By on January 16, 2019

Cooperation and borrowing between auto manufacturers is nothing new, and it isn’t always a bad thing. For example, look what happened in the 1980s when Lincoln borrowed a BMW inline-six turbodiesel for its Continental Mark VII luxury coupe. Oh, maybe that’s not the best example. But two events this week have led to a couple of new examples for us to ponder.

How do you think these cooperative automotive projects will fare?

Times are tough and profits are thin. Manufacturing cars is difficult and expensive with regard to safety, environmental, and government considerations. Factories are closing, models are being discontinued. As a result of these and other factors, OEMs are partnering up with one another.

Case 1: Toyota unveiled its new 2020 Supra at NAIAS, after what seemed like four years of teaser photos and intense speculation. Absent from the press release information — a mention of how the Supra was developed in conjunction with BMW, and will be built at a BMW factory alongside the Z4 pictured above (available in 2019). Supra comes standard with a BMW inline-six engine, and the hard points of the car are much more Z4 in their nature than Supra. It’s what everyone wanted!

Case 2: Ford and Volkswagen announced their new plan for cooperation on Tuesday. After much negotiation, the two companies have agreed to build a pickup truck together. Volkswagen is interested in Ford’s truck skills, and Ford is interested in VW’s electrification and autonomous knowledge. If all goes well, the companies will perhaps build a next-generation Ranger-Amarok. Perhaps they’ll call it Ranrok.

In both of these cases, the idea behind the jointly developed vehicles is to make the most of the core competencies of their respectively joined partners while simultaneously saving both companies money. Therein lies today’s question: Will those claims end up being true?

Is the Supra as good as it could’ve been if Toyota was on its own, free to use its own clean-sheet design, and its own engine? Will a Ranger with a VW-sourced interior impress, while creating better economies of scale? Or are these sorts of co-op projects just destined to create milquetoast results; compromises which truly please very few people? Off to you.

[Images: Toyota, BMW, Ford]

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88 Comments on “QOTD: Manufacturer Cooperation – Cash Saver, or Corrosive Cancer?...”


  • avatar
    FormerFF

    For low volume sports cars, sooperation is going to be the norm. I suppose in VW’s case, partnering with Ford is a less expensive way for them to get a foothold in the truck market.

    Still, all this partnering, gives me the impression that at some point that there are going to be three carmakers and they’ll all be producing the similar product, and cars will be just about as interesting as refrigerators. It will then be time for a new hot rod movement.

    • 0 avatar
      Noble713

      Hardware plateaus as it matures. That’s why there are really only ~3 CPU foundries making either Intel, AMD, or ARM chips, only 2 GPU companies worth discussing (AMD, Nvidia), and only 2 small arms platforms (M16 family or AK family).

      Developments in a different direction are hugely expensive for marginal gains. But nobody really complains about any of these products/markets being “as interesting as refrigerators”…

      • 0 avatar
        Noble713

        I took to long to edit my post so:

        I’m very much in favor of hardware-sharing in the automotive industry, especially for powerplants. Imagine the gains we would get from economies of scale if the entire planet used the same 2.0L I4 design. My take on other engine displacements (since I don’t follow the latest developments in the Inline-4 space):

        1x V6: 3.5L, maybe Toyota’s 2GR-FSE
        2x V8 designs: one small-displacement forced induction, one big displacement NA. So maybe a 5.0L AMG and a 6.2L GM LT1.
        1x I6 design: BMW B58, of course. The new Merc I6 is promising but it also has a bunch of overly-complex 48V electronics.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      There is a reason most mature market has only 3-5 “sources” competing with each other on similar products.

      However, I’d imagine they would be sourcing more like everyone buy from Denso / Borg Warner / Aisin / Bosch / etc than just slap a different badge on the same car.

  • avatar
    gtem

    For a goliath like Toyota to outsource the engineering of what I’d argue is their flagship sports car while being the same company that makes the Lexus LFCA/LC500 is absolutely inexcusable IMO.

    Would have been vastly more logical to simply rebadge a RC350/RCF.

    • 0 avatar
      jeoff

      Yeah, pretty much.

    • 0 avatar
      salmonmigration

      From all accounts, Akio Toyoda was the one fighting for this car. Maybe he thought that a Supra needs to have a straight six.

