Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota, has strongly hinted at an all-new Supra in a recent interview: http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/251326/
While nothing else is known, Toyota has already shown a concept of the type of car he is speaking about.
This concept car, the FT-HS, first shown 4 years ago, is a 370Z-sized car with a 3.5 liter V-6 and electric assist, yielding 400 HP. It was styled with the design language of the time. That language has since been updated, and has most recently been seen in the FT-86 concept.
Interestingly, Nissan is in position to do something very similar. An electric G35 sedan, which uses similar technology, was first shown 2 years ago and it’s thought that a 3.5 liter V-6 with electric assist is coming for the G37 sedan in the next two years. 400 HP had been discussed from this too. Since the Z is built on the common FM platform used by the Infiniti, an easy fit would be assured.
Given Toyota’s current troubles, an image car would be a great help to draw new buyers into worldwide showrooms. And one that showcases new technology would be even better. Nonetheless, Akio Toyoda has placed engineering quality at the top of the list and that means that a new Supra, if there is to be one at all, would probably be at least 3 years off. Or even further out given the recent 1 year delay of the FT-86.
We first speculated about what this car would be like in May 2007: http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-blog/?p=2155
The 4th gen Supra is of course one of our all-time favorite cars. It was a showcase for Toyota engineering when it came out, featuring a twin turbo 3 liter inline DOHC 6 cylinder engine and Getrag 6-speed manual transmission.
This was a complicated engine, but was engineered extremely well. It was known as a “detuned 500 HP engine”, and may very well have been.
It also featured a state of the art coilover suspension, with lightweight aluminum components.
And a driver-centric interior, with everything close at hand.
This was the Japanese supercar of it’s age, and even better was a platform that could be easily – and reliably – modified to well over 500 horsepower with very little effort. Soon after it’s release, 600 HP became the new tuner target – and was exceeded. Then it was 800, and then 1000 horsepower.
Efforts like this came into reach: 241 MPH in the Texas Mile:
The 4th-gen Supra will be a difficult car to better. It was a car for it’s age. The new Supra, if there is one, will be a car that will address the goals and aspirations of today’s age. The combination of a flexible V-6 engine and electric assist will produce a car with uncommon torque and drivability. State-of-the-art Lithium-Ion batteries will be the main frature this time, and enthusiasts will have to learn a new technology before successful tuning can take place. The only question is: are we up to it?
Resources on DrivingEnthusiast.net:
- Supra blog archive: http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-blog/?cat=682
- Supra blog RSS feed: http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-blog/?feed=rss2&cat=682
- Toyota FS-HS Concept: http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-toyota-lexus/concepts/FT-HS/index.htm
- Supra section: http://www.drivingenthusiast.net/sec-toyota-lexus/supra/index.htm