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Toyota Re-Gains Supra Name


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Who knew that the Supra nameplate was on the market? Toyota let its hold on theSupra name go after the car was discontinued, but the Japanese automaker recently applied to get the name back. Although Toyota hasn’t made any formal announcement, we have to think that this move means that the name might be used on the new FT-86 sports car.

The trademark was lost back in 2006, as the company never renewed the deal to hold onto the name. According to Car and Driver, Toyota filled out an application to take back the Supra name on July 16.

The automotive magazine had a chance to talk to Toyota about the situation and Communications VP Mike Michels said that company only got the name back to preserve ownership of the name. This isn’t uncommon, as automakers hold onto nameplates for years after the car was discontinued. That being said, Toyota chose to do this at a very interesting time.

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13 comments:

Regardless of the name, i miss the spirit of the Supra. A fast affortable car, that could outperform the badgesnob’s expensive Ferraris and Porches. The fact that the Jeremy Clarksons of this world mocked it for being "just a Toyota" made it even more appealing to me.

I don’t think that using the Supra nameplate for today’s generation is a good idea. Let’s just leave it to history.

The name isn’t that important to me. If it is to be Celica, then so be it. As you yourself pointed out several times, the LFA is the Supra’s successor. Should it be named Toyota Supra and not Lexus LFA? IMO yes. But i don’t see what’s so disgrasefull about a 5. gen. Supra with a powerfull twin turbo V8. They should have made such a car in 2003 as an evolution of the MK4

I have no problem with Toyota building an affordable performance car under the name of Celica or something else. But what you’re talking about would just be a disgrace to the Supra name.

Or look at it in another way. Look at the LFA as the Supra’s successor on the tracks. A 5. generation Supra could be what the 4. gen. also was. An affortable performance car.

The last generation Supra is still the greatest all-around performance car ever sold; no other car can break the Nurburgring record for under $40K and still function as a practical, comfortable and reliable commuter. Due to the abundance of expensive technology and the overly-restricting government safety and emission standards, it would be impossible for Toyota to properly follow-up on the MKIV Supra with a gasoline-powered or hybrid car. Releasing a fifth generation of Supra as the world’s fastest electric car is the only way that Toyota could produce a new Supra that would be in keeping with the standards of affordability, usability, advanced technology and record-shattering performance that made the fourth generation model so exceptional.

Let’s go back to 2002, when the Supra was finally discontinued. If they, as they should have done, released a 5. version a natural step would be to give it a V8 twin turbo engine. But if they choose to release it with a V6 twin turbo i would prefer that over an electric or hybrid electric. Would prefer the old 2JZ over a V6, but Toyota stopped making I6 engines, to be able to use them across the lineup, in front while as well as rear wheel drive.

I was going to say the same thing. The last-gen Supra is timeless, and the thought of them making a new one with today’s styling makes me ill. Re-issue the previous model, with up-to-date headlights, airbags (unfortunately) and emissions controls, and give it to us at a price that kills the Z.

Progress is a good thing. But some things i prefer to be traditional. Cars is one of those things. Any progress is wellcome as long as the traditional internal combustion engine is part of it. And since we import all our oil from Norway, i don’t have to worry about sending money to the Middle East. Another thing is, that people don’t seem to realise, that electrical energy doesn’t produce itselt, no matter how it is stored.

I don’t see what is so depressing about an electric Supra. Electric cars are cheaper to run, cheaper to maintain, faster to manufacture, send less money to the Middle East, and have full torque at all rpms. So long as it can lap the ’Ring in under 7:30, what’s not to like about an electric Supra?

Depressing. Now i think i know how people feld when the car replaced the horse and the carrage.

I agree that the FT-86 and Supra are in entirely different leagues, but I doubt that we’ll have to worry about Toyota ruining the Supra name that way. I have reason to believe that the Supra will be returning for 2012, and that it will be a 100% electric vehicle aimed at beating the Porsche 918 around the Nurburgring. Here is why:

Roughly two weeks after Toyota signed an EV contract with Tesla Motors, Road and Track reported on a virtually undisguised Lexus LFA prototype bearing a peculiar flap on the left front fender. The placement of the flap and the use of similar disguises for Chevrolet Volt prototypes leads one to suspect that it is concealing a recharging port, which in conjunction with the regular fuel filler present on the car suggests that the test mule is a plug-in hybrid. R&T predicts the market debut of the supercar to be 2012, before the Porsche 918 for 2013. Performance target is simply to beat the 918.

That is all that Road & Track reported. However, I have multiple reasons to suspect that there is more to this story than first meets the eye, and this prototype is not a hybrid LFA but an all-electric supercar to be branded as the new Supra. The first reason to support my 100% electric theory is that the exhaust on this prototype appears to be artificial; it can be seen in some of the pictures that there is empty space in the area under the car where the exhaust channeling would otherwise be visible, and all that you can see are the artificial tips. This suggests that the car has no exhaust and thus no combustion engine, meaning that the powertrain underneath is entirely electric. Secondly, if you look closely at the front bumper and the rear fender overhangs, as well as some of the body seams, it appears as if this is not an actual LFA but a downsized version of the LFA’s chassis sporting a dummy look-alike LFA bodyshell. In conjunction with Toyota’s recent agreement with Tesla and a recent Motor Trend report that Toyota is working on an electric supercar based on the LFA chassis, the electric vehicle theory behind this prototype is plenty probable. There are also two reasons to support that this is not just an electric sports car but the next-generation Supra: firstly, company president Akio Toyoda stated at a recent press conference that he wished to build a new Supra with "a powertrain suitable for the 21st century." Secondly, 2012—the vehicle’s suspected target launch—marks the 30th anniversary of the legendary sports car.

I doubt they will badge the FT-86 as the Supra. They are in a different league.

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