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BMW Chosen for Toyota Supra Development to Honor Fundamentals

The Toyota Supra may have started as a long-nose Celica with shared parts from luxury sedans, but it’s always had a Toyota heart and body.

However, the new A90 Supra will ride on the next BMW Z4‘s chassis and use a Bavarian turbo straight-six under its hood.

Teased by the Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept at the Geneva Auto Show, the new Supra won’t use the similar-size rear-wheel drive platform from the Lexus LC 500 and its V8 engine, the twin-turbo V6 from the LS or the 2.0-liter turbo petrol found in several Lexii.

Asked why Toyota has sought help from BMW rather than use its own parts, Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada explained to Autotrader that consumer demand dictated that BMW’s offering is a better fit with Supra’s heritage.

“As you know, Toyota Supra made its revival after 15 long years, and so when we thought about what kind of car we’d like to create, first we built the 86, and then we were hearing a lot of voices and requests from fans around the world that they want Supra to be revived.

“So first thing I did in the project was to go around the different fans that exist around the world of Supra and hear about what they think and what their requests were.

“I didn’t want to simply just revive the Supra now, I wanted to make and adopt new technologies into a new car, at the same time, and so hearing these different voices and requests around the world, I understood that there are two elements that are essential that we need to keep in this new Supra.

“So as you know this is the fifth-generation Supra, but from the first through the fourth-generation there has been one consistency, which is the straight-six engine that has been installed in all of them — and these are obviously very important elements for Supra.

“Another important element is FR (front engine, rear drive) configuration.

“So I understood that these two elements should remain in the new car.

“But straight-six engines [were] very popular when Supra was popular back in the years, but now there are only a few companies that still adopt a straight-six engine, because it is too long and it’s quite difficult to fit that into the whole car package.

“Well, on one hand I have this opportunity to work together with BMW on some kind of car development, but on the other, there was this other opportunity to revive Supra, and I thought that I was the perfect opportunity and perfect match to utilize different elements that are within the two companies.”

BMW’s diversity of transmissions is also an exception in the current market — with a spread of stick shift, auto and dual clutch autos in its arsenal — but this was surprisingly not a clincher.

“Both BMW and Toyota have different transmission options, but that was not a determining factor,” Tada San added.

It remains to be seen if the new Supra will be offered with a stick, even though the four generations before it came with a choice of two transmissions.

The concept is fitted with steering wheel mounted paddles, suggesting it might be hiding BMW’s DCT dual-clutcher under the floor.

The production version is expected to be revealed within the next 12 months, so we’ll all find out soon enough.

Read more about the new Toyota Supra


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