In 2020, Toyota remained committed to the automotive aftermarket and the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA), hosting its 2020 SEMA360 Showcase virtual presentation and unveiling its latest creations, including the GR Supra Sport Top. For 2021, Toyota is excited to “show the metal” and give the GR Supra Sport Top the live in-person SEMA Show debut it deserves. Intended as a continuation of Toyota’s tribute to the much heralded and loved MKIV Supra of the 1990s, it celebrates the removable-roof Supra models of the past and is a fitting companion to the wildly popular GR Supra Heritage Edition that debuted at SEMA in 2019. Both the GR Supra Sport Top and the GR Supra Heritage Edition will be on display in Toyota’s 2021 SEMA Show exhibit. For the first time, SEMA attendees will be able to feast their eyes on both builds side by side and experience the ultimate Supra tribute.
“The steel was a little harder to cut through than we expected. We started with an air saw and got nowhere real fast,” said KC Mathieu, owner of KC’s Paint Shop in Fort Worth, Texas, led the roof removal work.
“Toyota really wanted to have a companion to the Heritage Edition. But, this was no easy build, and we put a lot of thought into cutting the roof and removing a significant part of the car’s structure. It was way more complicated than we originally thought. Removing the top was extremely tough and required some innovative work to retain the GR Supra’s rigidity. I love how it came out, and I hope others love it, too,” Marty Schwerter said.
“We are very excited to finally get a chance to show off both of these incredibly cool GR Supra builds at the SEMA Show. The team did some spectacular customization and fabrication work to pay tribute to Supras that came before, and we’re finally going to show them together so SEMA fans can see them up close and personal.,” said Lisa Materazzo, group vice president – Toyota Division Marketing.
With an opportunity to take a new look at some of the Heritage Edition’s custom upgrades, the team worked on making the hand-built rear diffuser and underbody airflow more efficient. They also reworked the exhaust and created a new custom setup featuring dual pipes in the center of the rear fascia. Of course, the iconic MKIV rear basket handle wing was also integrated into the decklid, while round taillights complete the MKIV rear treatment. KC’s Paint Shop did the final body work and applied numerous coats of BASF paint mixed to exactly match the OEM GR Supra color Absolute Zero White, creating a strikingly flawless finish. The GR Supra Sport Top Edition and GR Supra Heritage Edition share many of the same custom upgrades, but both are visually unique and fitting tributes to past Supra models. It features many of the Heritage Edition’s custom visual cues and performance upgrades yet takes a fresh look at the retro-inspired build.
The roof design features two composite panels 3D printed by Toyota Motor North America Research and Development in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The roof panels were contoured to the GR Supra’s body lines and the car retains the windshield header and the driver’s and passenger’s side outer roof body structure shapes. To maintain structural integrity, the team reinforced the roof’s outer body structures and added reinforcement underneath from the engine bay to the back of the tub. Though concerned that after 30 minutes they had only cut about an inch of steel, KC then switched gears and tried a different cutting tool. After some time, the metal of the roof really started to yield, and eventually the surgery would be a success.
Toyota has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships. To help inspire the next generation for a career in STEM-based fields, including mobility, Toyota launched its virtual education hub at www.TourToyota.com with an immersive experience and chance to visit many of our U.S. manufacturing facilities. The hub also includes a series of free STEM-based lessons and curriculum through Toyota USA Foundation partners, virtual field trips and more. Toyota has created a tremendous value chain and directly employs more than 36,000 in the U.S. The company has contributed world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 30 million cars and trucks at our 9 manufacturing plants, 10 including our joint venture in Alabama that begins production in 2021.
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