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Feast your eyes on a prototype for the new Toyota Supra.
This is the car Toyota originally announced in 2011 when it signed a deal with BMW to jointly develop a sports car platform. BMW is using the platform for a replacement for the Z4, thought to be a new model called the Z5.
Toyota is yet to confirm the Supra name for its sports car but there have been plenty of hints it’s making a comeback. Most recently it was revealed that Toyota had trademarked the Supra name for the European market.
As the spy shots reveal, the car features a relatively small footprint. It’s clearly smaller than 2014’s FT-1 concept car, which previewed the design. Elements borrowed from the concept include the protruding nose, double-bubble roof, jet fighter-style glasshouse, muscular rear fenders, and ducktail trunk lid. We can also clearly see the layout of the new liftback.
The car isn’t expected on the market until well into 2018, which means we’ll likely see it arrive as a 2019 model. (It’s possible the debut will take place in late 2017 at the Tokyo Motor Show). Being so far out from the market arrival, there are few solid details to report on for what’s lurking within the sheet metal.
We know the new platform features a front-midship layout and a low center of gravity, as evidenced by the very low hood and roof. It’s likely to feature multi-material construction, perhaps even some carbon fiber to shed weight while boosting strength.
2019 Toyota Supra spy shots – Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
The car is expected to be offered with more than one powertrain option, with the range-topper rumored to be a hybrid powertrain combining a twin-turbocharged V-6 with an electric motor or two. The V-6 would power the rear wheels while the electric motors power the front pair, creating a “through-the-road” hybrid setup. Toyota previewed a similar setup in 2013 with its Hybrid-R concept.
The downside is that such a system would likely see the price of the Supra come in at a high level. We’ve heard it will be priced higher than a Corvette, which starts in the mid-$ 50k bracket and quickly rises from there. So to offset this Toyota may also offer an entry-level powertrain consisting purely of the twin-turbo V-6 or a turbocharged inline-4.
And to further reduce costs, production of the Toyota sports car along with its BMW counterpart is rumored to be taking place at independent vehicle manufacturer Magna Steyr’s plant located in Graz, Austria. Sharing a production facility makes sense considering the low volume of pricey sports cars.