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

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
toyotas four cylinder supra staying in japan for now

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]

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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.

  • Tassos Now as for the Z specifically, Car and Driver had a comparison test of the new Z400, a car that looks good on paper, with plenty of HP etc, but, despite the fact that the cars that win in those tests are usually brand new models that are more up to date than their aging rivals, the Z finished DEAD LAST in the test, to my ovbious surprise.
  • Arthur Dailey Sorry but compare that spartan interior to the Marks that Corey is writing about. 'A cigarette lighter'. Every Mark had 4 cigarette lighters and ashtrays. And these came standard with 'a 3.4-liter, 182-horsepower straight-six in the engine compartment and a five-speed manual transmission'. Those do not tick off many of the luxury boxes aspired to by 'the greatest generation'.Not sure about the 7 series but one of My Old Man's associates showed up once with a brand new 5 series circa 1977 and they gave him such a bad time that he traded it for a Fleetwood within a week.
  • Tassos I clearly have no sentimental attachment to any cars from the 80s. I myself drove a Dasher (passat) wagon with horrible reliability, and then a Pontiac 2000, very fuel efficient for its time with its 1.8 lt and 5 speed, but a small econobox crudely made, with no luxuries inside. But most other cars of the era were really CRAPPY, unsafe, both in terms of passive AND active safety, had very few options modern cars have, etc etc. The best car I owned then was a 1991 Honda Civic 5-sp hatch, but that was also an 80s design that was on sale from 1987-1991. Not just the domestics were crappy then, but so were m ost of the imports. As you can see, I have ZERO "nostalgia" for any of these, especially not for the unreliable, poorly made JUNK from DATSUN-NISSAN, which is widely reviled overseas as a maker of small pickup trucks that are the favorites of Gypsies selling watermelons from their bed.
  • Tassos While Acura was the first Japanese attempt to sell 'luxury' (or "premium") vehicles in the US market, and despite its original good success in the near-luxury segment with the Legend and the far smaller and less expensive Itegra (a glorified Civic), it later lost its momentum and offered a series of underwhelming vehicles. It sure is not a LUXURY maker, and as long as it offers FWD or AWD and NOT RWD vehicles, it will never be taken seriously as a serious sports cars maker. Infiniti is much worse, and if both of them go under, few will notice. Lexus was more successful, offering pimped up TOyotas for 10,000s more, but there is NO vehicle in their lineup, esp now that they scewed up the only serious entry (the LS), that I would care to consider. AND I say all this as a very satisfied owner of 5-speed Honda coupes and hatchbacks (a 1991 Civic hatch and a 1990 Accord Coupe).
  • Mike Beranek Yet another reason to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles charged with energy from wind & solar with modern, non-Monty Burns nuclear as a backup.