The A90 Toyota Supra may be known more as a circuit carver, but that hasn’t stopped the Big T from campaigning it in the most American of motorsports: drag racing. Unveiled at Auto Club Speedway in Pomona, Calif., one of the spiritual homes of postwar hot rodding, the funny car previews what fans can expect to see at drag strips for the 2022 NHRA season.
Of course, there is little in common with the actual Supra road car. It drapes a vaguely Supra-esque carbon fiber body over a dedicated tube frame drag chassis. The silhouette is made as slippery as possible, so most of the Supra design cues are just large decals. It may look silly, but it’s no more bizarre than the Toyota Celica NHRA car of the 2000s or the outgoing Camry drag car that the Supra is replacing.
Toyota didn’t reveal specs on the Supra, but if its past NHRA entrants are anything to go by there’s really nothing funny about this funny car. The Camry dragster sported an 8.2-liter supercharged V8 beneath its composite canopy. Horsepower ranged between 10,000 and 11,000, capable of rocketing the car to 100 mph in less than a second and down the quarter-mile in under four. Since the main thing that’s changed is the body, there’s no reason to believe the Supra won’t be similarly potent.
For those mad about the direction the Supra has taken, it could be argued that a dragster is the most natural evolution of the much-beloved fourth-generation Supra. In the early days of import tuning, it was a true force to be reckoned with. Toyota’s legendary 2JZ-GTE engine, a twin-turbo and twin-cam, 3.0-liter inline-six, was often tuned to 800-1,000 horsepower for 6.5-second E/T blasts — in a doorslammer. Its popularity with drag racers eventually landed it a spot in the street racing franchise “The Fast & the Furious.”
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Toyota’s official participation in NHRA. Over the years, Toyota has notched six Top Fuel and three Funny Car championships. Drivers J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria will reprise their roles as official drivers for 2022.