SUPRA: THE SAME, ONLY DIF­FER­ENT

Autocar - - PROTOTYPE DRIVE -

BMW’S Z4 devel­op­ment team won’t talk about the Toy­ota Supra. Of course they won’t, you might say; it’s not their car. Ex­cept it sort of is, be­cause it has been de­vel­oped largely by BMW for Toy­ota, on the same ar­chi­tec­ture as the Z4, and is likely to fea­ture dif­fer­ently tuned ver­sions of the same en­gine and gear­box. The Supra is, in ef­fect, the Z4’s brother from an­other mother.

Don’t ex­pect them to be twins, though; not only does the twoseat Supra have a fixed roof, but it has also been de­vel­oped to meet dif­fer­ent goals de­fined by Toy­ota. Tet­suya Tada, Toy­ota’s chief Supra en­gi­neer, told Au­to­car re­cently the two would be “very dif­fer­ent”.

Still, given how well the Z4’s ba­sic plat­form has been de­vel­oped, the signs are positive for the Supra, too. And con­sider this: the deal be­tween BMW and Toy­ota was agreed long be­fore the Supra name was at­tached to the car. Toy­ota surely wouldn’t dust off that name­plate if it didn’t think the prod­uct was good…

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