The 2020 Toyota Supra was co-built by Toyota and BMW. As a matter of fact, BMW constructed everything under the body panels including the cabin. Actually, you are greeted with a BMW iDrive screen the moment that you enter the car. This has raised comparisons between the new Supra and the 2019 BMW Z4. While the similarities are many, engineers from both companies indicate that the cars drive differently. Here is more on this.
Keeping everything hush hush
In late 2018, a report circulated that BMW and Toyota had not exchanged any words throughout the 2-year development period of the new Supra. However, it is agreed that the finished version has ample input from both companies. Ben Haushalter is the senior manager for product planning for all the sports cars built by Toyota. Having been working on the new Supra from 2012, he is elated that his efforts are finally at fruition.
Revealed at the Detroit Auto Show, the new Supra amazed enthusiasts and fans with its specifications. The new sports car is fitted with a 3.0 liter inline-six Supercharged engine. This mill produces a total of 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. With this setup under the hood, the new Supra can race from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. It also has a curb weight of only 3, 397 lb. This makes it capable of tearing up roads and tracks all over the globe.
Similarities and differences between the 2020 Toyota Supra and 2019 BMW Z4
There are many similarities between these sports cars. They are both built by Magna Steyr in Austria. As a result, the Supra’s VIN number begins with a dominant W. Despite sharing much of the equipment under the hood, the BMW Z4 produces more horsepower. It actually churns out 382 horsepower.
When asked why the BMW is more powerful, Mr. Haushalter indicated that 335 horsepower is the best level of power output for the Supra based on its dimensions. This level gives the best balance between power and acceleration. Moreover, it ensures the stability of the car’s chassis. The higher power output of the BMW Z4 was a mystery to the Toyota official. This is because the two companies broke off the partnership at some point and started working independently.
Sports cars partnerships over the years
In recent years, this is Toyota’s second sports car partnership. Their first one was a collaboration with Subaru to construct the BRZ and the 86. Both the Supra and the BRZ were supervised by the same chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada from Toyota.
The sports car market is slowly dwindling across the world. Hence, auto manufacturers are combining forces. This helps in boosting creativity while reducing the development costs of the sports cars. Mazda and Fiat have also worked together. They created the Mazda Miata and the 124 Spider.
While choosing a manufacturer to work with, the Toyota executives settled on BMW. This was because they wanted the new Supra to have an inline-six engine. Toyota no longer manufactures its own inline-six engine. Hence, they had to find a manufacturer who develops one.
The root of the split
According to Haushalter, the foundational elements of the Toyota Supra were developed together. These are the chassis and the spaceframe. Engineers from both companies determined dimensions such as the track width and wheelbase together. In doing so, they were able to create a perfect balance between the overall packaging and handling process.
When the companies began styling the car, conflict occurred. Therefore, they decided to proceed separately. Toyota performed all the wind tunnel, and clay modeling processes. On the other hand BMW delivers the powertrain and transmission to Toyota. The latter installed these elements and performed the final tuning of the car.
Why the Supra and BMW Z4 were spotted together
The two models were developed side by side. They share features such as the cooling systems, air conditioning and other components. Therefore, they were tested side by side to see how these features would operate under the same conditions.
The new Supra posts performance statistics which are comparable to the Porsche Cayman. Hence, it is one of the best in the world. Upon launch, the 2020 Toyota Supra will have a price tag of $60,000.