      He certainly has in interest in bringing about badly-managed sports cars. By badge engineering a BMW, Toyota was able to contain his urges in an cheap(er) manner.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        As a AMC fan I’m sure you’re quite familiar with brand cooperation. GM steering columns, Saginaw steering pumps and gear boxes. Chrysler torque flite transmissions. Autolite and Carter carbs.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          AMC is a great example of how to do parts sharing well. Hide it in all the places the consumer can’t tell and spend the rest of the resources on giving the vehicle itself unique character.

          Excuse the Renault stuff.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          Brings back memories. IIRC, my ’87 Cherokee had an engine licensed from GM, a Peugeot transmission (yes, Peugeot – not Renault), a Chrysler 4wd system, and Mitsubishi electrical components. Which all seemed to work surprisingly well together.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        To your point, Akio Toyoda has in the past publicly complained that Toyota cars are too boring (a sentiment I certainly share), so it wouldn’t surprise me if he sees the collaboration with BMW as a way to demonstrate to his own people that it is possible to produce exciting cars that wear a Toyota badge.

        More generally, for any collaboration between 2 companies to succeed, you have to make sure that they have a shared definition of what success is to be, that their interests are fully aligned, that their corporate cultures are compatible, and that there is strong policing of the team rivalries that will inevitably crop up. Miss on any one of these, and the project fails.

    • 0 avatar
      RSF

      This should have been all Toyota. Who want’s a Toyota with BMW reliability and expense? I doubt this one will be worth big money down the road like the last Supra.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      gtem – Please tell us more about the specific design, performance, market and product goals Toyota had for the Supra, and why a re-badge of the RC would be “vastly more logical”

      The lightest RC (2.0T, RWD) is kind of a pig – 3,700lbs. It’s wheelbase is a full 10″ longer than the 2019 Z4 and 2020 Supra. Engineering around those two constraints would add cost. That’s not even getting to one key question: would an inline 6 even fit? If not, and you’re forced to use a V6, would a V6 meet the overall goals of the project? So much of the Supra’s identity is tied to the inline-6 engine. Would the market accept a V6 Supra?

      Or, you could partner with BMW, who already makes excellent inline-6 engines and chassis, and might be looking to spread out the costs of their low volume roadster/sports car.

      I could easily imagine a business case where the existence of the 2019 Z4 and 2020 Supra relied on sharing a platform.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        I don’t know what to tell you Steve, go buy one, you sound pretty jazzed about it.

        A company the size of Toyota should make it a point to make a flagship sports car feature the best of their OWN engineering and tech know-how, not someone else’s, that’s all I’m saying. Too much of modern corporate culture is driven by ROI and cost savings to please shareholders. It’s a dangerous path to commit to 100% of the time. Buy someone else’s cargo van or something to serve a niche in a particular market? Sure. Flagship sports car? Now’s the time to show off your best effort, not save costs.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        This is spot-on.

        Also, to all those moaning about BMW reliability, credibility in the market, etc…BMW has been building enthusiast-oriented cars – and SUVs – for years – for over a half-century. They do it 24X7X365. You may not like everything they build, but they have a credible high-performance legacy and current presence in that space.

        Toyota is a dilettante – they’re in the enthusiast marketplace; now they’re out, now they’re kinda somewhat back in again…their recent efforts are not notable – Toyota 86, Lexus LC…not market leaders or performance leaders. At any given point in time, you can’t compare the Toyota offering against competitors in the various performance categories…because at any given time, they don’t have a competitor in that category.

        How much high-perf or competition machinery has been fielded by Toyota, or Toyota Gazoo Racing, as opposed to BMW Motorsport Division? And that’s mostly racing – how about for the street? BMW sells more M models in any one year in this country than Toyota has performance models in the past 20 years. And the funny thing here is that Toyota apparently is of the same opinion…that’s why they largely farmed the job out to BMW.

        I’m of the opinion that Toyota’s performance “legend” has grown somewhat in the telling, and that BMW, which actually HAS a sizeable performance rep, has had theirs shrink, in some peoples’ eyes.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          In the early 90s, Toyota’s sequential twin turbo 2JZ in the Supra blew anything the Germans were fielding on the street (outside of the 911 Turbo) into the weeds, in terms of straight line performance anyhow. The 2JZ is such an incredibly overbuilt and well designed motor that it is STILL relevant in high performance circles and is a choice swap for any number of other chassis.’ That’s the “legend” in my mind. With this Supra, they’re basically saying they want to dabble in performance/sports cars like you stated, without really seriously investing in showing off internal prowess. The LFA was a massive show of technology, but it’s a niche hyper car, and ultimately under the Lexus brand. The Supra could have been an opportunity to plant a flag, or at the very least (if going the rebadged RC route) not do something as embarrassing as outsourcing their flagship sports car to another brand entirely.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I think a Turbocharged Toyota V6 would have been better received than an inline 6 from another manufacturer. The RC could have been lightened to some degree. Recall the Mk IV had a heavier Lexus cousin as well in the SC3/400. The Nissan Z made a successful transition from inline to V6 motors.

