By on January 15, 2019

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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25 Comments on “Toyota’s Four-cylinder Supra Staying In Japan For Now...”

  • avatar

    Maybe the new Supra makes sense in Japan as well.

    • 0 avatar

      Given the 86 didn’t meet sales expectations in any market, including mother Japan…I don’t see the Supra getting a warm reception in any configuration. 194 HP feels like a joke.

      Hey kids, remember the malaise era? Well here you go – 194 HP in 3,200 pounds with an automatic. In Tokyo’s traffic-clogged streets I guess so, but now it’s a glorified commuter car in an impractical wrapper.

      • 0 avatar

        The base Supra will be faster than the 86, especially passing speed. Read over the specs again and you’ll understand eventually

      • 0 avatar

        Fun fact: Tokyo has almost no traffic.

        “We take off into the streets of a city whose greater metropolitan area has around 40 million people, the most populous in the world, and where more than 15 million of them come to work each day. Yet even at rush hour, I struggle to find a traffic jam in city streets.
        No this is not a passenger dream. It’s real life in Tokyo. And it’s just one visible example of culture shock at how polite and orderly Japan is – and how different. It works in a way other big cities can’t conceive.”

        • 0 avatar

          “Fun fact: Tokyo has almost no traffic.”

          Yeah it blows my mind. I live in Okinawa which has some of the WORST traffic in Japan. I remember getting breakfast in Shinjuku one morning while attending a conference in Tokyo, and I was looking out the window at a 4-lane road, at about 8:30am….that seemed almost deserted to me. Except for the high cost of parking spaces (parking for your car can cost as much as an apartment rent), Tokyo is a great place to *drive*.

          Hanoi and Manila are far crappier metropolises in which to own anything fast/sporty.

      • 0 avatar

        APaGttH, don’t just look at hp. The turbo 4 in the Supra will provide about 33% more torque than the 86, at a much lower rpm, and presumably without the infamous torque dip in the power curve. It should be a much more effortless drive and feel faster day to day.

  • avatar

    A Supra with the turbo 4 would be better named the Adequa.

  • avatar

    Jack Hollis’ comment regarding the 4 cylinder engine versus the 6, and it being aspirational rather than a need, is refreshing. This guy understands the role of this car in the marketplace and the thinking of the customers that are drawn to it.

    I’ll reserve judgement on the rear quarter styling until I see it up close. The picture isn’t flattering but maybe it looks better in metal than it does in the photos.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    4 cylinder Supra = Celica

    • 0 avatar

      Well, it’d be a quicker Celica than anything that had ever worn that badge before (maybe the exception would be that weird turbo AWD they sold 27 of back in the ’80s), but point taken.

  • avatar

    So the base Supra has less power than a base Camry. Not a great idea.

  • avatar

    “motor”…”mill” – feel like I’m reading Uncle Tom McCahill from an old Mechanix Illustrated.

    Good times…

  • avatar

    Absolutely no point in bringing over a four-banger Supra, Toyota. Just say no.

  • avatar

    Every time I look at this car, so much cringe.

  • avatar

    This car has BMW engine, multi link suspension and many other parts.
    It used to be the other way-more expensive car maker used parts from cheaper one
    and made the car in country.
    This car is made in BMW factory in Austria.
    What is going on in this world?

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Much like GM rebadged Toyota small cars back in the day and in doing so announced to the world “We can’t build decent small cars”, Toyota is announcing to the world “We can’t build a premium sports car”

      Which is odd since Lexus sells one. Don’t know how good it is, but at least it is actually a Toyota. Of course GM sold all manner of their own small cars, all be it crappy ones during the GEO/Vibe era so maybe Toyota really is becoming GM.

    • 0 avatar

      BMW doesn’t own Magna Steyr in Austria, far from it. Steyr contracts builds from manufacturers. They are also doing the Jaguar I-Pace for example. Usually better quality than the manudacturer itself.

      That said the VIN on this Supra starts with W, which means the car was made in West Germany, confirmed by manufacturer plaque.

      I’m confused, completely. Looks like a change in plan that wasn’t announced.

  • avatar

    I think the 405hp engine from the M2 Comp would be optimal.
    But, then it would cost as much as the M2, so might as well just get the BMW.

  • avatar

    I think the whole car should stay in Japan. Otherwise, it’s just another Toyota uglifying our roads.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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.

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