A week before our peek at the new Toyota Supra all the way in the U.K., race fans in America got their first look at the Toyota Supra heading to NASCAR.
Toyota on Thursday took the wraps off its new Supra heading to a NASCAR Xfinity Series groove near you next season. The NASCAR Xfinity Series sits one step below the Monster Energy Cup Series in the NASCAR hierarchy.
Like Ford’s Mustang and Chevy’s Camaro in the same series, the Supra you see above shares very little in common with the production Toyota coming soon—F-16s and city buses probably have more in common. Still, with a Toyota badge planted up front and the Supra’s now-familiar grille, it’s a little more visually exciting than the current Camry racing in America’s most popular motorsport series.
According to Toyota, the team at Calty Design Research studio in Newport Beach, California, started work with TRD in nearby Costa Mesa on the Supra race car last year.
“We’ve had tremendous success working with Calty to develop race cars that match the look, feel and excitement of their showroom counterparts,” David Wilson, president of TRD, said in statement. “We’re confident Calty and TRD have developed another race car, Supra, that is capable of winning races and championships. For Supra to be racing in NASCAR just speaks to how important this vehicle is to us, and that we believe Supra can be a bona fide championship winner.”
Toyota knows a thing or two about winning in NASCAR, too. Last year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champ, Martin Truex Jr., drove the No. 78 Toyota Camry for Furniture Row Racing. In 2016, Daniel Suarez took the NASCAR Xfinity Drivers’ Championship in his No. 19 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing.
So, yeah, the Supra has big shoes to fill.
For now, Toyota says it’ll continue with the Camry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the Supra in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and the Tundra in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, although it’s possible that the Supra takes over for the Camry in 2020.
Toyota didn’t say what’s under the racing Supra’s hood Thursday, but we imagine it’s a beefy V-8 and 4-speed manual sending power to the rear wheels because NASCAR.
The Toyota Supra will make its race debut Feb. 16, 2019, at Daytona.