Coffee & Controversy: MKV Supra
Toyota’s last collaboration build of the FRS/BRZ with fellow Japanese automaker, Subaru, while a great driving car, was a bit lacking. Having owned one, I loved the way the car drove; it handled remarkably and was a ton of fun to take out and thrash on the back roads. Being one of the first in my area to get my hands on the BRZ, the World Rally Blue paint grabbed attention. People could tell it was a Subaru, but many hadn’t seen the car before, and were even more impressed to learn that Subaru now made a RWD car. The “86 Platform” of the BRZ and Scion’s FRS (now Toyota’s 86) is almost the perfect car, but using Subaru’s FA20 2.0L NA engine, it lacked muscle.
The rumors of a Supra reboot have been flying around the internet for years. Renders of Toyota’s next flagship sports car, titled the FT-1 have had enthusiasts of the brand curious and hopeful. Then the rumor came that Toyota would partner with BMW on such a build. This news, now confirmed, brought some mixed reviews. If you’ve been around Horsepower & Pizza for a while, you know me as a BMW guy, so this news made my heart very happy. The MKV Supra was told to share the platform of BMW’s next generation Z4, originally reported to be updated to the Z5. This rumor has since been denounced.
FT-1 Concept photos are property of Toyota Global
Geneva Motor Show 2018 brought excitement as GR Supra Racing brought out a race-spec concept of the car. With the 2019 North American International Auto Show on the horizon in Detroit, and the unveiling of the production model Supra, excitement lingers in the air. And with this week’s Twitter slip-up by Toyota Mexico, we’ve now seen the production model in all of its glory. Poor social media timing or genius marketing strategy, you tell me.
Provided the video doesn't get deleted, you can see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmxcotP6Zus
The things I’m excited about, however, are not necessarily exciting everyone else the same. Many Supra enthusiasts are not happy, saying it lacks the nostalgia that made the MKIV the icon that it is. Many of the keyboard warriors bitching that it’s “not a real Supra” will also never own either.
A BMW power plant will sit at home under the long hood of the new-gen car. The B58B30 twin-scroll turbo inline six will push out ~335hp while a four-cylinder model containing BMW’s ~260 B40B20 2.0L may also come to play. While I think of reliability when I think of Toyota, a BMW engine in a Toyota car may pan out to be a headache, as BMW’s turbocharged engines have proven to be maintenance headaches in years past. (Knock on wood or say a prayer, my N55 has been solid thus far.) Reportedly, a manual transmission may not be available, and the ZF 8-speed auto may be the only option. While many enthusiasts may be taken back by this, I absolutely adore the ZF8, and while we may not get the man-pedal, this isn’t enough to turn me off from the car. I get it; driving stick is more fun.
Supposedly weighing in at just under 3300lbs, the wheelbase has been confirmed by Road & Track while driving the prototype at 97.2 inches, exactly 4 inches shorter than the wheelbase of the 86 platform. Toyota is shooting for 50:50 weight distribution and lower center of gravity than the 86, despite using the inline six over Subaru’s boxer engine. Pricing will not be nearly the bargain of the 86, which starts around $26k, which makes sense due to Toyota not wanting to compete with another car of its own. I’ve seen figures somewhere around $63k USD for the six-cylinder model, about the same as the Z4.
The styling of the MKV, with its long front end, and short rear, capped off with a factory ducktail spoiler is beautiful. While the production car differs immensely from the FT-1 concept, it still shares many of the characteristics of the original reboot render-turned-physical-model. The front bumper, with multiple air dams, the long hood, and aggressive headlights make the car look like it wants to eat anything in its way. I’m less stoked on the rear, however. While I absolutely love the ducktail, complimented by the Toyota and Supra badges, the taillights turn me off. I can't quite figure out what they remind me of, but i don't like it.
When it all boils down, and we have the actual production model in front of us, this car could go either way. I, for one, am hoping that it lives up to the hype. We’ve seen these 90’s cars reincarnated the past few years after many years of internet hype and be complete sales flops for various reasons. (Sorry, Acura; I still have love for the new NSX.) Call me a Supra fan boy, call me a BMW fan boy, I don’t care. I’ll take mine in yellow, please.
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