Gearhead News

June 28, 2021
How Toyota Launched a Supra 100 Feet Into Some Cardboard

By now, you might’ve seen Toyota’s newest five-minute commercial for the Toyota Supra. It’s action-packed with drifting, burnouts, J-turns, and—oh yeah—a jumping car that flies 100 feet through the air.

One of the cars featured in the video was built by none other than Papadakis Racing, the California-based drift team that builds insane cars and has a stellar YouTube channel. In its latest video, team owner Stephan Papadakis goes behind the scenes of the commercial, revealing some of the filming and stunt techniques that made everything come together, including the Supra jump.

via YouTube | Papadakis Racing

On the first day of the commercial shoot, Papadakis and the production crew headed to a peninsula in San Pedro, California, a town just 10 miles from Long Beach. The goal was to jump a brand new 2021 GR Supra—painted in a flashy shade of non-production orange—for just a single scene in the commercial.

Toyota trusted Nitro Circus stuntman Andy Bell behind the wheel of the Supra, allowing him to launch the car over a huge ramp and send it flying 100 feet through the air. Instead of landing on another ramp, though, the Supra flew into more than 500 cardboard boxes.

According to Papadakis, the Supra was “pretty stock” aside from the obvious. A padded roll cage was fitted to the cabin, allowing for some extra reinforcement and safety should something go wrong. The crews also feared that the Supra would nosedive on its way to the ground, so they stuffed about 270 pounds of free weights into the rear hatch in order to offset the weight of the driver, roll cage, and other parts that were removed from the car.

The proper speed was calculated to clear the 100-foot jump and Bell completed a few test runs next to the ramp to make sure he could not only get up to speed, but also feel confident about the jump itself. After a bit of setup and planning, the stunt was greenlit.

The Supra flew through the air, its nose dipping ever-so-slightly and planting itself into the top row of cardboard boxes. By the time it landed, the car had several flat tires and a busted rear suspension. The boxes were then removed and the car was plucked from the stunt area via forklift.

You can watch Papadakis’ behind-the-scenes video below, and in case you missed the original Toyota commercial (called “The Pitch”), you can catch that here.

In the rest of the video, Papadakis Racing team member Fredric Aasbo makes an appearance delivering pizzas, as does his wife. Ken Gushi and Ryan Tuerck also get to throw down some stunts while tandeming against Aasbo’s 1,000-horsepower, Papadakis-built Supra.

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