Speaking at the Geneva show, Toyota's European boss, Johan van Zyl, said: "Yes, the Supra is returning. This concept is a clear signal of our intent to bring one of our more iconic sports cars back to the circuit. This is designed for the track and is a thoroughbred race car."
The GR Supra Racing Concept shown at Geneva has been created by the firm's motorsport division, Toyota Gazoo Racing. It is rear-wheel drive, and the firm says "advanced lightweight materials" have been used in its construction, particularly on the large rear wing, front and rear bumpers and diffusers, and side skirts. The windows are made from plastic to save weight.
Aggressively priced supermini steps up interior game, but lacks performance...
The road-roading version will launch as a coupé, with different versions likely to follow. Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, who previously headed engineering for the GT86, told Autocar: "In May 2012, the chairman called me and told me to go to Germany. I wasn't given the mission to create a Supra, I was told to discuss possible developments with BMW. After two years of discussions, we came to the idea of the Supra."
Tada described progress on the road-going version as "steady", and confirmed it would be due next year. He added: "It's really fun to drive this car. Front engines, rear drive… with such a concept, you can have the greatest amount of fun to enjoy a drive in the world. It's fun on the road as well as the race track, the autobahn and the English countryside."
Toyota has not released full technical details of the concept. The chassis features lowered front and rear suspension, and features a competition-focused interior with a racing dashboard and seats. It also features a quick-release steering wheel and paddle shifts, plus a full roll-cage.
Tada insisted that the Supra will be very different from the Z4 it has been developed alongside. Noting that there were "differences" between the two firms in terms of car development and philosophies, he added: "It's different to the Z4, they are two different cars. We didn't start by finding common parts. We worked on our own ideas to see what cars we wanted to create, then we shared ideas to identify where we can share common parts."
The concept is presented in a racing livery featuring the number 90, which the firm says is a historical reference to the Supra's codename, and a clue to it previewing the fifth generation of the model. The original Supra, launched in 1978, was known as the A40, and was followed by the A60 in 1981, A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993.
Previously leaked details suggest the road-going Supra will weigh 1495kg, have a 335bhp engine and be capable of 0-62mph in 3.8sec.
While the road-going version of the new Supra is not due until next year, Gran Turismo Sport players will get an early chance to sample it: the GR Supra Racing Concept will be featured in an update of the game due in April.