Toyota’s Ed Laukes and MTC Blend Elements of the Iconic MKIV Supra into his 2020 GR Supra Build Off Project
PLANO, Texas (November 5, 2019) – Ed Laukes, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing, brings the heat to this contest with his GR Supra Heritage Edition, ready to square off with Rutledge Wood’s GR Supra build at Toyota’s 2019 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show display.
The triumphant return of the Supra nameplate to the Toyota model line continues to dominate the headlines in 2019. Laukes and NASCAR commentator Rutledge Wood got caught up in the frenzy, sharing in the excitement. For SEMA Show 2019, they decided to build a brace of GR Supras, and decided to make this effort into a friendly GRudge Match build-off competition to be revealed at the Toyota Press Conference.
The Supra’s legacy spanned several decades and four generations, until US sales ceased with the 1998 model year. Laukes stated, “The legendary MKIV Supra has a heritage that enthusiasts relate to. I want to pay homage to that machine by blending elements of the MKIV Supra from the late-90s with the new 2020 GR Supra.” He posed this task to Marty Schwerter of Motorsports Technical Center (MTC) to bring his concept to life. Schwerter worked with Beree Cox Design to render Laukes’ vision as MTC set to work on the build. As a tribute to the MKIV Supra, incorporating iconic visual cues with the modern lines of the dynamic new 2020 GR Supra chassis led to its name, the GR Supra Heritage Edition.
The GR Supra Heritage Edition incorporates both form and function. MTC and LG Motorsports in Texas crafted an integrated front splitter along with a MKIV Supra wing modified to match the proportions of the 2020 GR Supra. MTC and Cripworks designed and fitted the rear diffuser that balance the aerodynamics of the car. To further help with aerodynamic efficiency, the stock vent covers on the fenders were slotted to relieve pressure that builds up behind the tires. LA Prep then sprayed the body with a vibrant, custom hue of PPG paint dubbed “Re-Entry Red.”
One major challenge for the build proved to be the custom headlights and taillights. Schwerter searched extensively for solutions that would work with the GR Supra’s modern body lines yet resemble the design of the MKIV Supra. He ended up having custom light buckets made, along with lenses CNC machined from blocks of acrylic.
The Heritage Edition certainly includes custom attributes, but it was also designed to inspire enthusiasts with parts they can relate to and feel confident to upgrade in their own garage. Precision Turbo & Engine modified a stock turbocharger to produce 18-percent more airflow for the B58 engine. A custom intake and 3-inch center exit exhaust permit the engine to breathe more freely while Mission Performance calibrated the engine management system. Now tuned, the engine produces over 500 horsepower.
Extra horsepower does nothing for performance if the tires are just spinning, so getting as much tire under the car as possible became the next objective. However, in order to maintain the factory body lines while fitting a wider wheel and tire combination under the arches required changes to the suspension system. MTC came up with a custom solution. MTC worked with Scarbo Performance to design a custom inboard rocker arm system that basically replaces the entire factory rear suspension system.
This adaptation of open-wheel racing technology permits the use of custom 19×11-inch HRE P107SC five-spoke wheels equipped with 305/30R19 Toyo Proxes R888R competition tires within the rear fenders. A matching set of HRE P107SC wheels in a 19×10.5-inch offering with 295/30R19 Toyo Proxes tires fill the front wheel wells.
Using TEIN adjustable coilovers, the chassis was then dropped to close the gap between the tires and the arches. To balance the increased engine output, massive Brembo 6-piston monobloc calipers with 380mm two-piece rotors up front and four-piston monobloc calipers with 380mm rotors at the back work together to shed speed quickly.
Fans of the MKIV Supra will appreciate the subtleties of the GR Supra Heritage Edition. This tribute to the legend that raised the bar two decades ago, raises the bar once again.
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