Next-gen Toyota Supra could throw tradition out the windowby Ronan Glon
It might not have a straight-six, and it might not look like a coupe.
The Toyota fans who are unhappy with the high number of BMW parts found in the new Supra might be in for a rude surprise. The Japanese company has already started thinking about the sixth-generation Supra, and one of its insiders hinted it might completely break with tradition.
"The A100 will come, one day, but the taste will probably be very different. It might be an EV, or autonomous, or like a Formula E car. Who knows. The A100 might take the Supra name in a drastically different direction. Definitely different from lineage of A70 and A80," said Tetsuya Tada, the Supra's chief engineer, in an interview with Japanese Nostalgic Car.
Tada explained the Supra's fate will ultimately be in the hands of the engineer that succeeds him when he retires. However, the person that replaces him will need to navigate through or around ever-stricter emissions regulations, and a slow but steady shift towards increasingly autonomous vehicles. Buyer demand is another factor in this equation; will motorists still want a coupe in 10 or 15 years?
These question marks already shaped the current Supra, which, as everyone knows by now, was developed with input from BMW. Developing the car in-house was possible, but it would have delayed its launch to 2021, which would have made the process of homologating it much more difficult.
"If we had gone that route, the car would not be done, even today. It wouldn't be out for at least a few more years. The problem is, you can't sell a car like I showed you today in 2021. Safety and emissions regulations are getting tighter and tighter every year," Tada told Japanese Nostalgic Car.