Accidents are an unfortunate fact of life. However, in the case with the damaged GR Supra you see in the image above, sometimes positives can be taken away.
The first positive is that the vehicle stood up as it should in a substantial collision and protected its occupant. The second plus point is that the damaged GR Supra, although written off, has been granted a second life as a skills training vehicle for technicians.
The wreck was initially released to Toyota GB for use on a collision awareness training event. Then Paul Collins, Body and Paint Project and Reporting Manager at TGB, had the innovative idea of using the damaged GR Supra to help train technicians within the Toyota Approved Repairer network.
Under the skin, the GR Supra features several different materials. The vehicle has an aluminium front end, which reduces overall weight and contributes to keeping the centre of gravity as far towards to the centre of the vehicle as possible.
Toyota GB wanted to show the range of materials utilised in the body construction, thus reinforcing the need for training in working on ever-more advanced vehicles
Supported by a number of Toyota GB suppliers, the offside rear and the nearside front corners of the damaged GR Supra were cut away, exposing the underpinnings.
“This is the first time we’ve done anything like this,” says Paul. “we asked QBE Insurance, the insurer of the car, whether we could acquire it for training and they kindly donated it to us.”
As well as working with Bob Prill, Head of Engineering at QBE, this project showed automotive collaboration at its best. ITAS (International Technical Automotive Systems) stripped, sectioned and prepared the vehicle, Approved distributor partner ACIS provided the approved paint products and Sayers Motor Factors painted the vehicle.
Toyota technicians can now study each area of the car. The colour coding highlights the different materials used within the structure. In total, the GR Supra features three types of aluminium, one mild steel, five high-strength steels and three ultra-high-strength steels.
“There are so many learnings we can take from this,” says Paul. “We can showcase how these materials have an influence on both the safety and performance of the vehicle. We want the technicians to understand the different types of materials, where the transfer of energy occurs, and where the vehicle’s panels can and can’t be sectioned. It’s a great visual aid.
“As vehicles become increasingly advanced, we need to ensure our technicians remain the best at what they do and have all the latest information available to them. We also hope it will be of benefit to our insurance partners.”
Although this type of bonded and riveted aluminium/steel structure is unique to the GR Supra within Toyota’s current model range, the overarching purpose of the project is to help give trusted, trained Toyota technicians access to new technology, so they stay at the top of their game. So it turns out that even a damaged GR Supra can be put to good use.
For more information about Toyota accident repair, click here.