How Much BMW Will we See in the New Toyota Supra?
German engineering in Japan’s iconic coupeby Ciprian Florea, on
The brand-new Toyota Supra just made its first dynamic run at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. And even though Toyota showcased a camouflaged prototype instead of the production model, the excitement knob is already turned up to 11 and slowly moving toward 12. The coupe is still shrouded in mystery and what bugs me most is how much BMW it will have under the skin.
It’s already common knowledge that the new Supra was co-developed with BMW. Unlike the Toyota 86, which is the result of badge engineering with Subaru, the Supra won’t look like the upcoming BMW Z4. The two companies designed their own outer shells and interiors, but much of the underpinnings will be shared.
Chassis and Suspension
BMW is known for its excellent car dynamics, and the Supra can only benefit from that
The chassis is one of them. Whether the two will also share suspension bits is unknown, but it makes sense for both the Supra and Z4 to get common parts here as well. Not only will it keeps costs low for both companies, but BMW is known for its excellent car dynamics and the Supra can only benefit from that. Fortunately, Toyota will do its own setup, so the Supra won’t ride like a Z4.
This is excellent news, since the Z4 and Supra are completely different cars. While the Z4 is a roadster that needs to behave like a sports car, the Supra is a full-fledged grand tourer that needs to be ready to tackle the race track when needed. We already know there will be version tuned by Gazoo Racing, so the Supra will definitely be the better track car in this setup.
The Toyota Supra could also get a four-cylinder from the BMW Z4
The two vehicles will also share engines. What we do know so far is that Toyota will use one of BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six units. The unit in question is likely based on the B85, which is found in Bimmers with a"40i" badge. These engines produce 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet in some models. Toyota will probably meddle with these figures, but the Supra should get similar ratings. Whether Gazoo Racing will modify this engine for a higher trim is yet unknown, but the Japanese could easily squeeze at least 350 horsepower out of it.
The six-banger could also be used in the hybrid model. BMW also produces hybrids, but only in conjunction with four-cylinder engines. This isn’t an issue though, as Toyota is one of the industry’s leading carmakers when it comes to hybrids and it should be able to develop a great combo on its own. The Supra could also get a four-cylinder from the Z4, but we still don’t know the company’s plans when it comes to trim levels and accessibility. An entry-level model with around 200 horsepower will definitely use BMW’s turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger.
There's no confirmation yet, but it makes sense for Toyota to also use BMW's dual-clutch automatic transmission
The sharing will continue in the transmission department. There’s no confirmation yet, but it makes sense for Toyota to also use BMW’s dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Supra Racing Concept is fitted with paddle shifters as confirmation, but the road car should get an automatic too. Although Toyota produces its very own automatic gearboxes, BMW’s DCT is by far the superior unit for sporty cars. And Gazoo Racing should get the best out of it.
Chances are the Supra will be assembled in Regensburg, Germany, where the Z4 is built
Finally, the Supra and Z4 could share the same assembly line. It may sound a bit ludicrous for Japan’s most iconic sports car to be built in a different country, but adapting a Toyota factory to deal with BMW’s parts supply chain would be a complex and expensive task. Chances are the Supra will be assembled in Regensburg, Germany, where the Z4 is built. This could be an issue with the Gazoo-prepped models, as shipping them to Japan and back will increase costs, but Toyota must have something up its sleeve for this process.
Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.
Read our full review on the 2018 Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept.
Read our full review on the 2014 Toyota FT-1 concept car.
Read our full speculative review of the 2020 BMW Z4
Read our review on the BMW Z4 Concept.
Read more Toyota news.
Read more Goodwood Festival of Speed.