        Heck, an STi powered 86 with Supra badges would be more palletable I believe.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Toyota doesn’t want to make sports car for you. Ut would rather collaborate with Subaru or BMW.

      For the latter they do not even have an engine available for the Supra to borrow but instead use BMW’s engines.

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      “Would have been vastly more logical to simply rebadge a RC350/RCF.”

      At least it would have been consistent with the last Supra/Lexus SC.

      • 0 avatar

        This is what I suggested in a QOTD a while ago, before any of this was revealed. It makes perfect sense do to your OWN inline-six and then make an SC300.

        Furthermore, use it in the GS, and put a couple turbos on it for the GS-F.

        • 0 avatar
          trackratmk1

          Exactly. Even if they had to vastly modify the RC350 chassis to give the car more sporting cred, it would have had a proper tie-in with the SC300 lineage.

          Furthermore, it seems people are forgetting the Supra was never a hardcore sports car. It was a GT car. It doesn’t need a wheelbase and cabin smaller than the FRS/86… it’s ok if it’s not the fastest car around the burgerkingring. The car should have had SOME piece of incredible in house engineering that knocks the socks off of anything in or above its price range like the 2JZ did. It has none of that.

          Toyota has completely limited their market by going into toy-car/sports car territory rather than truly enjoyable daily driver territory; incidentally that’s why it should have had the targa top option and back seats like the old one.

          If anything Toyota should have partnered with Mazda on this car. Mazda needs an RX-something halo car to get some long overdue attention, and the lineage is there since both companies built the coolest Japanese coupes of their time. There’s no way Mazda would have allowed the project to launch without a stick, and the styling would have been better too. Mazda could have licensed their compression-ignition tech to Toyota, added two cylinders to their MX5 motor, toss a supercharger/turbo on it, even add the cool retractable targa like on the RF. That would have been sweet. I’d have been first in line.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Or they could have stretched/widened the 86 to fit a 6 pot in it.

    There has been a lot of good and bad badge engineering since forever. I can see in a low volume model why they would choose to do so, but in the case of the Supra, it should have been don in house. IIRC, the Mk IV is really the only model not based on a lesser car.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    No single correct answer. Successful cooperation will most likely happen in a hit and miss manner, ie certain products in certain markets will work well, while others less so. Silver bullet? No.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    It is a complicit admission of “We Don’t Know How Anymore” – just like when GM started rebadging Suzuki small cars.

    “We’re so effin’ clueless on how to do this we had to find someone who can do it better than we can.”

    Toyota – “We used to build the MR2 and Supra and drift legend RWD Corollas but we are so far from what we were that we are asking Subaru and BMW to do it for us.”

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Is it that Toyota “can’t” do a performance car? Absolutely not. These are the same guys that make the GS-F, which is a no-excuses killer car, and the IS-F isn’t far behind. But neither of these cars sold. Everyone talks about how awesome the last-gen Supra was, but it didn’t sell. If it had, they’d still be making it.

      So, the real issue isn’t that they “can’t” do it alone – they can’t do it alone and turn a profit. Same reason Ford is dumping sedans, if you think about it.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    Going back two and three decades ago, automakers had all sorts of different sized cars and myriad engine options to go with them. They survived through today, so what really changed to where each automaker has maybe two sizes of 4-cylinder engines, one 6-cylinder, and possibly a V8 for their entire portfolio? Did they suddenly incur ridiculous expenses out of nowhere, or are they simply addicted to quarterly reports and chasing the stock market, rather than creating and selling cars?

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    The new Ford/VW truck should be called the RanAmok.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    I can’t find the link (IIRC autonews.com): a few years back Bob Lutz mentioned that the Ford/GM/Ram full-size pickup trucks were all so similarly spec’ed that if the were to share the same underpinnings, hardly anyone would notice the difference. GM and Ford already share a transmission.

