Toyota Supra firming for 2018 launch – report
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 new report out of the UK.
Now, a new report by British website Autocar claims Toyota is believed to be at a similar stage of development to German partner BMW for its upcoming performance flagship – as prototypes for the closely-related Z4 replacement have been spotted testing over the last six months. A Toyota prototype is still yet to be seen, however.
Toyota FT-1 grey – rear
Above: The Toyota FT-1 concept is believed – or at least hoped – to be a preview of the new Supra
BMW and Toyota have been working on a joint sports car project since they announced their partnership in 2012, however, the two companies have now begun to move in their own directions.
Toyota’s car will come as the successor to its iconic 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 line-up, sporting a design likely 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.
Above: A prototype of BMW’s upcoming ‘Z5’
BMW’s product will be a replacement for its ageing Z4 sports car – rumoured to be called Z5. Convertible and coupe bodies are expected, utilising 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.
The Supra name is also likely to be attached to Toyota’s production model, after the company trademarked the name in Europe, New Zealand and the Philippines earlier this year, and the US in years prior.
Above: The original Toyota Supra
While Toyota has remained tight-lipped about the details of a successor to one of its most iconic nameplates, Tetsuya Tada, the company’s sports car chief, said to CarAdvice in May: “We are putting all the effort into making (a hero model) happen”.
The Supra would be the second sports model in Toyota’s line-up to be the lovechild of a collaboration with another manufacturer – the 86/BRZ twins come to mind.
Only time will tell if these rumours eventuate into a final product, but here’s to hoping that the Supra is revived.
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