In news that’s sure to come as a blow to motoring enthusiasts, the latest reports surrounding Toyota’s 21st century Supra revival suggest the new coupe could go without a traditional manual transmission.
According to Autocar in the UK, the reason for the auto-only specification centres around the Supra’s expected hybrid all wheel drive system - another item that’s sure to rile traditionalists with fond memories of rear-wheel drive and big turbo boost from the last Supra.
Despite the Toyota badge, the next Supra is being co-developed with BMW, which should at least see the Supra retain a turbocharged six-cylinder engine borrowed from the German automaker’s range, but also means Toyota’s version will ship with the same eight-speed automatic.
Both the Supra and next-generation Z4 it’s sharing development with will be built atop a lightweight platform that benefits from BMW’s expertise in carbon fibre construction, but to prevent treading on each other’s toes the Supra will arrive as a fixed-roof coupe while the Z4 will retain its roadster layout.
Taking a leaf from Toyota’s Le Mans racing program, the hybrid assist system will be powered by capacitors, allowing quicker discharge and recharge cycles than a traditional Toyota hybrid, maintaining the Supra’s performance edge and potentially allowing for a ‘push to pass’ style acceleration boost in short bursts.
Toyota has remained tight-lipped about official Supra details, although the 2014 FT-1 concept (pictured) is expected to form the basis for the eventual production version which is expected to surface in 2018.
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