The New Supra... A Spiritual Successor?
Updated: Nov 3, 2019
It has been nothing but speculation and debate over what the new Toyota Supra will be like when it hits the streets sometime early next year. Last week at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada and driver Herwig Daenens took the #A90 through it's paces up the short course, wowing both the car crazed automotive fans in person; as well as setting the internet ablaze with questions.
What we know for sure is that the new #Supra is being co-developed with BMW as they are creating a sister car similar to the way Mazda and FCA created what is now the MX-5 Miata and Fiat 124 respectively. The Z4 by BMW uses the same underpinnings as the upcoming Supra except for it being a roadster and the Supra keeping it's roof. It is also being reported that both cars will be assembled by Magna Steyr in Austria, and even share the same power plants.
Yes, the same power plants will cross brands as BMW and Toyota entered a partnership in 2012 to develop engine technology as well as lithium ion batteries for each others more energy efficient platforms. But that is the bombshell for many proud Toyota owners, the numbers of 335 hp sound eerily familiar as the inline six reported to be used is the B58B30 out of the M240i; a great way to propel this new chassis but a far departure from the Yamaha built sixes of the past. Quickly noting other engine news is that a four cylinder option will be available, the 2.0 L 262 HP B48B20 found in BMW's 320i; this according to Tada-san will be the more balanced and cheaper version of the Supra sports car.
Which leads me to a question worth asking, is a manual necessary when automatics make for a fast sports car? What most enthusiasts love about sports cars is outright performance matched with an indescribably connection. It is the foot on the throttle, the vibration of a shift knob, the press of the clutch, and the selection of the next gear as we rush to the next corner that rises the spirits of sports car drivers. The Supra as of now will not have a manual, nor will it's BMW counterpart; a ZF sourced ZF-8HP51HIS 8-speed automatic. The auto will handle the duty of selecting the proper gear, albeit along with a paddle-shifter; to get the most out the six or four cylinder. Automakers are shying away from putting manuals in cars and it is no surprise, buyers are mostly opting for automatics and with what should be an exquisitely built gear changer, it will be the faster option regardless of engine choice, but again the choice is not yours when heading to the dealership.
#Toyota has tested the A90 on the Nurburgring, it has developed it's only Japanese feel and injected a spirit inside of this chassis, but to what avail? What will this vehicle move? The GT style of the previous generations of Supras? Or will this be a GTR-ification of the Supra where performance is held as the highest standard? So many questions are left to be answered but we can only wait and see as more details come out.
The only thing i know for sure is that enthusiasts will still find a way to make their mark with the new MK5 Supra as they did with previous iterations of this sports car, Toyota is serious about bringing back it's greatest hits.
For now enjoy a video of the A90 attacking the hill climb at last week's Goodwood festival.
All photos used are not my own