Toyota explains why it didn't design the 2020 Supra in-house
It would have cost more, and it wouldn't be out yet.
Supra fans cried foul when Toyota teamed up with BMW to develop the fifth-generation Supra. They claim it's not a worthy successor to the first four models, and it's more German than Japanese. The car's chief engineer disagrees with the criticism, and he explained why Toyota wasn't able to design the car on its own.
"It wasn't a matter of lowering costs. The Supra had to have an inline-six. BMW had a good inline-six," affirmed Tetsuya Tada, Toyota's performance boss, in an interview with Jalopnik. Mercedes-Benz makes a good straight-six, too, but the engine wasn't available (or even announced) when development work started.
Tada added that developing the Supra in-house would have delayed the car by two or three years, meaning we might not have seen it until 2023. And, while the point of teaming up with BMW wasn't solely to save costs, the partnership allowed both companies to achieve significant savings. An all-Toyota Supra would cost over $100,000, Tada told Jalopnik.
"To make the car so expensive would defeat the purpose of a Toyota sports car," he said. That's also why the Supra isn't built using composite materials like carbon fiber. Saving a few hundred pounds wasn't worth making it tens of thousands of dollars more expensive.
Photo by Brian Williams.