Toyota Started Working On The New Supra In Early 2012

Creating a successor to a vehicle as iconic as the Toyota Supra was never going to be easy. It’s therefore rather fitting that the Japanese marque is taking its time in making the new sports car a reality.

During a recent interview with a Japanese publication, Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada revealed that work on the model has been underway since early 2012, SupraMKV reports.

“I was in the middle of the 86 Press Launch in Spain when I received a call from Japan. It was Uchiyamada-san (VP of Toyota) asking/ordering me to go to Germany,” Tada-san said.

The engineer had previously been instrumental in the creation of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ and was a fitting choice to lead the development of the new-age Supra.

“Besides working with Subaru on the twins, I also have experience working with Daihatsu on the Passo,” Tada-san said of Toyota’s decision to choose him to develop the car. “So I guess I have experience negotiating with other companies.”

Can two automotive superpowers conquer the sports car world?

Shortly afterwards, Toyota and BMW announced a partnership initially starting with diesel engines. From there, a relationship blossomed to include the development of a new Supra and BMW Z4. However, convincing the German marque of Toyota’s ambitions wasn’t so easy.

“The second time around I came up to them and said, “Let’s make a sports car that will blow Porsche away!”. BMW responded with “Hrm…..,” Tada-san revealed.

Toyota Supra GT Racing Concept

“I got the impression that the people at BMW believe that we have no understanding what it takes to build a car that can beat Porsche. The mindset is different. They were not into direct benchmarking or anything like that. They said, “If you like Porsche so much, why don’t you just buy one?”

Unlike the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ twins, the new Supra and Z4 will be radically different from each other and use different engines. Powering the Supra will be a naturally-aspirated inline six-cylinder engine from BMW that produces upwards of 450 hp without any hybrid tech or forced induction. By comparison, the BMW will be sold with a selection of four- and six-cylinder engines with grunt ranging between 195 hp and 380 hp.

Despite the new Supra setting out to be a true driver’s car, the automaker doesn’t intend on offering it with a six-speed manual transmission and will reportedly sell it exclusively with a dual-clutch ‘box.

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Photo credits: CarPix for Carscoops

  • TrevP

    Seems like a long time, but I am hopeful it will be pretty damn good.

  • pjl35

    So they’ve been working on it for probably longer than it will actually be produced/sold (6+ years)? And it’s still not out or revealed yet…

    • Alter Ego

      The LFA was in development for >9 years and only had two model years. The hope is that it will bring more people to the brand and they technologies they create for this car will eventually fall to others in the lineup.

      • pjl35

        the LFA was also a six-figure halo car; this isn’t quite the same thing.

        • Alter Ego

          It’s not exactly the same but the main point of the car is too invigorate the brand.

          • pjl35

            and again…hard to invigorate when it still isn’t on the market, let alone hasn’t been revealed.

          • Alter Ego

            What do you mean? Duh it’s not out. That doesn’t change Toyota’s purpose of the car. What’s your point?

          • pjl35


          • Alter Ego

            Yes the car isn’t out yet. Is… that your point? I really don’t know what you’re saying but I pointed out that this isn’t unusual and it doesn’t matter given the purpose of the car. The production LFA was revealed ~8 years into development and eyes were already drawn to Toyota when the concept was revealed 3 years before that.

          • pjl35

            mmmkay. good talk. i’m gonna move on to having a more productive discussion with a brick wall.

          • Alter Ego

            Good idea. It seems like you have trouble taking to people and making sense so a brick wall might be more on your level 👍

          • pjl35

            Sure, Jan.

  • Mr. Crankypants

    Toyota should “86” the 86 nomenclature and rebadge it as the Celica…the good old days of the Celica and Supra would be back.

    • Nordschleife

      Agreed 100%

  • Thunderbolt

    Toyota should have used its existing 3.5-liter V-6 engine and be making profit by now.

  • no25

    Yeah we know. There’s been an article every other day and we’ve yet to see what it looks like.

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    And it’s 2018 and the thing still has yet to be unveiled but we’ve gotten years worth of spy shots.

  • Alfa Giulia QV

    Here’s what I learned about it from all the articles up until now:

    *It will have a DCT as Toyota thinks no one will car for a manual.

    *It will have 50/50 weight distribution.

    *It will have a N/A inline six sourced from BMW.

    *And it will have 450hp.

    I heard it won’t be cheap so I’m assuming it’s going to be somewhere between $60k – $80k for MSRP. And knowing dealers, as well as the hype around the Supra, I expect the markups to be around $100k at least.

    • Bo Hanan

      * It will have a manual. Ignore the lies.
      * Yes, 50/50.
      * it will have a BMW 440i, 3.0L turbo engine w/ 340HP
      * N/A 450HP str8-6? Yeah, right!

      • Alter Ego

        The TVR Speed Six makes 405HP and is an i6. I don’t think 450HP is crazy. Porsche got 500HP from a flat 6.

        • Bo Hanan

          Toyota is not Porsche or TVR. And if BMW has that engine in its arsenal you can bet the would not, I repeat, THEY WOULD NOT give it to Toyota. They would keep it.

          • Alter Ego

            I don’t know why you think Toyota+BMW couldn’t do what they did a decade ago or that BMW wouldn’t share such an engine (~130HP/L isn’t that special). Also, upon further research, it looks like the 450HP engine may be turbocharged, so that’s even less far-fetched.

      • Alfa Giulia QV

        Ok, will you kindly link me to where you got the info? I really would like to see where Toyota confirmed that the Supra will have a manual because everything I read said the opposite.

  • Bo Hanan

    It was such a “daunting task” for Toyota to build the new Supra that they handed it over to BMW. Hmmmmh.

  • ErnieB

    This car is a pile of boloney..move on people.. so many great options why even bother..

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    We get it… now unveil the damn car already, Toyota!

  • SteersUright

    ” Powering the Supra will be a naturally-aspirated inline six-cylinder engine from BMW that produces upwards of 450 hp without any hybrid tech or forced induction. ”

    Where does this nonsense claim keep coming from? Every other article and bit of news indicated shared powertrains and BMW hasn’t done a high performance n.a. I-6 in a very long time. Also, 450hp from a 3.0 Inline-6 suggests race-car engine levels of stress, short life-span with limited durability. Nothing which Toyota stands for. 450hp? Maybe. N.A. engine? Very hard to believe but totally fkn awesome if true.

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