    So yeah, more cooperation is coming.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m less anti-Supra than most of TTAC. I’ve pretty much known for a while that it was going to use a BMW engine and chassis, plus I’m a big fan of the BMW I6. However, I’m a little disappointed that it doesn’t have a scoop more power and that the interior is 99% BMW. Still, I think if I decide to go with a sports car in a few years it’s worth a look.

    As far as collaborations in general go, I’m largely in favor.

    • 0 avatar
      turbo_awd

      But what would make you buy a Supra over a Z4? Especially if you can get a good typical-of-BMW lease deal, or a next-to-no discount/financing from Toyota?

      Similarly in Australia, for example, I think Subaru announced a 5-year warranty for all cars, but Toyota’s still at 3 – so, BRZ or FR-S/86?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “But what would make you buy a Supra over a Z4?”

        Reverse badge snobbery. I’m also in the minority that prefers the Toyota’s sheetmetal.
        I would not pay *more* for the Supra over the Z4 3.0L though.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed 100%, ajla. People need to get over the fact that this car was jointly developed and focus on how it drives. By all (admittedly initial) accounts, this car will have no problems satisfying an enthusiast driver.

      (And personally, I’d take the Z4 – the Supra’s styling is a bit too “Mobile Suit Gundam” for my tastes.)

    • 0 avatar
      NG5

      I’ll second this on both the QoTD in general and my interest in the Supra depending on my situation next time I am shopping. (Though as long as we are making requests I’d rather it lose more weight than gain power, and I wish they’d offer a manual in it.)

      If it takes collaboration to make interesting or niche cars, it’s better than nothing. It was a weird way to do a flagship for Toyota, but I don’t really care what they call the car or what label they put on it as long as I want to drive it.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I think it depends. For the Supra, it was a huge mistake. You can’t pass somebody else’s car off as your flagship. But for utilitarian people and stuff movers, go for it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    If cooperation means more “specialized” vehicles that companies can’t turn a profit on without a partner, then hell yes – give us more. That, or we can whine about how the roads are being taken over by dull, plodding CUVs.

    (And concerning the Supra: no matter how it got here, from all accounts, it’s a great driver, so maybe we should set aside the whole “but…heritage” nonsense and celebrate it.)

  • avatar
    JMII

    The good: it brings a car to market that would have likely not been viable built alone.

    The bad: its a mis-match and not a pure version of what it could have been if developed by one team with one focus.

    The ugly: walking into a BWM dealership and buying the same car sold across the street at the Toyota dealership. Personally it wouldn’t bother me but brand snobs must hate this. What is the unique selling point that is going to make me purchase one version over the other: a unique color? certain interior options?

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I think it’s a bigger mistake for Toyota. They have the money, know how and parts bin to do better. A 2 seat LC, for example, with the new 3.5TT as the base engine and the 5.0 for the top dog. But worryingly they don’t have the will or commitment, which is everything with a car like this.

      In the context of your point, to me the BMW dealership experience alone would be worth the small premium.

      • 0 avatar
        Brock_Landers

        Sportyaccordy have you seen the Lexus LC on a service lift and looked under it? Or have you looked under the hood or sat in the car?
        Everything you see there screams MONEY. Every detail looks like it’s from a 250k+ supercar. Suspension components and geometry, materials used, ribbed aluminium strut towers, even the smallest details look extremely high-end. You think Toyota will offer all this in a 50k car? This isn’t Forza 4, this is real life and car companies are not in the business of intentionally losing money.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    Next Toyota sports car will be fully electric. Without manual transmission :D

    Forget everything that was in series production and semi-affordable for the wider public in the past – 2JZ, RB26, Group A/B homologation specials, high revving naturally aspirated straight sixes with individual throttle bodies, iron engine blocks that could handle 1000+hp, Getrag manual transmissions that could handle 1000+hp, over engineered almost race ready engines for the street etc etc etc. This is all gone and it will never return. Never.

    It’s a miracle that Toyota decided to re-create the Supra in 2019. Yes it’s basically a BMW, but it still has a gasoline powered turbocharged straight six with relatively low curb weight and seating position that is deep on the floor and right in front of the rear axle. It was a decision between no Supra or BMW Supra. In 2019 true enthusiast should be joyful that there is one sports car more on the market not one less. In 30 years you will all be driving EV’s anyway and telling your grand-kids about the launch of the last internal combustion Supra.

