Half a year ago, Toyota divided its fans when it launched the new Supra full of BMW hardware…and software…
Toyota’s decision to partner with BMW is easy to understand from an economic and development point of view. They did the same thing with Subaru for the 86 – BRZ twins and the project was largely successful.
Today, despite the turbulent reception, Supra owners are loving their cars. It’s not the fastest one you can buy, but it’s a great sports car right from the factory floor.
Autoblog Journalist Jens Meiners sat down with the man responsible – Supra Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada to talk about the 2020 Supra and the reactions about it.
Toyota will add more power to later versions of the Supra
Everybody is curious why the BMW Z4 has 47 horsepower more than the Supra. We know the tuning of each car was done independently. However, the Supra is supposed to be the more sports-oriented of the two.
Why not add more power? When asked about it, Tetsuya Tada replied:
“With a sports car, the promise is to offer more performance with each additional version.”
There was an upgraded version all along and Tada-san can talk about it now that the base model is selling like hot bread. We can expect more power in the near future.
The Chief Engineer said in another interview that adding 50 horsepower is very easy to do. But to make the car fun, the chassis and suspension need to be evenly matched to the engine.
Tada-san chose for the Supra to have 335 horsepower because that will give you the best driving experience.
The A90 Supra will not get a stick shift or an open-top
Previous generations of the Supra had both manual and automatic gearboxes and each could be ordered with a targa top. But Tetsuya Tada assured us the A90 Supra is exactly what Toyota intends it to be.
“Customers who want a manual should choose the Toyota 86.”
“The relationship between the Supra and the Z4 resembles the relationship between the Porsche Cayman and Boxster.”
Cayman and Boxster are offered in their distinctive body styles, but even though they have the same engine, the coupe has a version which clearly outperforms the roadster.
Apparently, so will the Supra.
The tuners are already upgrading their Supras
Tetsuya Tada trained under Isao Tsuzuki, who was Chief Engineer of the previous generation Supra.
He is well aware that the A80 Supra became a phenomenon only because the car was easy to upgrade and tune. The 2JZ engine was so over-engineered, it reliably produced twice the power it was designed for – sometimes even more.
Tada took this lesson to heart and made the new Supra ready to accept modifications. The car has built-in slots for extra chassis reinforcement and openings for increased cooling capacity. And you can bet BMW engines can take some amount of extra power.
Surely enough people are already going for it. In the video below, we get to see the first modified exhaust system on a Supra and how it affects the performance.
Real Street Performance replaced the original downpipe with a less restrictive one, likely removing the catalytic converter as well.
With appropriate tuning, the gains are massive – 107 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque. It’s also 1.3 seconds faster than the stock Supra in the quarter-mile, completing the distance in 11.48 seconds.
The guys mentioned other shops already have the engine out, fitting bigger turbos and fiddling with the ECU. So, we can expect new records and improvements pretty much on a daily basis.
And that’s what Toyota Supra is all about.