen the venue to launch a new product. Indeed, Miami is where Nissan rolled out the Rogue Hybrid in 2016. Although auto show debuts are decreasing in importance, there is something about introducing a new vehicle in South Florida in October that’s certain to draw attention.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Toyota Europe Supra TweetOf course, you may have heard that Toyota will showcase the 2019 Supra at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which takes place from July 12-15. On July 5, Toyota Europe tweeted, “#ToyotaSupra is back. A90. At Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 @fosgoodwood”

The A90 designation is the code for the all-new Supra, which was developed alongside an all-new BMW Z4. We have heard that the Supra will not receive a manual transmission, which is news that truly saddens the faithful. We understand the “take rate” for manuals is historically low, but if you are to be taken seriously in this business, you still have to offer one. Perhaps Toyota will follow Jaguar’s lead in this department as the British automaker introduced a six-speed manual for the F-Type’s second year.

Arriving Soon: 2019 Toyota Supra

We don’t know for certain whether Goodwind will debut the absolute final production-ready copy or if we’ll see a concept teaser without the camouflage. Regardless, the Supra is coming back and its return is a cause for mass celebration.

If I were a betting man (and I am not), the Goodwind reveal will show us nearly everything about the model inside and out, with the production details and pricing news timed to coincide with this year’s Pebble Beach.

See AlsoToyota FT-1 Concept to a Supra Reality?

Photos, tweet copyright Toyota.

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