Here's the New Toyota Supra as a NASCAR Racer


From Car and Driver

The Toyota Camry is headed to its final pit stop in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series. In its stead, the Japanese auto giant will field a race car that previews the look of the upcoming Toyota Supra. Toyota formally pulled the wraps off the Xfinity Series Supra in Daytona Beach, Florida, on the eve of the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250 race.

The new racer complies with the Xfinity Series’ 2019 rule changes, which include the use of flange-fit composite bodies in place of today’s steel bodies. The composite-bodied cars are said to weigh 150 pounds less than their steel-bodied counterparts. NASCAR estimates the new panels can be installed onto the chassis in as little as two days. Compare that with the nearly two weeks it takes to form and weld the steel panels of current Xfinity Series race cars.


Photo credit: Car and Driver

Per Xfinity Series rules, the NASCAR Supra will rely on a hulking V-8 engine and an old-school four-speed manual gearbox to push power rearward to a nine-inch Ford rear end with a locking differential. With the exception of its rear-drive orientation, the Xfinity Series Supra’s chassis and powertrain are entirely unrelated to the upcoming production car.

Although Toyota is keeping mum on powertrain information for the new Supra, the two-door sports coupe is all but certain to follow in the tread marks of Supras past and rely on a straight-six engine for motivation; it’s likely to be sourced from BMW. A manual transmission is still in question but is not expected to be offered initially.

Despite its vague connection to the production car, the Xfinity Series Supra strikes us as a step in the right direction for the famed nameplate. In conjunction with the race-ready GR Supra Racing concept that Toyota unveiled at the 2018 Geneva auto show, the NASCAR Supra further solidifies the production car’s sporting bent.

Look for the Xfinity Series Supra to compete in its first race at next February’s Daytona 300 in Daytona Beach, Florida. While Toyota will continue to race the Camry in the 2019 Monster Energy Series, we expect the company to transition to Supra-style bodywork in that series within the next few years as well.


Photo credit: Car and Driver

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