Mr. Supra

We go one-on-one with the Chief Engineer of the all-new GR Supra: Tetsuya Tada

July 22, 2019
He’s the Man Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada developed the new 2020 GR Supra. He calls the project “a lifelong dream come true.”

Anytime Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda personally selects you for a project, it’s a big deal. Such was the case for Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer tasked with creating the all-new Supra. We had a quick chat with him just ahead of the vehicle’s delivery to dealers across the United States.
 
Driver's Seat: How did it feel to be asked to helm this project?

It’s a lifelong dream that has now come true. I was very, very happy to be asked to develop the Supra. My mentor was the former Chief Engineer of the landmark A80 (1993-2002) Supra, Tsuzuki-san. So, I eagerly raised my hand to work on this project, and I was so happy when the work began.

Now that you see the finished product, what are your impressions?

I feel that this car is the last of the old-school nostalgic sports cars. I feel, a little bit, like it’s the end of an era for this kind of car. Before every vehicle becomes an EV or an autonomous vehicle, I wanted to release this car for everyone to enjoy. It’s like a present. It’s a car where you can still enjoy the sound, and still have fun driving it.

Other than the 2020 model, which is your favorite generation of the Supra?

Of course, the A80!
Family Heritage Apart from the current generation Supra, Tada-san calls the A80 his favorite. His mentor, Tsuzuki-san, served as the chief engineer. Naturally, you can see some visual links between the two.

Of course! What does this Supra have that continues the heritage of the past generations?

Where functionality is concerned, an inline six engine and a rear-wheel drive layout is what is carried over as far as heritage. Of course, since my mentor was the Chief Engineer on the A80, that was a huge influence on me. I wasn’t intending to just make a revival of an old car. I wanted to create something brand new, using the newest technology. It’s not a revival, but you could look at this from any angle and recognize it’s a Supra. And I hope everyone feels that way when they look at the car. Like they’re seeing an old friend.

What’s your message to dealers who are getting ready to sell the new Supra?

Sorry for the long wait.

By Kristen Orsborn
 

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