From extension platform to world domination.
Long ago when the world knew only power and fun, was one car that set the aftermarket world on fire. That car was the 95 Toyota Supra and when shown back in 2001 on the big screen in “The Fast and Furious”, it’s eternal fate was set. It was too bad that soon after the premiere of that movie, would become the downfall of the entire sports car market and with the Supra.
As consumers moved away from sports cars and into sports sedans, we saw a decrease in the amount of sports car on the market. And with that soon came the end for some of the greats within the sports car market. We saw the death of the low-budget cars from the Celica and MR-2 to the S2000 and Del-Sol. But nothing would kill our dreams of sports car freedom as the demise of both the Supra and RX-7.
We soon got a replacement from Mazda in the form of the RX-8, but from Toyota, nothing was on the books. But that is what we thought. As Nissan gave birth to the global GT-R and Honda resurrected the NSX, Toyota was hard at work on their eventual successor to the Supra. And over the next decade we would come to realize that Toyota was not kidding when they said the Supra would return.
Back in 2003 when the last generation of the Supra came out, it seemed that no one really cared about the wannabe Mustang. But when that famous franchise pushed an orange Twin Turbo version in front of our eyes, they made history and made the Supra one of the most famous movie cars around. Running in the likes of the Firebird, DeLorean or 69 Charger, the Supra was now a world famous car. But the worst was about to begin as the Supra was nearing the end of its useful life shortly after its movie premiere. As 2002 was the curtain call for both that design and the Supra in total. So why give up on a car that just became famous. Consumer volume was to blame, along with corporate image changes.
2002 became the year of changes to Toyota as they wanted to change their image from an anything company, over to what you need company. Sure that doesn’t make sense, but sports cars were not part of their new suburban image that they desired. And yet again we had to ask as to why they would kill off a now world famous model.
Now they always say you learn the most from your mistakes and its seems that Toyota did, as they have now moved back into the aftermarket world and are pushing the limits of the racing world. But how can you accomplish this without a halo sports cars. That is the question everyone has been asking since 2003 and maybe that’s why they answered that question back in 2007.
Early on in 2007 at the Detroit Auto Show, Toyota decided to grace our imaginations with what would become the soon to be released next generation Supra. Labeled the FT-HS concept, this new model was sure to be our Supra test bed. Even with Toyota denying the fact that it was. But all hope lost once more as the global economic crisis set in and so did financial turmoil at Toyota, as the Supra project was put on hold. Again we were left in the dark without a great model to desire from Toyota. And by this time both the Celica and MR2 were gone.
With the markets back on their feet and consumers wishing to purchase sports cars agin, the project was finally given the green light again. And again Toyota set out to inspire our imaginations with the new FT-1 concept. This was surely the test bed for the new design language for the upcoming Supra. And yet again Toyota denied that this was the new Supra, but did state that it was the test bed for the new powertrain and layout of the new Supra. This please their fans and soon the internet was on fire with Supra fever.
With a green light ahead, the Supra was sure to arrive before the end of the decade. Those dreams were reassured when the 2018 Supra GR racing concept arrived and with it came internet updates and revisions by outsiders. People trying to figure out where Toyota was going with this design and how it might look when it finally arrives. But again at this time there was no firm date as to when the new Supra would come out. All we knew was that it was set to arrive soon.
Now after a few changes to the NASCAR scene and the addition of the new Mustang into the series, it seemed odd that Toyota and Chevrolet would be left out. And by this time the Supra project was in full swing as a preview of the design language was released with the all new NASCAR Supra race car. And with this we finally got out end release date for the new Supra.
Now here we are at the Detroit Auto Show again after nearly 17 years since it last graced our showrooms and the Supra is finally back. As glad as we are to see this all new model, we are sad as now we don't have much to look forward to. But I guess we still have the hope of the MR2 and RX-7 to look forward too. And in the end we hope that this time the Supra will live on longer than it originally did.
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