A straight-six engine was on Toyota’s list of must-haves for the new Supra. It’s been a feature of the model in every generation, and unlike Nissan with its Z-cars or GT-Rs, a move to a V6 was a non-starter, despite Toyota’s range having several options.
This is, at least publicly, part of the reason BMW was chosen as a partner in development of the Supra. And that’s why the Supra’s 3-litre in-line six is BMW’s B58 unit, as seen not just in the latest Z4 but also in various states of tune in everything from 3-series to 8-series, and even the Morgan Plus Six.
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In the Supra it makes 335bhp from 5000 to 6500rpm, and 369lb ft from 1600 to 4500rpm. Overseas versions will soon be getting an even more potent variant with 382bhp, though the internet would have you believe the Supra is conservatively quoted anyway, so who’s really counting? The engine uses variable valve control and variable camshaft timing, a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, and direct injection.
The transmission is an eight-speed automatic. Yep, the ubiquitous ZF unit, and controlled via a fairly familiar lever in the Supra’s cabin too. No manual is offered, nor even promised as yet, and the UK won’t be getting the new (and also BMW-engined) 2-litre turbocharged Supra any time soon, perhaps for fear of eating into already meagre GT86 sales.
A look at the styling alone shows that Toyota went its own way with the car’s structure even if the underpinnings are BMW-sourced, and it was the Japanese company that was apparently sensible for angling the project towards being a proper sports car rather than a mini-GT – something that could easily have happened, judging by the direction of BMW’s Z4 until this latest generation.
Toyota also says the two companies went their own way with chassis development once the basics – MacPherson struts up front, five-link rear, electrically assisted rack and pinion – had been decided upon. The Supra runs 19-inch wheels front and rear, with 255/35 and 275/35 Michelin Pilot Super Sports front and rear. Dampers are adaptive, and BMW-sourced, but tuned to Toyota’s own specifications. That’s essentially the Supra’s make-up in a nutshell: BMW parts, Toyota tuning.