Toyota flagship on the horizon
The long-awaited successor to the Toyota Supra is looking good to hit the road as soon as 2018 — or “as late as 2018”, depending on how long you’ve been waiting — according to a UK report.
A fortnight ago it was reported that Toyota’s upcoming performance flagship would be powered by a BMW engine paired with a Toyota-developed hybrid system.
Now, Britain’s Autocar website claims Toyota is believed to be at a similar stage of development to its German partner BMW. Prototypes for the closely-related BMW Z4 replacement have been spotted testing over the past six months.
A Toyota prototype is still yet to be seen, however. BMW and Toyota have been working on a joint sports car project since they announced their partnership in 2012 but the two companies have begun to move in their own directions.
Toyota’s car will come as the successor to its Supra coupe of the 90s and early noughties, which ceased production back in 2002. The Supra successor will sit well above the 86 in the company’s performance lineup, sporting a design likely to be inspired by the Toyota FT-1 concept.
If previous reports are correct, the Supra will feature a BMW-sourced engine, four-wheel drive and and an electric boost courtesy of a Toyota hybrid system.
BMW’s product will be a replacement for its ageing sports car and is rumoured to be called the Z5. Convertible and coupe bodies are expected, using a rear-wheel drive platform shared with the Supra.
Engine options are expected to include a range of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines, channelled through the rear or all four wheels.
It is understood that BMW will employ its expertise in carbon-fibre construction in both models’ architecture, which has already been seen in the i3, i8 and 7 Series. Autocar’s report speculates the Supra will arrive shortly after the Z5 – which is believed to be scheduled for a 2017 debut ahead of a 2018 release.
Toyota has remained tight-lipped about the details of a successor to one of its most iconic nameplates but, Tetsuya Tada, the company’s sports car chief, said in May:“We are putting all the effort into making [a hero model] happen”.
Only time will tell if these rumours eventuate into a final product, but here’s to hoping that the Supra is revived.