Toyota Supra (photo: toyota.co.jp)

Beyond the safety and dependability associated with the Toyota brand, the Japanese car maker has premiered the Toyota Supra, a luxury sports car billed to offer its loyalists “the ultimate fun of driving”.

The new model is a call back to the Toyota Supra that the Japanese car maker ceased production in 2002. As such, the launch of the new two-seater sports car during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, US marked the end of a 17-year hiatus.

Developed as the first global brand of the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s GR sports car series, the Toyota Supra is “a car that people the world over will find fun to drive” according to the Japanese auto maker.

Toyota President Aiko Toyoda said that while the firm he heads seemed to have no plans to make a new Toyota Supra, he secretly wanted the auto maker to “make it happen.”

“Supra is like an old friend that holds a special place in my heart. While other manufacturers were putting their beautiful new prototypes which they were going to introduce through the paces, I was driving an old Supra that was no longer in production,” Toyoda said.

A certified race car driver, the Toyota President said that he spent countless hours driving an old Toyota Supra “back in the day” on his journey towards becoming a master driver.

In a press statement on Toyota’s website, the range for the Toyota Supra to go from 0-100 km/h is between 4.3 seconds and 6.5 seconds, depending on the grade.

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According to CNN, the Toyota Supra has a top speed of around 250km/h, and could go on sale anytime from June at a starting price of around Ksh5 million.

Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada, who headed development, said, “We set out to create a pure sports car that would attain the ultimate in the fun of driving.”

Whereas Toyota said it had tested the car on many roads, it is still not yet clear whether the Toyota Supra will be available on the African market.

“With importance placed on the environments in which customers drive in the real world, proving runs were thoroughly and repeatedly conducted on regular roads during various stages of development,” the Japanese auto maker said.

The examples given by Toyota however include “country roads in Europe, the Autobahn in Germany, snow-covered and ice-covered roads in Northern Europe, highways in the United States, and winding roads in Japan”, making it still unclear as to whether African, Asian, Oceanic or South American markets were considered.

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