TAS 2020: A90 Toyota GR Supra left, right and centre01/24/2020
If you’ve not been to the Tokyo Auto Salon, you’d be forgiven to assume that Makuhari Messe would be a three-day fest celebrating the legends – think R32-R34 GT-Rs, the A80 Supra, FC-FD RX-7, Evo/Subaru, Silvias and Hachirokus, NSX and “real VTEC” Type Rs, you get the drift – and an assortment of kei cars.
Last year was our first time there, and we were rather surprised to find that the icons were rather hard to come by. Unlike us, the Japanese respect the legends but live in the present. Which is why almost every booth had a Suzuki Jimny, and the FK8 Honda Civic Type R came in second as the most popular TAS 2019 exhibit. The undisputed car of TAS 2020 is the Toyota GR Supra.
The A90 was everywhere we looked, acting as a canvas for purveyors of aftermarket performance parts, bodykits, wheels and everything else. It even served as a “project car” for the students of Nihon Automobile College. It sure didn’t seem like the A90 was being treated like a pariah for sharing parts with a BMW roadster and being made in Austria.
We start with the biggest of them all, HKS. The legendary tuner had three cars in its booth, all GR Supras. The one with the famous HKS Super Oil livery is the drift machine of Nobuteru Taniguchi. This one no longer has the BMW B58 3.0L engine under the hood, but the 2JZ-GTE from the previous Supra. Famous for being tuneable to crazy hp, this 2JZ has over 700 horses.
To be used by Taniguchi in the D1GP championship and FIA Intercontinental Drift Challenge, this drift car comes with HKS’ own widebody kit, Advan Racing GT wheels, a huge GT wing and a deep dish Nardi Classico steering wheel.
More interesting are the wingmen. The white A90 in you see below (and in the lead pic) is the HKS GR Supra Aero. As its name suggests, this is a showcase for HKS’ widebody kit for the street. Much like Taniguchi’s drift car without the livery and big wing (neat ducktail instead), you can see the details a lot better in white, contrasted with forged carbon. Those red wheels are 20-inch Advan Racing R6 items.
The subtle black car is the HKS GR Supra Street, which is a showcase for HKS’ performance parts. As tested by Manabu ‘Max’ Orido, the parts (for the stock BMW engine, not 2JZ) include a full HKS Super Turbo exhaust system, fully adjustable HKS Hipermax suspension, HKS Mastery ECU and a cold air intake with HKS Super Power Flow filter.
Interestingly, we also spotted a special tool kit for the A90 by Tone, as this Supra, which is of course a sister car of BMW and made in Europe, won’t play well with typical tools designed for Japanese cars.
Another prominent Supra at TAS was a satin green monster by Tachi Oiwa Motor Sports. Not just a concept, TOM’S Supra is a 99-unit limited edition priced at 14.23 million yen (RM570k).
The tuner synonymous with Toyota didn’t just do an engine swap, but worked on the BMW six-pot to squeeze out 460 PS/579 Nm, which is an extra 120 PS/79 Nm over stock. They did it by changing the turbocharger and intercooler, ECU tuning and a high-flow exhaust system. To match, TOM’S fitted its Advox fully-adjustable suspension and upgraded the front brakes to Brembo six-pot calipers grabbing 380 mm discs.
The aggressive body styling is quite unique – clearly fatter than the already muscular stock A90, but smoothly executed. The voluptuous side profile is nice, but the rear will be the most common view for most cars on the road – here, there’s a big park bench wing sitting on top of the original integrated ducktail, plus vertically stacked exhaust tips, two on each side.
The lower body and big diffuser are all in carbon, accented by a lime green pinstripe. If you’re wondering, no those aren’t typically Japanese wheels but Vossens, which is more BMW than JDM. Easier PCD and offset match, perhaps. We also see TOM’S bucket seats made by Esqueleto.
Other notable Supras include the “Monster GR Supra” exhibited by Work. This is drift champ Daigo Saito‘s work machine, and it’s famous as the first A90 to have 2JZ power. I prefer Max Orido’s A90 though, done up in the iconic Advan livery just like his old Supra. Is there any car that won’t look good in Advan livery? Next to the Yokohama stand was Masato Kawabata’s Toyo-sponsored drift car, the big bro of the 86 that we got to see at TGR Festival Malaysia.
While team mate Farid was lusting over TOM’S LE, I was attracted to the one by Varis – all show no go, fits this author. The bodykit specialist was clever in drawing attention with a modded A80 Supra, done up in a “Rothmans-style” livery on the Varis Supreme kit. Next to it was a dark grey A90 with the new widebody Supreme 90 kit. Much aero, very fierce. They also had a non-wide A90 there, but might as well go all the way, right?
Once the euphoria of the GR Yaris launch subsided, Tokyo Auto Salon 2020 became a Suprafest with some sideshows – we’re not complaining, just lusting.
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