BMW Z4 Production Confirmed in Austria by End of Year, Toyota Supra Details Still MIA

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bmw z4 production confirmed in austria by end of year toyota supra details still mia

While rumors that BMW’s upcoming Z4 roadster would begin production at Magna Steyr’s facility in Graz, Austria, for months, it wasn’t until late last week that the company was actually willing to confirm them. Unfortunately, the manufacturer hasn’t been willing to do the same with the Z4’s sibling car — the Toyota Supra.

Considering that the pair share a common platform and development team, it would make a lot of sense to see them occupying the same factory. But Toyota has remained incredibly tight lipped on the car, only offering us a singular taste by way of the Gazoo Racing concept from the Geneva Motor Show. Meanwhile, BMW has been parading the Z4 around endlessly and even went so far as to show productions test mules lightly camouflaged in self-released “spy shots.”

Specific details are a little foggy but the company admitted the likelihood of a M40i variant with a turbocharged inline-six, M Sport brakes, adaptive suspension, and an electronic differential when it fielded a working prototype. It’s supposed to house a 3.0-liter B58 engine sending a rumored 380 horsepower through a ZF eight-speed in the United States. European-spec cars are said to be less ferocious due to regional fueling regulations.

Our guess is that the Supra should provide similar hardware but Toyota hasn’t said anything that lets us tack on anything definitive. That goes double for it’s production locale and launch date. The Austrian manufacturer said BMW’s roadster will definitely begin production in the fourth-quarter of 2018, meaning sales should begin shortly thereafter.

Will the Supra find it’s way into Magna Steyr’s arms? Almost certainly. We can’t think of a reason why Toyota would want to see it built elsewhere and the logistics for doing so would be difficult to comprehend. The Graz facility already produces the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar E-Pace, and also picked up the I-Pace earlier this year. What are two more lower-volume models, using a common architecture, going to matter to the site’s 12,000 employees?

We’ll find out for sure later this year. Toyota can’t keep the MkV Supra under wraps forever. Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada has already hinted that the model will use the same powertrain as the Z4 but receive some tweaking to differentiate itself from the BMW dynamically. He also said it would debut after the German roadster has had its time in the limelight.

The Z4 is scheduled to appear at the Paris Auto Show this October. That seems like a long way off after we’ve already seen so much of the car. But BMW is also planning a special event this summer to showcase the roadster to the public — at which point, Toyota can take its turn and clear things up for us.

[Images: BMW]

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  • Craiger Craiger on Jun 11, 2018

    I hope it's better than my E85. I neglected to test drive it first. And to make it even sadder, I traded in my beloved 530 for it. What was bad about the Z4? Early generation electric power steering. I never knew what the front was doing so I couldn't really enjoy it. Coming from an E39 it was quite shocking. The 19" wheels looked cool but were made of semi-frozen butter. With the lousy run flat tires I lost count of how many times I bent the wheels. (BTW, with my Cayman S 19s, I never bent a wheel. Non-run flats). One interesting thing about the Z was the clutch dampener. I had that drilled out a few weeks after I got the car.

    • Shortest Circuit Shortest Circuit on Jun 11, 2018

      Agreed. My E86 got some of the early niggles fixed (eg. the steering column won't stick in warm weather, steering feel is improved) but it is still vague when driving enthusiastically. But I wouldn't trade it for less... it rattles my teeth out, but it is an absolute hooligan with that free revving 3-liter engine and the close ratio box, it just loves the twisty roads. I have a set of aftermarket Alpina 19" wheels with Hankook V12 evo2 tires, they function perfectly. If you slow down for potholes :) Will go and test drive the new one if I get the chance.

  • Kyree Kyree on Jun 11, 2018

    The soft-top is already a vast improvement in the looks department. I thought BMW sort of lost the plot when it moved from the Z3 to the Z4, so this kind of looks like a return to the original concept, styling-wise. I'll bet this will undercut the F-Type---also an excellent sports car---by several grand, too.

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