When the Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association (SEMA) held a measuring session for potential tuners to get to know the all-new 2020 Toyota Supra in April, it ranked as the best-attended of any such event in SEMA history. This suggests that the industry expects the market for Supra MkV upgrades to be at least as hot as it is/was for the MkIV A80 Supra. The tuners surely must have appreciated what they saw, too, as chief engineer Tetsuya Tada’s team has done quite a lot to prepare the new A90 for the most popular modifications.
Here are nine instances where Toyota has prepared the Supra for easy installation of parts sold either by the aftermarket or the factory’s own Gazoo Racing branch.
Turning Up the Boost
Folks will be itching to meet or exceed the power this same engine makes in the BMW Z4, but making more power typically means making more heat. To keep cool, the front fascia design incorporated the largest cooling grille openings the team imagined the car would ever need, then simply blanked off what wasn’t needed for the stock car. Now the tuners need only tool grille inserts without the blanking, not an entirely new fascia. Cool bonus: The surface at the bottom of those air intakes is shaped to work more and more like a canard or splitter as airflow increases through the openings.
Exhausting That Cooling Air
All additional air flowing through the three engine-coolant radiators, the intercooler, and the transmission-oil cooler (and any additional radiators the aftermarket dreams up) needs an escape route or it risks increasing lift. To provide such an escape, simply pop out the blanking plates you see toward the rear of the hood and insert functional ones. The fact that they point slightly upward helps further reduce lift, and the fact that no sheetmetal needs to be cut to install them greatly reduces the cost of such an upgrade (and sidesteps homologation issues in some motorsports situations).
Cooling the Front Brakes
From the factory, the little teardrop-shaped vents below each headlight are also blanked out, but they can be opened and ducted to cool the brakes (or to feed a cold-air engine intake) as desired. Here again, providing for a vent that doesn’t require tooling a new fascia keeps prices and investment down, which is great for owners and tuners alike.
Cooling the Rear Brakes
Those giant faux vents at the rear of the doors can similarly be turned into vents that duct cooling air to the rear brakes with some door-jamb modification. This air can even be exhausted through the narrow vents below the outboard edge of each taillight. Oh, and for the record, the extensive wind-tunnel testing done on the Supra included tests with all of these potential vents open and closed, so you can rest assured that opening them won’t create any aerodynamic imbalance.
Cooling the Limited-Slip Differential
Track work (or doing lots of burnouts) can really cook the scant quantity of lubricant that fits in an electronically controlled, clutch-plate-actuated limited-slip differential like the Supra’s, so Tada-san’s team left space for a heat exchanger and plumbing lines, plus a convenient mounting location for all of it.
Rear Wing Mounts
For some folks, a Supra just ain’t a Supra without a basket-handle wing in the back even though they’re unlikely to ever find themselves negotiating the kink at the end of the Mulsanne Straight at full whack. Drywall screwing such an item to the composite hatch would be disastrous, so the Supra team engineered in reinforcements just under the composite skin that are capable of safely transferring the forces a wing produces to the bodywork.
One of the first things any tuner offers on the handling front is strut-tower bracing to prevent front-end structural flex that can come with the forces generated by higher-grip tires and stiffer springs, shocks, and/or anti-roll bars. So the strut-towers and radiator supports include pre-tapped holes into which such braces can be bolted. The air-intake box on the passenger side even has relieve molded into it so the brace doesn’t need to bend up and over for clearance.
Don’t Go Much Lower
One thing Tada’s team did NOT prepare for is aggressive lowering. Recognizing that lower is better for center of gravity (the Supra’s center of gravity starts out lower than the boxer-engined 86’s!), the team made the car as low as practical. Further lowering it risks positioning the many various sensors on the car too low to work properly. On the bright side, you can save the money you would’ve spent on aftermarket coil-overs or lowering springs for other upgrades.
Bluetooth Performance App
The engineers are also working on a future app that will let drivers download performance data directly from their Supra to their phones for comparison with other owners (perhaps following a stirring Supra Club drive up the Tail of the Dragon or down the Hakone Turnpike).
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