Toyota owes us a 10-second car with its GR Supra SEMA build
This article was originally published HERE
Toyota plans to bring a pair of GR Supras built for drag racing to the 2022 SEMA Show. The hitch, however, is that each one must be a “10-second car.” Further complicating the builds is the fact that the budget for each Supra is just $10,000, a trifling sum for the typical SEMA build.
Now, if the title of “10-second car” is a reference to one of the most memorable scenes from the “Fast & Furious” franchise, Toyota hasn’t said. In the climax of the first movie — now over 20 years old, get off our lawn — Paul Walker’s undercover cop character gives Vin Diesel’s street racing anti-hero his 1994 Toyota Supra so the latter can escape the law after his Dodge Charger is destroyed. “I owe you a 10-second car,” he says as he hands over the keys, referencing a bet made at the start of the movie.
In a movie full of corny quotes, the line has become immortalized by fans who aren’t necessarily car people. Strictly speaking, a 10-second car is a car that can run the quarter-mile in the 10-second range. That means any time under 11.0 seconds, not, as many movie buffs erroneously believe, under 10.0. The Toyota builders are targeting a time of 10.0 to 10.5 seconds.
Like they did with the Supra in the movie, Toyota hopes to accomplish this with a small budget and some elbow grease. To reach that goal, they’ll need to add about 30%-40% more horsepower to the stock inline-six engine’s 382. There is, however, some evidence to show that Toyota may have been under-rating the GR Supra’s actual output.
Toyota engineers are installing a larger radiator, an HKS suspension, Weld drag wheels with Mickey Thompson semi-slicks, an aftermarket exhaust, and racing harnesses. Using some back-of-napkin calculations, that puts them at the $10,000 mark, if not exceeding it already. Isn’t that the case for any project car, though?
Obviously, being Toyota has some advantages. They have an entire fabrication shop ready to make a roll cage and belt bar. They probably know a little more about re-programming the ECU than a shadetree mechanic, too. These cars were also former safety cars for the NASCAR Xfinity series, so it’s not clear if modifications made for pace duty were part of the $10,000 allowance or not.
The objective, according to Marty Schwerter, team manager for the SEMA build, is to show that for about $10 grand you can make a 3-year-old car into a competitive drag racer. More will be revealed in the run-up to the SEMA Show on November 1.