Although there are no concrete facts about the Supra’s spec yet, we do know it will use BMW engines and gearboxes—likely to be a 3.0-liter straight-six with around 300hp and an eight-speed auto. “We stuck with front engine because of feel and control. We know how to control a front-engine car, we already have that capability. In the planning stages we suggested a mid-engined layout and BMW was happy to go with it, but I took the idea to Akio Toyoda and he told me off.”
So what’s changed in a company once renowned for its risk adversity, that means a family of sports cars, including track-focused derivatives, is now an essentially part of the recipe? “What’s changed is what Toyota sees as success. We were pursuing numbers and profit margins, which are still important, but we’ve started to appreciate the value different cars can bring to customers,” Tada explains.
“It all started when Akio took the reigns. Numbers are one thing, but it’s the feeling that matters.”