    • 0 avatar
      PandaBear

      Not just Toyota, with Tesla in the rear view mirror every car company has to do massive rethinking on what it means to be a sport car.

      If torque is important then why not EV? If handling is important why a boosted V6, or V8? Why would non boomer buyer pay for a V8 pony (other than the sound) in the next decade? When they are aging out of driving completely? and GenX / Millennials eventually have enough money to buy toy cars? Why big motor but not EV?

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    As I’ve said elsewhere; why should VW attempt to import pickups when they can have someone else build them in the US for them. I can be quite certain the Chattanooga plant, despite making VW’s SUVs, is going to start building pickups too, especially when they’re preparing to make VW’s BEVs instead.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    It’s pretty worrying that Toyota is throwing away a reputation they spent decades perfecting by slapping their badges on Subarus, BMWs, and Mazdas. Why don’t they care anymore? What do they know about what’s coming?

    Honda once used Isuzu SUVs as placeholders while they developed their own. It was pretty disappointing for their customers, but it made business sense. Toyota isn’t using other brands’ products as placeholders. They’re managing the death of private IC vehicle ownership by investing their resources elsewhere.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Since about 1/2 of all cars in US have 2L-T DI engine under the hood, why not just make one engine and put it into all cars. At least, there will be stockpile of them when one blows

    • 0 avatar
      Noble713

      Interesting anecdote: I think this is partly why 90’s Toyota sedans are such popular drift cars in Japan. Toyota put 1JZ and 2JZ engines in all sorts of cars in the 90’s, and the supply of engines is BARELY beginning to dwindle. Upgrade your turbo, crank up the boost, get sideways until you blow the engine, then get another used block for a few hundred dollars. It’s like the LS engine in the States.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    For low volume cars like these, it’s a necessity or they will simply fail to exist at all. This is something enthusiasts need to appreciate.

    That being said, enthusiast buyers of these types of cars are brand loyalists. This is where manufacturers that collaborate must be careful to give their versions substantial unique character while still capitalizing on enough shared resources. The Fiat 124/Miata come to mind. The cars have some significant distinctions in spite of sharing a chassis and interior stuff.

    Toyota recognized that they needed to capitalize on the I6 turbo configuration that marked the Supra’s heyday. However they failed to follow through with the enthusiasts’ wish for a TOYOTA I6. It probably wasn’t financially viable, but a portion of the fanbase that would otherwise buy the car will turn their backs on principle.

    While it’s great the car exists, it won’t reach it’s full potential because of it’s perception as a poser to the legend of the MkIV. This is where a company with resources like Toyota should have looked past ensuring the financial viability of the individual model and built it as it should be as a halo for the brand. The chassis sharing could be forgiven, but the powertrain is sacrilege. Imagine what Mustang loyalists would think if Ford sourced it’s V8 from BMW or Toyota. It’s like that, but even stronger because TOO JAY ZEE.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Maybe they should have called it the “30GT” or something other than Supra.

      It doesn’t seem to be winning over any fans of the old car.

      • 0 avatar

        Danio with the good explanations.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Yep, I agree with Danio’s take. Sharing the basic platform, fine. But a Bimmer engine and then basically using the entire interior too (not that it’s ugly or anything), that’s just being lazy and cheap.

          • 0 avatar
            Brock_Landers

            You guys are kidding right? Lazy and cheap? Really? The whole Toyota/Lexus rwd architecture is developed to accomodate R4, V6 and V8 engines. Just to develop from scratch an in-house high-performance straight 6 engine to be used only on ultra low production sports car? To please armchair racers and jz fanboys?

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            You gonna buy one Brock? You’re every bit as much of an “armchair” observer as the rest of us.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            “Just to develop from scratch an in-house high-performance straight 6 engine to be used only on ultra low production sports car? To please armchair racers and jz fanboys?”

            Of course they didn’t do that for the reason you imply. The flip side of the coin is that the customer for this vehicle demands it. My premise is that if you can’t afford to give customers what they want, don’t bother.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed, but I think this Supra would have still sold with the Toyota 3.5L under the hood.

      “Imagine what Mustang loyalists would think if Ford sourced it’s V8 from BMW or Toyota”

      Well for the latter it would mean a great used car which most likely would be suffering from a resale issue.

