Screenshot: caffeinesixx

The heart of a Toyota Supra is a straight-six engine. That was the whole reason for the very first Supra existing, and it’s why Toyota went to the I6-experts at BMW to partner up on the new one. And yet, here’s the GR Supra race car with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder boosted to the moon and back.

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This is, funny enough, not against Supra heritage either. The really famous Supra race cars, the 1990s and 2000s Super GT cars, had turbocharged four-cylinders deep under their hoods as well. Toyota knew how to make super powerful I4s since the Group B rally days, which extended into the IMSA/Group C era, which extended into the World Rally Championship, which extended into Super GT. The most successful Supras on the race track had no JZs.

But the reason for the Supra having a 2.0-liter four doesn’t have anything to do with retro heritage, but rather that all 2020 competitors in Super GT’s top class are to be “Class 1” cars, a shared collection of regulations with DTM over in Germany. All cars have to be front-engine/rear-wheel-drive, with 2.0-liter turbo I4s. That’s why the Nissan GT-R sounds so weird in this testing clip (yep, that’s a NR20A under that hood) and why the upcoming 2020 NSX race car has exhaust dumps out the side. Indeed, that car is no longer mid-engine.

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Now, the current Supra does come with a four-cylinder option, but that’s not the same as this. I haven’t seen anything about Toyota developing a new engine for this car, so I have to figure that it’s the same RI4AG that has been in its top Super GT cars for the past few years. It’s not a big engine, but output is 550 horsepower, at least per Toyota.

These are very, very funky cars, and I totally get why the crowd cheers for them. Strange and new is cool! At least for now.