Buckle up enthusiasts! Toyota GR Supra is being ‘seriously’ considered for India launch
Older generation Toyota Supras were some of the finest sportscars thanks to their great amalgamation of front-engine RWD set-up and near perfect weight distribution. In 2019, after almost two decades, the sportscar was reborn as the Toyota GR Supra, with underpinnings heavily based on the BMW Z4. It’s criticised for not being a true Toyota and rather just a BMW Z4 with different clothes. However, the GR Supra is still an extremely solid package that promises proper sportscar performance. And according to one of Toyota India’s senior management members, the GR Supra might be on its way for launch in India.
Decoding the 2500-unit import route
In 2018, the Central Government introduced the 2500-unit homologation-free import route for carmakers in India. Under this regulation, global players can import up to 2500 cars annually from their international line-up. This DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) norm comes under the Central Motor Vehicles Act allowing import of 2500 vehicles that comply with international certification, namely the EEC (European Economic Community), ECE (Economic Commission of Europe) and Japanese regulations.
International carmakers welcomed this move as it simplifies the process of launching low volume luxury cars in India without additional homologation costs and waiting periods – which often take around three months for clearance. This allowed many manufacturers to launch some of their exotic cars in India, notably luxury carmakers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW alongside supercar brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche. However, this route does not provide taxation benefits and CBUs still command an import duty of around 125%.
How does this clear the path for the Toyota GR Supra?
Now the Toyota Vellfire, also a CBU, is homologated and that leaves ample room for the Japanese carmaker to use the 2500 homologation-free import route for other international products. In our latest Instagram Live session, editor Sirish Chandran asked Naveen Soni, senior VP, sales and marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motors Ltd, if the carmaker was considering launching the GR Supra in India. To this question, Naveen Soni answered, “We are looking at various options and we have been seriously discussing within our organisation regarding niche products for India. To those die-hard fans who are looking at such products, I would say, watch this space.”
This is not an official confirmation, but rather a hint at what could be headed our way. Now, the GR Supra is already launched in Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines. That said, Toyota also offers a more economical 2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine (also sourced from BMW) with the GR Supra, that produces 255hp and 400Nm of torque, helping it achieve a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. This could help Toyota save costs and cater to a wider audience. However, our preference remains the 382hp 3-litre six-pot turbocharged unit.