      • 0 avatar
        Fordson

        You mean the 3.5L V6 that recently got direct-and-port injection and gained 30-odd hp in the process…but nobody has seen any performance increase in any of the cars its installed in?

        As for the V8s, Lexus makes a fine 5.0 liter V8 of around 460-475 hp, which it will sell you in a car that costs around $95k. Ford makes a fine (have not heard any complaints about it, have you?) 5.0 liter V8, making the same power, that it will sell you in a car for under $40k.

        Looks to me like Ford is capable of making a world-class V8 for a lot less money than Toyota can.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Good point.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          “You mean the 3.5L V6 that recently got direct-and-port injection and gained 30-odd hp in the process…but nobody has seen any performance increase in any of the cars its installed in?”

          I still fall back on the “SavageGeese” explanation which is that Toyota’s electronic nannies are why the V6 Camry etc aren’t entertaining to drive, even with current stated power output.

        • 0 avatar
          Brock_Landers

          “Of course they didn’t do that for the reason you imply. The flip side of the coin is that the customer for this vehicle demands it. My premise is that if you can’t afford to give customers what they want, don’t bother.”

          Time will tell if Toyota made a mistake or not predicting what customers want. It’s not a question if they could have afforded it. I guess they calculated that in-house R6 would mean in-house platform and then using BMW-s platform would have been out of question. Then the whole project would have been out of the question. Using Lexus rwd platform would have made the Supra too heavy and a direct competitor to Lexus F models. By the way mk4 Supra and 1/2 gen GS Lexus and 1gen SC Lexus share exactly the same platform, but back then Lexus didn’t have any F models so direct internal competition was avoided.

          • 0 avatar
            Brock_Landers

            And I bet 90% of the guys who can fork out 50k to buy a new sports car from the showroom don’t even know what the 2JZ is/was.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            Yes, I’m thoroughly aware of the development implications. Again, since they’re pissing off their guaranteed buyers, they shouldn’t have bothered with the time and expense with an otherwise unfeasible venture trying to pull in the generic sports car buyer which are not large in number and will shop other models.

            “Time will tell if Toyota made a mistake or not predicting what customers want.”

            It’s pretty clear as the faithful are in general, pissed. Now the demographic that lusted after the Mk4 can afford to buy a MkV, but they don’t want it.

            “And I bet 90% of the guys who can fork out 50k to buy a new sports car from the showroom don’t even know what the 2JZ is/was.”

            Right, and 99.9999999999999999999% of them will buy something else because there are many options. The Supra fans that would have been otherwise guaranteed buyers are largely turned off.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Fordson you aught to compare the car surrounding said V8 to figure out where the rest of that premium lies. But no doubt, the American manufacturers are to be lauded for continuing to offer big NA power to the everyman.

        • 0 avatar
          Noble713

          “As for the V8s, Lexus makes a fine 5.0 liter V8 of around 460-475 hp, which it will sell you in a car that costs around $95k. Ford makes a fine (have not heard any complaints about it, have you?) 5.0 liter V8, making the same power, that it will sell you in a car for under $40k.

          Looks to me like Ford is capable of making a world-class V8 for a lot less money than Toyota can.”

          This is a distinct and annoying trait in post-WW2 Japanese society: if it’s “good”, it MUST be “expensive”. If it’s not expensive, that can only occur if it is low quality. It’s like the entire idea that continual process improvements leads to reduced production costs without quality compromises is just totally alien to the Japanese consumer. So even though the Lexus V8 design probably isn’t THAT expensive to manufacture and its R&D has almost certainly been amortized over the decades already, they would never sell it in any kind of “bargain” platform.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          I’d be willing to bet the per unit costs of the Toyota and Ford 5.0L V8s aren’t terribly far apart. With the Lexus, you’re paying $95k for a an entire low volume high performance luxury car.

          If Toyota decided to use the engine in a greater range of models with higher volume and lower content, they could very likely offer it at a competitive price to a Mustang or F150. Thing is, Toyota knows they can’t sell as many pickups or sports coupes as Ford.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Agreed.

