It’s been well over a decade since the Toyota Supra was last produced, so where is its successor?
The Toyota Supra played an important role in making the Japanese automaker a true competitor in the sports car space. Even after all these years, the Supra’s 2JZ twin-turbo engine is one of the most sought-after engines by import race car builders, with the potential of rivaling even the GT-R when it comes to power output. In fact, some would say the Supra was well before its time now that we have entered an age where so many cars come with turbocharged powerplants straight from the factory.
But Toyota took a backseat in the performance world and has focused on hybrids and other alternative powertrain vehicles instead. Despite years of rumors that the company is working on a new Supra, it has never come out and plainly said or confirmed that, “A Supra successor is coming.” There is, however, plenty of reasons to believe one is in development.
5. Recent Supra Trademark in Europe
Most recently, Toyota trademarked the Supra nameplate in Europe, two years after its application to renew the trademark in the U.S. Although the company could just be protecting the Supra name from being used by competitors, the timing of it all surely hints that a successor is in the works.
4. BMW / Toyota Alliance
Given the success of Toyota’s partnership with Subaru that resulted in the FR-S (Toyota 86) and Subaru BRZ sports cars, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic that Toyota and BMW could conjure up something even better. The partnership between the two automakers was first revealed in 2012 and in late 2014, the two companies confirmed the project had moved into the concept phase. The promise was to bring a new sports car platform to market, and it is widely believed that BMW will bring out a Z5 to serve as a Z4 successor and Toyota would use it as a successor to the Supra.
The focus for the partnership is on fuel cell technology, lightweight components and hybrid systems, but both automakers also have a history of developing some of the world’s best affordable sports cars.
3. Spy Photos
Recently, spy photographers have caught a prototype testing that looks an awful lot like a successor to the BMW Z4. It is believed that the prototype is the result of BMW and Toyota’s partnership and shows off the same platform that the Supra’s successor will use. The two companies have agreed that they would not compete with one another with their offerings that share the same platform, with the Supra successor gunning for the Porsche 911 and Mercedes-AMG GT. BMW on the other hand, will target the Porsche Boxster and Mercedes SLC.
2. Toyota Needs a Halo Sports Car
The Acura NSX has finally arrived, the new Ford GT is on the horizon, and the Nissan GT-R continues to improve. Toyota seriously lacks a halo sports car in its lineup, with the most exciting vehicle being the Toyota 86, and that’s only because the automaker killed off the Scion brand. For a company that once had the Celica, MR-2/MR-S and Supra, it’s a bit disparaging that Toyota’s definition of fun is an S trim on a Corolla.
1. The FT-1 Concept
Look, no automaker in its right mind would create such a beautiful concept as the Toyota FT-1 and do nothing with it. The Toyota FT-1 concept first bowed at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, sending enthusiasts in a frenzy believing that a Supra successor was finally coming. But the company has remained relatively quiet about the concept, even more than two years later. First shown off in a racy red finish, Toyota went out to build a second example with a more subtle dark grey tone. It doesn’t really matter what color it is, the FT-1 concept looks amazing from every angle.
The good news is, Toyota president Akio Toyoda is adamant about injecting excitement and sports cars to Toyota’s lineup. He is a major reason why the Toyota 86 exists and has told the 86’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, that he wants a Supra successor as soon as possible. Unfortunately for us, that soon can’t be soon enough, but we really do expect news to break on a Supra successor by next year.