Lexus just built a sports car—a real sports car. The new LC 500 and 500h are exactly what one would think of when imagining a baby LFA. And with 467 some odd horses under the hood, it definitely lives up to the promise. But the new Lexus sports car is more than just a good move for the luxury marque,–it’s an entire shift in the thinking for the Toyota brand as a whole. Meaning the possibility of a new Supra is closer to reality than ever before.
To understand how we got to this point, we have to go back to 2014. Toyota unveiled the FT-1 concept in Detroit, and the world collectively lost their ever-loving minds. Toyota Supra forums damn near exploded with rumors of its arrival, and fanboys of yore were seriously considering putting down deposits for a car that wasn’t even on the market…yet.
Then, the Lexus LC 500 came along. Unveiled in Detroit just last month, it felt sort of like a luxed up FT-1, with a dramatic design and a completely unique platform. Why would Lexus—essentially just a subsidiary of Toyota—build a completely unique platform for one car? That’s the (literal) million dollar question.
If you understand how auto manufacturing works, you understand that a healthy number of cars share parts, engines, and specifically platforms. The Audi R8 is essentially just a tamer Lamborghini Huracan. The Cadillac ATS-V is pretty much just a Camaro in a tuxedo. So, one would think that the same platform for the Lexus LC could underpin a sportier Toyota Supra, no?
But you might be asking yourself: weren’t Toyota and BMW in bed together working on a new Supra? Yes and no. A joint platform developed by BMW and Toyota is alleged to spawn a new Z4. That sounds great. Rumors also pointed to that same platform spawning a new Toyota Supra…but something just doesn’t add up there.
The Z4, while good in its own right, doesn’t necessarily stand toe-to-toe with the Supra. That is, if we’re assuming the Supra will be something like the FT-1 concept we saw two years ago. Comparably, a new Supra would sit somewhere closer in competition to cars like the Corvette or Jaguar F-Type. That’s not exactly where the Z4 sits, relative to the rest of the market.
If you’re not convinced yet, here’s one last thing to consider: the Supra badge can only be worn on a car developed by Toyota, and Toyota alone. When the FR-S first debuted, Toyota shared with us a little secret: because it was jointly developed with Subaru, it could never bear the name of the beloved Supra. It just wasn’t a pure Toyota product, like the original Supra.
With a new platform developed by Lexus—essentially just Toyota engineers—it would be the perfect starting point for a new Supra. All the rumors, all the concepts, and all the talk seem to be falling into place. A new Supra is coming, people, prepare to be blown away.