Is it even worth it to post a lap time in the Nurburgring if it’s not going to break any records?

The Toyota Supra has been dissected and prodded over in recent days like no debuting car in recent memory. It’s fitting, then, that the sports coupe is still generating headlines, this time regarding the possibility of a Nurburgring lap time and Toyota’s expectations on what time it can clock if it ended up doing a lap around the famous race track. Apparently, the Japanese automaker believes that the Supra could turn in a lap time of 7:40, even if it ends up running into its speed limiter on the track’s long straight. Whether Toyota actually has plans to bring the Supra to the ‘Ring is still unclear, but if it did, it should be a spectacle in it of itself, even if the incentives of actually running a lap aren’t that great.

A 7:40 Nurburgring Lap Time For The Toyota Supra? Toyota Thinks It Can Be Done Exterior
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The Toyota Supra is a big enough name that a lot of people will be interested to see how it does at the Nurburgring. The Supra’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, even told Road & Track that the Supra could finish a lap time in 7:40, even with an active speed limiter.

That’s an interesting point because if Toyota removed the Supra’s speed limiter, it could, in theory, post a quicker lap time.

That would be an interesting “what if?” in the event that the automaker decides not to bring the Supra to the Nurburgring.

That’s one of way looking at it that could generate interest in a date between the Supra and the ‘Ring. If you think about it, though, does it really make sense for the Supra to chase a Nurburgring lap time? Even if it did, the best possible lap time it could do would be around 7:30 — without a speed limiter — and that’s a time that isn’t really making any headlines these days. It’d be a different story if the Supra can approach the lap times that sit atop the record books — the Lamborghini Aventador LP770-4 SVJ holds the record with a lap time of 6:44.97 — but it’s nowhere near capable of approaching those lap times. Toyota could also spin a compelling narrative if the Supra can break the 7-minute mark — only eight cars have done that — but that’s not happening, either. Not even close.

A 7:40 Nurburgring Lap Time For The Toyota Supra? Toyota Thinks It Can Be Done Exterior
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Breaking the ‘Ring’s production car lap time record is the biggest reason automakers send their cars to the track. There’s tremendous marketing value that comes with holding the production car lap time record. In the occasions where the record is out of reach, automakers still bring their cars to see if they can beat segment records — that’s one of Honda’s motivations in bringing the Civic Type R back in 2017 — but the Supra probably isn’t breaking any of those records, either. Perhaps other than vanity, there’s little value in bringing the Supra to the Nurburgring to do a lap time.

It’s not going to be a good look for Toyota, and it certainly won’t be a good look for the Supra, especially if it ends up posting a slower lap time than the 7:40 time that Tada predicted.

Suppose the Supra does a 7:40 lap time, the company it’s going to keep would include the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, Lamborghini Murcielago LP 640, Mercedes SLR McLaren, Porsche 911 GT3, and the Mercedes SLS AMG. Make no mistake, these are elite supercars, or at least they were when they were still around. None of them are around anymore, and if you take it a step further, these cars posted their 7:40 lap times a decade ago. The Veyron, in particular, did it 14 years ago. The most recent of them was the SLS AMG, and that happened all the way back in 2010, well before Toyota and BMW even had any thoughts of teaming up and co-developing the Supra and the BMW Z4 Roadster.

A 7:40 Nurburgring Lap Time For The Toyota Supra? Toyota Thinks It Can Be Done Exterior
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Speaking of which, there is one narrative that could make a Nurburgring run for Toyota worth it. If the Japanese automaker plays this one right, it could wait for BMW to do a similar lap with the Z4 and then Toyota could use the Z4’s lap time as the time the Supra can beat. It would make sense since both cars are almost identical mechanically. More importantly, it would create enough incentive for Toyota to actually push for a lap time, knowing that if it beat the Z4 Roadster’s time, it’s going to have bragging rights over BMW. That’s a good narrative that a lot of people can buy into.

Otherwise, maybe it’s not a good idea for Toyota to bring the Supra to the ‘Ring.

There’s no incentive to do it. Besides, if it doesn’t do it, somebody else would, and if the Supra doesn’t perform up-to-snuff, Toyota can distance itself from the subpar performance by using a number of ready-made excuses on why the sports car didn’t perform as advertised.

That’s the strategy I’d take if I’m Toyota. The Supra has too much to lose and not a lot to gain if it sent it to the Nurburgring to do a lap time. As if there isn’t enough heat on the new sports car already, it probably doesn’t need more controversy headed its way.

Fastest Nurburging Laptime 2018

Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 6:44.97
Porsche 911 GT2 RS 6:47.30
Lamborghini Huracan Performante 6:52.01
Porsche 918 Spyder Weissach Package) 6:57.00
Dodge Viper ACR 7:01.03
Nissan GT-R Nismo 7:08.59
Mercedes-AMG GT R 7:10.92
Gumpert Apollo Sport 7:11.57
Chevrolet Corvette C7 7:13.90
Lexus LFA Nurburgring Package 7:14.64

Further Reading

2020 Toyota Supra Exterior
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Toyota Supra Returns After 21 Years with BMW Engine; And it’s Not Cheap

2020 Toyota Supra Exterior Spyshots
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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Toyota Supra

2020 Toyota Supra GR
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Read our full review on the 2020 Toyota Supra GR.

2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Check out our full review of the 2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept

2019 BMW Z4 Wallpaper quality High Resolution
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Convertible Top Can be Stowed in 10 Seconds

Read our full, in-depth review of the 2019 BMW Z4

Source: Road & Track

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