THERE’S a new Supra on the way next year, and it’s been made road-ready for the world market via a testing and development program right here in Australia.

Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada and engineers from Japan have put a Supra prototype through its paces on Australian roads, supported by Toyota Australia’s vehicle engineering and development group.

The five-day evaluation and suitability test involved areas where Supra buyers are likely to travel, including sweeping country roads, twisty mountain climbs and the Great Ocean Road – considered one of the world’s great drives.

Tada said he had been keen to use Australia’s roads to confirm performance targets for Supra and ensure it would satisfy the dynamic preferences of local drivers.

“We know your drivers tend to favour strong levels of body control and steering feel, particularly for your undulating road surfaces,” he said.

“It’s vital the driver feels confident during rough-road cornering and that the car is very stable under braking. Speedo accuracy is also very important.

“Working on aspects of handling and other details in Australia allows us to make refinements that will result in a better car right up until production starts in the first part of next year.”

Australian road surfaces replicated 80 per cent of the world’s roads, he said.

Testing included overall performance and driveability, ride, handling, stability, brakes, seat comfort and insulation from noise, vibration and harshness on coarse-chip bitumen and gravel.

Toyota Australia vice president Sean Hanley said the new-generation A90 Supra was the rebirth of a Toyota sports car legend.

“Supra is the halo model for Toyota sports cars and our new Gazoo Racing (GR) brand, heralding a new generation of stylish driver-focused cars with enhanced dynamics and performance,” he said.

“These cars, honed under the extreme conditions of motorsport, will demonstrate Toyota’s commitment to ensuring everyone can enjoy the freedom, adventure and excitement of driving.”

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.