    No one cares that Morgan uses BMW engines. You are buying a unique coach built car.
    Where the Supra gets lost is inside. It should be a Supra not a BMW. Toyota can claim sharing, to me this reeks of a profit grab, one last hurrah for the F&F crowd who has some cash and will buy the name, Supra.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Still don’t get this. You built maybe the greatest inline six engine ever, put it in a car that’s now a pricy collectable. Now, when you revive the name you say, “the engine? hmmmm I dunno, let’s let the other guy do the engine.” This thing will never be a Supra to me for that single reason. And, I’m not a Supra fan-boy.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    Many years ago BMW and Toyota signed a deal in which they pledged to cooperate, share and develop technology. Toyota would first and foremost help BMW with developing and producing hybrids and BMW would help Toyota build fun-to-drive sports cars (along with some suspension tuning).

    I am by no means a BMW fan (despite being from Munich), but BMW knows how to build cars which put a smile on your face. Through my brother, who runs a taxi business and a second-hand car business on the side, I get to drive a lot of modern cars. And even though my heart beats for Audi, I can admit that they are not as fun as BMWs. In a BMW everything just feels perfectly placed, and the steering and suspension feedback work so well with one another. BMW just has that experience, and a company like Toyota, wants to profit from this without investing too many funds in development and testing.

    A BMW inline-6, even with a turbo, is a work of art. Does Toyota even produce an inline-6 anymore? I doubt it.

    • 0 avatar
      AdamOfAus

      Still a fan of Audi after that horrible “what do I tell me daughter” Super Bowl ad they ran eh. Well kudos to you.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        I do not live in the United States, and I have always had good experiences with Audis.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I just unloaded my B5 A4 for a very good price (considering it had a rebuilt title). I’m left with largely positive emotions, I miss it already with the slick roads we’re dealing with right now. But the packaging of the engine bay always left a lingering worry that if something came up (a small coolant leak did), I’d have a hard time DIYing it.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    gtem you are right, I might be biased. My company car is 2018 RX450h. I can afford the new Supra, but I’m the kind of carguy that buys his Sunday cars used. And I will consider the new Supra when it appears on the used car market after 2-3 years. Only thing I really don’t like about the mkv is the gauge cluster. It looks cheap and not sportscar-like. Toyota should have learned few lessons from Porsche in this departement. But most of the comments here are ridiculous – pipe dreams about new gen 2jz, 40k price, 500hp, concept car looks and manual box.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      The Supra for generations has been a grand tourer, with more on the motor side than on the pure-handling-at-the-limit side. An RC based car yes would be heavier than a 3400 mkIV and 7 inches longer wheelbase, but what modern car ISN’T heavier than its 1990s predecessor? Throw a pair of turbos on a strengthened 3.5L V6, give it the suspension hardware from the RCF, price it in the high $60k range. That would be a logical successor to what the MKII, MKIII and MKIV cars were IMO, all done in house, all done relatively affordably.

      • 0 avatar
        Brock_Landers

        Yes, but that car already exists and it’s called Lexus RC F. I guess the twin-turbo V6 now used on the LS500 will find its way in different forms on future Lexus high-end and performance models.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          The SC300 (Soarer) and MKIV Supra shared a platform as well, no one seems to complain. Restyle the RCF, differentiate it with boost versus V8 (again, recall the SC400 offering the 4.0L UZ motor) and some throw-back badging and maybe a nod to the MKIVs tail lights and/or spoiler or something. Cheap, effective, and their engineering pride intact.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    Cooperation is one thing, but a car as iconic as the Supra needs to maintain it’s identity. Honestly, I think if it had a boosted Toyota motor under the hood there would be far less complaining. Even if it was a Turbos V6 vs the inline 6 (The Nissan Z managed this change) I think folks would be a lot less cynical. Now if Ford slaps Taurus badges on a Passat…who cares, it is an appliance car, but slap Mustang badges on an Audi and folks will loose it. Cars marketed to car people, like the Supra have a different standard.

  • avatar
    trackratmk1

    Modular inline engines is the next internal combustion shift – Mercedes is doing it already, switching from V-configurations to inline 4’s and 6’s that share the same block casts plus/minus two pots. It’s cost effective and has the premium refinement of an inline on the 6 cyl applications. Why Toyota didn’t get ahead of the curve and just suck it up and develop a next gen in-line 6 that’s modular with their next gen 4’s is a mystery. It could have been used in everything from their Camry (i know Camry is transverse and can’t fit an inline, but a high-po turbo 4 is fine for their top trim camry, just drop the 6 completely there) to the Tacoma… boost it enough and put it in the Land Cruiser FFS. If a turbo 6 is good enough for a Raptor AND a Ford GT, it’s good enough for Toyota’s car/truck lineup.


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