Toyota's Four-cylinder Supra Staying In Japan For Now

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

While it wasn’t covered during its North American International Auto Show debut, Toyota will build the 2020 Supra with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged inline-four, in addition to the big 3.0-liter motor we’ve already been promised. According to the manufacturer’s own Supra-centric website, the four banger will come in two flavors — 255 horsepower with 295 lb-ft or torque or a base mill capable of 194 hp and 236 foot-pounds.

Like the 3.0-liter inline six that premiered at NAIAS this week, the smaller Supra engines are also sourced from BMW. Thus far, neither are slated for the U.S. or Canada. Instead, they’ll be installed in the Japanese SZ-R and SZ-trimmed cars. But that doesn’t mean they won’t eventually reach our shores.

“We may [get the four-cylinder], but at this point, there’s no plan,” Toyota’s North American boss, Jack Hollis, told Road & Track in Detroit. “It’s obviously an available engine for us, but we have not chosen to bring it in.”

“I think the heritage of [the Supra], the purists would say ‘it’s an inline-six,’ and that’s what we’re doing here,” he continued. “Is there going to be as much demand for a four-cylinder versus the six in a vehicle that’s aspirational, and a little bit more of a ‘want’ car than a ‘need’ car? I don’t know.”

Assuming Toyota does bring the 2.0-liter to North America, we imagine it would only be the 255-horsepower variant. Alternatively, those wanting a B48-equipped Supra today could venture down to their local BMW dealership and inquire about the base Z4.

You could also start a letter-writing campaign to Toyota, because Hollis said the company would ship it to the United States if sufficient market demand arose for a four-cylinder Supra.

[Images: Toyota]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • Hydromatic Hydromatic on Jan 15, 2019

    Put that 255-hp mill under the hood of a refreshed FR-S/86. Then we can talk.

  • Brock_Landers Brock_Landers on Jan 16, 2019

    255hp 4-cyl would be fun (down the line 300hp with a remap), I'd assume it's a bit lighter than the 6-cyl version. Supra will never be cross-shopped with American muscle cars - Mustang, Challenger, Camaro. Those are cool cars, but they are huge compared to the Supra and have totally different characteristic to them. Corvette too is fairly a large car, but is a true sports car. I think Supra will be cross-shopped with a Vette little bit, but only in America. Vette is the best bang for the buck true sports car in the world, but bang for the buck is not the only argument that sells cars. Vette is only successful in the States, although it offers best value, its sales are non-existent outside America. M2 is not a sports car, the dimensions, seating position etc is completely different compared to the Supra. The make or break for the Supra will be how it FEELS when you drive and when you look at it when you stand beside it. It has to feel special. If it does it will be a success. I think the only direct competitor to the 6-cyl Supra will be Cayman S. But it costs about 20k more than the Supra. Yes, it has better interior and higher brand value, but I assume Supra will look like a bargain compared to to the Porsche. Engineering- and mechanical quality will be similar and if the Supra will offer similar high-end feeling when driving it then Supra will be a success. PDK Cayman S (most Caymans are sold with PDK-s by the way) weighs only 50kg less than automatic 6 cyl Supra, other details are almost equal too - dimensions, seating position, acceleration etc. Manual transmission would have been nice for the Supra, but most sales will be with automatics anyway, so this manual-box outcry is basically limited to internet forums.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X As much problems as I had with my '96 Chevy Impala SS.....I would love to try one again. I've seen a Dark Cherry Metallic one today and it looked great.
  • Susan O’Neil There is a good reason to keep the Chevrolet Malibu and other 4 door family sedans! You can transport your parents and other somewhat handicapped people comfortably and safety! If someone can stand and pivot you can put them in your car. An armrest in the back seat is appreciated and a handle above the door! Oh…and leather seats so your passenger can slide across the seat! 😊Plus, you can place a full sized wheelchair or walker in the trunk! The car sits a little lower…so it’s doable! I currently have a Ford Fusion and we have a Honda Accord. Our previous cars were Mercury Sables-excellent for transporting handicapped people and equipment! As the population ages-sedans are a very practical choice! POV from a retired handicapped advocate and daughter! 😊
  • Freddie Remember those ads that say "Call your doctor if you still have...after four hours"?You don't need to call your doctor, just get behind the wheel of a CUV. In fact, just look at one.I'm a car guy with finite resources; I can't afford a practical car during the week plus a fun car on the weekend. My solution is my Honda Civic Si 4 door sedan. Maybe yours is a Dodge Charger (a lot of new Chargers are still on dealer lots).
  • Daniel J Interesting in that we have several weeks where the temperature stays below 45 but all weather tires can't be found in a shop anywhere. I guess all seasons are "good enough".
  • Steve Biro For all the talk about sedans vs CUVs and SUVs, I simply can’t bring myself to buy any modern vehicle. And I know it’s only going to get worse.