The new car, previewed in 2014 by the Toyota FT-1 concept, will resume its position as Toyota’s sports car flagship, sitting well above the Toyota 86, which by that stage will be preparing to enter its second generation.
As part of the collaborative agreement between Toyota and BMW, the joint sports car platform will see technology from each manufacturer make its way into the final product, with the Supra likely to be powered by a version of BMW’s turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine.
BMW will also contribute to the high tech construction of the new Supra, with a version of the Carbon Core chassis used in the 7 Series and i3 expected for the sports car platform.
Rounding out the advanced feature-set, a hybrid all-wheel-drive system, fuelled by fast-charging supercapacitors, is set to deliver the expected high-performance boost. This too forms an integral part of the collaborative agreement between the German and Japanese companies.
The Supra’s high-tech approach to powertrain and construction means that the ‘back to basics’ 86 will continue as a low-cost sports car for Toyota’s range, allowing the Supra to be priced in a more profitable market segment.
In a recent interview with UK publication Autocar, BMW board member Dr Ian Robertson revealed that despite similarities beneath the skin, the Z4 successor, likely to be called the Z5, and the Toyota sports car wouldn’t be fighting for the same market share.
“The cars in themselves don’t actually need to be positioned the same,” Dr Robertson said. “The platform can spawn two positionings.”
Despite differences in price, position and size, the two sports cars would also most likely roll out of a single factory, according to Dr Robertson, however that decision has yet to be made, with market demand likely to dictate where construction takes place.
The last generation Supra completed its production run in 2002, however Australian buyers last saw the six-cylinder performance coupe in an official capacity in 1998.
A 2018 return for the Supra would mark the 40th anniversary since the first Celica-based Supra appeared in Japan in 1978.
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