Toyota takes seriously the construction of cars that interest the heart, not just the spirit.
This is the return of the Supra, one of his most emblematic models, with the aim of reconnecting with his past of illustrious performances and attracting fans again in the showrooms. The coupe is expected to make its official debut in January at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but Toyota apparently can not seem to control it. We saw the coupe several times thanks to an increasing number of leaks. Now, the Mexican division of the company has wrongly published a video on Twitter that shows it in motion. The images have since been removed, but the enthusiastic SupraMKV website has backed them up.
Supra, who was born again, has been in preparation for a very long time. Rumors alluding to this product first appeared in 2006. We thought we could see it at the Tokyo Motor Show 2017, but the event closed with no sign of a Toyota coupe. We then assumed that this vehicle would make its world debut in January at the Detroit show in 2018, but one of the company's executives admitted that the car was not ready yet. Three was not the charm either; The event did not break the coverage at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, although Toyota launched a race car-like concept car to whet our appetite. The Supra also attended car shows in Paris and Los Angeles. It may be a bit shy for the camera.
What does it look like?
The Supra brand debuted in 1978. Toyota used it over four generations of the coupe until the last example in 2002. The designers could easily have gone to the retro, they had the heritage to back it up, but they do not did not do it. They preferred to look towards the future. The next Supra adopts a sleek, modern design inspired by the well-received FT-1 concept, presented at the Detroit Auto Show in 2014.
Its front end is characterized by a long hood, horizontal headlights, a pronounced front cone and large air dams integrated into the bumper. The roof line just rises above the driver and gently descends into a ducktail spoiler, a style landmark that gives the model an almost fastback look. The rear bumper receives an oversized air diffuser flanked by two round exhaust outlets. And, like the original Supra, the fifth generation model has a hatch that enhances functionality. It's a sports car with which you can live every day, not just a track toy that stays in the garage during the week.
It's no secret that the sports car segment is in decline around the world. It is therefore increasingly difficult for companies to justify the money spent on newcomers. That's why Toyota partnered with Subaru to design the 86 and Fiat re-dressed the Mazda MX-5 Miata to bring back the 124 Spider. The Supra shares its platform with the third-generation BMW Z4 introduced in California in August 2018. We have often found that prototypes were tested with other BMW models, suggesting that the German brand is at home. less in part responsible for the development of the Toyota chassis it corresponds to his ethics of "ultimate driving machine".
The Supra and the next BMW sedan use the same basic architecture, but their appearance is completely different. For starters, the Supra will only be offered as a coupe, while the roadster will not give birth to a hard top model. The brand-specific sheet will ensure that the Supra looks like a Toyota and that the Z4 has a BMW. Do not be afraid, enthusiastic, this will not be another case of indolent engineering badges.
They will not drive the same either. "When it comes to design, it will be absolutely unique. Not only in terms of design, but also in terms of driving and behavior, "promised Marc Werner, head of BMW's Australian division, in an interview with the CarAdvice website.
What's under the hood?
Toyota has confirmed that the Supra will be launched with a six-cylinder in-line borrowed from the trash of BMW parts. The turbocharged 3.0-liter unit will produce about 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque in its most basic base state. Rear-wheel drive will be the only configuration proposed, but transmission options are not yet confirmed. Some rumors claim that the model will only be automatic, while others claim that a six-speed manual transmission will be offered in some markets.
Fans who want even more power will have to switch to hybridization. Sources close to Toyota's plans announced to Autocar that Supra's second powertrain would be a gasoline-electric hybrid built around a turbocharged four-cylinder engine borrowed from BMW and powerful electric motors drawing electricity from supercapacitors inspired by endurance races. Again, the hybrid powertrain could be automatic only. It's a bad time to worship the stick quarters, especially in the United States.
"If we can have a Hybrid Endurance World Championship race car, this can happen on a road car," said Johan van Zyl, president of Toyota's European division, at British auto magazine Express.
What are his rivals?
Historically, the Nissan Z has been the enemy of the Supra. Rivalry in the manner of the snake and the mongoose will continue after Supra returns. The 370Z is one of the oldest cut on the market, so it is possible that it is no longer in production when the Supra arrives. Nissan had previously confirmed that it would replace the model, although the company has asked its designers to take their time. The Supra will also compete with the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang, as well as a range of European-style coupes, such as the Audi A5 and the BMW 4 Series.
When can I buy one?
The Japanese company has confirmed that it will send the first copies to buyers in the first half of 2019, which means that it will reach showrooms as a 2020 model. Information on prices and availability will only be announced at approach of the date of sale. Gerald Killman, Toyota's Vice President of Research and Development, bluntly announced that "it will not be cheap."
Contract manufacturer Magna Steyr will build the Z4 and Supra at its facility in Graz, Austria, alongside the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. Combined production will be limited to around 60,000 units per year.
Updated January 11, 2019: Added a leaked video, as well as the latest information on the Toyota Supra.