The Toyota Supra's Blocked-Off Air Vents Can Be Made Functional, Says the Chief Engineer

Tetsuya Tada, the engineering boss for the new Supra, explains what happens when you remove the blocking plates from the scoops in the Supra's hood, fenders, and doors.

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DW Burnett / PUPPYKNUCKLES

The 2020 Toyota Supra's bodywork is shot through with air scoops—in the front and rear bumpers, in the hood, even in the doors. On the production model of the car, almost all of these slashes and vents are blocked off with black plastic. But in a conversation with Tetsuya Tada, the chief engineer for the new A90-generation Supra, we learned that there's a way to make these decoy vents and scoops functional.

Speaking through a translator, Tada explained how Toyota built a Supra race car midway through the development of the production model, the first time the automaker had tried such a strategy. Feedback from the race car influenced the eventual design of the street-legal model, including those myriad vents and scoops.

"If you look at the vehicle today, there's holes all over the body," Tada said. "They're just capped on the production car. Those are for the racing model. When the customer goes and converts it to a racing car, or adds those necessary components, those caps come off very easily. So, it's already pre-made, ready to accommodate."

As Tada explained, there's a little more to it than just pulling the block-off plates. Racers and modifiers will have to decide which scoops to use for what purpose, adding ducting as needed for cooling or aerodynamic functions. "The holes are there to be used," he said. "It depends on what category you're racing in. It also really depends on how the customer intends to use the race vehicle."

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