2019 Toyota Supra: What We Know So Far

Toyota is bringing back the beloved Supra, with help from BMW. Here's what we know about it.

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This story will be continually updated as more information is learned. It was last updated 4/17/18 with information from Toyota Europe R&D chief Gerald Killmann.

Toyota reentered the rear-wheel drive sports car game with the 86 (née Scion FR-S) back in 2012, and now it's got something bigger in the works. Something that fans have waited a long time for—a new Supra.

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We knew for some time that Toyota was developing a new sports car in partnership with BMW, but at this year's Geneva Motor Show, the good news was confirmed. The car will wear the Supra name, and hopefully, carry on a long tradition of rear-wheel drive, straight-six powered sports cars.

But while Toyota confirmed it was bringing the Supra back, there are still a lot of unknowns. Toyota didn't actually show the Supra at Geneva—it showed the GR Supra Racing Concept, a race car that previewed the eventual street car. So here, we've compiled what we know about the 2019 Supra, some of the more credible rumors we've heard.

It's Being Co-Developed With BMW

The production Supra will be the result of a BMW-Toyota collaboration first announced in 2012. The two companies are working together on engines and lithium-ion batteries, and a new rear-wheel drive platform.

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We've already seen the concept form of another car set to ride on this platform—the next BMW Z4 roadster, which debuted at Pebble Beach last summer and promises to be a legitimately excellent sports car. BMW is reportedly targeting a sub-3200-lb curb weight for the Z4, which is good news for the Supra set to share its platform. We think the Supra might be available as a hardtop only, since we haven't seen spy shots of any soft-top prototypes testing, so it's possible the Supra might be even lighter.

It doesn't sound like the Supra and Z4 will be exact twins, though. Speaking to , Toyota Europe R&D chief Gerald Killmann said that the Supra will get its own unique chassis tuning. Killmann also revealed that most of the development work on the Supra was done by Toyota in Japan, so there's some actual distance between it and the Z4.

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It's Getting Straight-Six Power

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One advantage to a partnership with BMW is the access to smooth, straight-six power. Toyota didn't say what was powering the race-car concept shown at Geneva, but Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada heavily implied that the road car would get an inline-six. Speaking at a roundtable on the sidelines of the show, Tada-san said that Supra fans he spoke to were insistent that the MkV come so equipped.

Specs, we'll have to wait for, however. In its March 2018 issue, reported that the Supra would have a 3.0-liter turbo inline-six with 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque with an additional 37 lb-ft on overboost. Those figures match BMW's 40i engine, as used in the M240i and other cars in its lineup.

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There's also rumors that the Supra could receive four-cylinder power too, but Tada-san declined to confirm this. He also didn't rule out the possibility of a future hybrid variant, but it sounds like the car will debut with a turbocharged straight-six. As it should.

It'll Be Rear-Wheel Drive

We heard rumors that the Supra could go all-wheel drive, but at Geneva, Tada-san confirmed that the MkV will be rear-drive, like all Supras before it. He has some experience developing rear-drive cars, as he was the chief engineer of the Toyota 86.

Tada-san told us that he's taken lessons learned with the 86, and applied them to the Supra, promising it'll be even better to drive. He's targeting a 50-50 front-to-rear weight distribution and an even lower center of gravity than the 86.

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last year, Shigeki Tomoyama, the president of Toyota's Gazoo Racing division, said even Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is taking an active role in the Supra's development. Apparently, he wanted it to have a "more mobile" rear axle, which to us, sounds like it'll be all good and slidey.

Toyota Is Testing It at the Nürburgring

There's been no lack of videos showing the Supra in testing at Germany's famous Nürburgring. This is the proving ground of choice for high-performance products, and an indication that Toyota really wants the Supra to be a true driver's car.

It Starts Production in 2018

Last May, we reported that the Supra would hit production next year, and that it would be assembled in Austria by contract manufacturer Magna Steyr, which is best known as the company that builds the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen.

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It'll Debut After the Z4

Just like we saw the Z4 concept before we saw the Supra concept, Tada-san says the production Z4 will likely debut before the Supra. that the Z4 will debut sometime this summer, so that at least gives us a vague idea of when we'll see the Supra in all its production-ready glory. We don't know when exactly the Supra will debut, but an auto show later this year, or early next year seems likely.

It Will Look Sort of Like This

SupraMkV.com

Renderings from SupraMkV.com inspired by spy photos imagine a Supra based on Toyota's FT-1 concept. The FT-1 made its debut in 2014 at the Detroit Auto Show and previewed what a future rear-drive sports car from Toyota could look like. With any luck, the production car will keep the concept car's gorgeous lines.

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It Might Not Be Cheap

In an interview with Toyota Europe R&D chief Gerald Killmann said that the Supra "will not be a cheap car." He said this to create a clear space between it and the more-affordable Toyota 86, which starts at $26,255.

There Might Not Be a Manual Option

A indicates that the Supra won't be offered with a manual, but the Z4 will. At Geneva, Tada-san didn't rule out the possibility of a manual transmission, but he made it seem unlikely. The same Supra fans that clamored for a turbocharged straight-six apparently weren't asking for a manual gearbox.

We'd be pleasantly surprised if the Supra offered a manual, but we're prepping for an automatic-only reality.

It Might Be Smaller Than the MkIV

In its March 2018 issue, Japan's Best Car magazine has some . The magazine reports the new Supra's dimensions as follows:

  • Wheelbase: 97.2 inches
  • Length: 172.4 inches
  • Width: 73 inches
  • Height: 50.8 inches
  • Weight: 3284 lbs

    Interestingly, those numbers would make the new Supra a little shorter than the MkIV both in length and wheelbase. It would slightly taller and wider, though. Weight would come in a little above , but below the turbo's 3415 lbs.

    It'll Probably Go Racing

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    Toyota didn't announce the return of the Supra with a race-car concept festooned with Gazoo Racing branding for no reason. We don't know which series the Supra will race in, but Tada-san said that the concept was built to LM GTE specs, so perhaps, we'll see it in the World Endurance Championship. Japan's Super GT series seems like an obvious home too.

    Tada-san told us that Toyota is developing the Supra race car alongside the road car, hopefully meaning it should be competitive right out of the gate. We'll find out in due time.

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