The Toyota Supra elicits a wide range of reactions when its viewed by enthusiasts. The Supra is always a welcome visitor to the Car-Revs-Daily offices and we have had the chance to sample both the 3.0 liter and the base 2.0 liter model. But could the Targa top be making its return to the Supra lineup. Toyota appears to be giving the world a subtle glimpse of what one could look like with the unveiling of the 2021 GR Supra Sport Top Concept.
Paying homage to the past with a retro feature
The most immediate change that observers will notice are the removable 3D-printed roof panels that are on the concept. While they are not traditional Targa panels (the concept has no roof mounted T-bar) they are a reminder of the original Sport Top which made its debut on the Supra in 1986. Toyota wanted to make sure that the Supra retained the high levels of rigidity that it’s known for. The company managed to achieve this by adding several reinforcements to the car including in the roof structure itself to help prevent unwanted flexing.
The rest of the Sport Top’s styling retains the bulk of its links with the standard Supra but a bigger front chin spoiler and functional side vents behind the front wheels help add some more aggression to its flanks. The rear of the concept has also had its fair share of work done with a bigger rear diffuser housing centrally mounted exhaust tips. Our favorite feature though is the massive rear hoop spoiler which is very reminiscent of the unit that once adorned mid nineties era Supras.
Open air performance and comfort
With the roof and the revised exterior styling garnering the bulk of the attention, Toyota thankfully did not let performance go by the way side, with the concept being powered by a BMW sourced 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six. This engine is good for 382 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. These figures are enough to get a traditional Supra to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and we suspect that the Sport Top can replicate this figure easily. An eight speed automatic helps funnel all of this power to the rear wheels.
The interior of the Supra remains mostly unchanged (besides the missing roof) but Toyota designers wanted to try and add some pop to the black interior and infused it with splashes of red trim. This vivid hue is mainly found on the steering wheel and the leather sport seats but it does a good job of balancing things out. Sadly, we don’t get to find out how Toyota minimized wind buffeting at speed with the roof off, but hopefully that particular detail will be released soon.
Will Toyota make a production version of the Sport Top?
The Toyota Supra Sport Top concept is certainly a very interesting proposition and unlike other wilder looking SEMA concept vehicles, it retains a factory fresh look. That trait alone would appear to make the transition from concept to production easier. However, look past this and some of the finer details make themselves apparent. A key one is that the appearance of a droptop Supra is bound to ruffle a few feathers at BMW.
The Supra’s cousin the Z4 is currently available only as a droptop and comes loaded with additional equipment to help buyers justify the additional expense of moving up from the Supra to the Z4. The Z4 uses a traditionally operated soft-top to achieve its open air mission and while this setup is better than the removable panels on the Toyota. The Supra would still have a slight pricing advantage in terms of economics. That could cause some buyers to ignore the Z4 and go for maximum value with its Supra sibling.
It will be interesting to see if Toyota follows through with bringing this wild concept to life, but only time will tell if the Sport Top Concept can avoid the same fate as the Buick Avista concept.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.