Fabrication begins on 1,000 horsepower 2020 Toyota GR Supra
LOS ANGELES, California (March 5, 2020) - The first 1,000 horsepower 2020 Toyota GR Supra competition car is starting to take shape and Papadakis Racing today delivered a rare, under-the-hood look at the design and manufacturing stage of the new build.
Legendary builder Stephan Papadakis and his team have about a month to complete their one-of-one new competition car before the start of the racing season, and the pressure is mounting.
"Time is always the biggest fear," said Papadakis. "We're right up against our deadlines and, if even one part is delayed, we could find ourselves in trouble. The season starts whether or not we're ready for it, and we're determined to have this car there."
Following a 2019 engine development process, the team started stripping down their production Toyota GR Supra with barely 500 miles on it. The process started in January and, for this episode, they showcase the rapid prototyping design and component manufacturing process that they hope will get them to the track on time.
The team explored a new technology to build the safety cage, using a 3D laser scan and computer assisted design model. Also featured is a unique approach to packaging the cooling system for the competition car, as well as a look at how they work with team partners to create the suspension and braking systems that they hope will give them an edge on track. This is a part of the build that is rarely seen anywhere else.
"This is all the good stuff that gets cut out of television shows because the shell itself doesn't evolve all that much while parts are being made for it," said Papadakis. "But we kept the cameras rolling so people could see what we're doing behind the scenes - which to me, is some of the most interesting work on the car."
The team started the build by fully dismantling the production car, removing body panels, sound insulation, wiring harnesses and even the paint, a process featured in the first episode of 2020.
Once complete, the vehicle will produce 1,000-plus boosted horsepower from its B58 power plant and have front steering angle of more than 65-degrees.
Although the teardown is extensive, the vehicle remains a Supra at its core. Papadakis and his team took care to respect the fundamentals of the structure and many components for the build, including parts of the suspension, the lights, hardware, and interior pieces, will be bolted back onto the chassis as the race car takes shape in the coming weeks. That progress will be featured in the next episode in the series, slated for release mid-March.
The development video released today is a continuation of the wildly popular episodic YouTube series on the Youtube.com/PapadakisRacing channel that lifts the veil on the often secretive world of the sport compact scene and takes viewers into the process of building on the leading edge.
The first four episodes in this series achieved 7 million-plus views as Papadakis tripled the stock output of the Toyota B58 engine to produce 1,033 horsepower on an engine dyno. Now, he continues the transformation journey as he prepares to unveil the full competition-spec Formula Drift car before the start of the 2020 season April 10-11 in Long Beach, California.
Slated to drive the car in Formula Drift this season is 2015 series champion Fredric Aasbo. It is expected he will make an appearance in a future episode of the build series, when the vehicle is tested on track for the first time.
It is a career defining moment for Aasbo, who has a long history with the Supra nameplate. He earned the Formula Drift "Rookie of the Year" championship in 2010 as a privateer driver from Norway who maxed out his credit cards and shipped his Mark IV Toyota Supra he named "Chucky" to compete in America.
The action oriented Formula Drift series features a diverse field of vehicles capable of fast sprints off the start line as well as wild, door-to-door slides. The Papadakis Racing team are three-time series champions with a long legacy in the sport, as well as roots in the Southern California drag racing scene. Papadakis is known for innovative builds that defy expectations and set trends in the automotive aftermarket. His builds have been featured in the Petersen Automotive Museum.
Under series rules, competing vehicles start their lives in the showroom and are adapted to perform in the competition environment. The 2020 Toyota GR Supra is an enviable platform to begin with. The GR Supra is rear-wheel drive and lightweight, and it comes equipped from the factory with a turbocharged inline six cylinder 3.0-liter engine rated at 335 horsepower and 365 lb.-ft of torque.
The B58 engine follows the beloved 2JZ model from the previous generation Supra. First introduced in the 1990s the 2JZ engine enjoyed more than 20 years of production. It remains a favorite of the aftermarket, with many tuners and racers still modifying it today for high-performance builds.
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