By on May 13, 2019

Top brass at TTAC had a chance to sample the new Supra last week at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia. You’ll read about it on these virtual pages shortly.

Cars like the new Supra provide a chance to mull an age-old question: in the car world, is it better to share parts of a family tree or not exist at all? Your author has strong opinions on this matter, those of which that are printable will be explored after the jump.

In the Supra’s case, I think it’s okay. Keyboard forum warriors who rarely step foot outside their mother’s basement, let alone turn a wheel at Summit Point or are even remotely able to afford $50k for a new Supra, will wail into their DnD pillow cases that this new Toyota has too much BMW lineage and isn’t worthy of the Supra name.

Your humble author disagrees. In a world filled with milquetoast crossovers and beige sedans, the appearance of a Supra — any Supra — with more than a modicum of sporting intentions is a Very Good Thing, even if it does share parts with a car from another marque. Same goes for the 86.

Mark me down as a fan. Disagree? Fire away in the comments. Just be sure to read Tim’s Take when it appears.

[Image: Toyota]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

50 Comments on “QOTD: All in the Family?...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Meh – I don’t get too excited about the Supra/BMW thing. For example Chrysler brought in a bunch of rebadged Mitsubishi products, some that were quite good.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    The new reality is that given the sky-high costs of developing a new line/model of cars/trucks, you likely need a partner, especially for niche models. Is anyone still wailing that Aston Martin had to team with Mercedes-Benz for engines and tech?
    I look it as you can get the best of both worlds. BMW still makes a great inline-6. Toyota needed an inline-6 because that’s what a Supra always had. BMW didn’t want to eat the costs by themselves to develop a low volume sports car. Why not Toyota? Toyota needs a halo car…badly. BMW still needs sports cars in their lineup. BMW engineering, Toyota’s deep pockets and quality control – I see a win/win.
    Besides, it worked well for the BRZ/FR-S(86). I highly doubt that would have ever happened without the Subaru/Toyota partnership.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Well I’m pretty much dead center in the target market for this car, and I just can’t warm to it. The styling is one thing, but most sporty cars are overstyled these days. I wouldn’t buy it because of the BMW engine though. Not when Toyota has a perfectly good 3.5 V6 in NA and turbo form on the shelf. And spare me the “Supra must have an inline 6” nonsense. The Supra was sold here for less than 20 years, and only a few more overseas. The Corvette has been front engined for almost 70 years and they are willing to change it much more drastically than just the arrangement of cylinders.

    I just don’t accept that the nostalgia factor for this car is so high that people wouldn’t buy it with a V6. On the other hand, I do accept the idea that it’s crazy for a company known almost above all else for reliability would get in bed with a company known for the opposite, and on its flagship product no less.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I just think of it as a Z4 M40i coupe for $10K less than it would be if it wore a Roundel. Which is appealing to me.

      I don’t have any strong attachment to the Toyota brand or Supras of the past so maybe that helps.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        It’s not as appealing to me. I don’t have any strong attachment to Supras of the past either, but I would have hoped to see a smaller, lighter RC for $10K less than if it wore the “L” badge instead.

      • 0 avatar
        DearS

        Its appealing to me. I’m not so afraid of BMW engines and they are easy to tune to 500hp with $1500. I’ve worked on them quiet a bit in my backyard. The fact that Toyota worked on the engine and chassis makes it that much better. I love Toyota and Honda’s reliability.

        That said I still need/want a four door with a manual and RWD so 3-series, ATS, CTS etc. it is for me.

        • 0 avatar
          jack4x

          The ATS sedan is gone, the CTS doesn’t come with a manual and the new 3 series doesn’t either outside an M3 (maybe).

          Looks like you are shopping at the Genesis store.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I concur with you, Jack. My issue with Supra and the BRZ for that matter isnt so much with the car but with selection of engine.

      While sharing platforms is one thing, I think the failure to sell or limited sales success in better terms of the Supra will come down to it not having a Toyota engineered engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Noble713

      After owning multiple Toyota JZ-powered cars (still have 2 of ’em including a Supra), I don’t think I could switch to a V6 engine configuration. They feel like crap and they SOUND even worse. A V6 under the hood was my greatest fear when the FT-1 concept was revealed. If I ever buy a used Mark X I’d happily swap in an BMW I6 to make a proper successor to the Toyota Chaser.

      I think changing the layout of the Corvette is a mistake too.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Keyboard forum warriors who rarely step foot outside their mother’s basement”

    This line is weak sh*t and you should stop writing this way.

    I like the new Supra enough that it’s not unlikely I’ll actually buy a *new* one, but people should be able to have their online opinions without this clichéd trashtalk from publishers.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Agreed.

      I’d wager a far higher percentage of the B&B are “remotely able to afford $50K for a new Supra” than the writing staff are. Unnecessarily condescending line.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “This line is weak sh*t and you should stop writing this way.”

      Yep.

      Whether the author wants to admit it or not, the Supra has a pretty sizable fandom, and the “Japaneseness” of it is part of that. And since used Supras aren’t cheap, I have no idea where the ‘can’t afford one anyway’ line comes from either.

      We may not be part of this nameplate’s fan club, but it’s not hard to see where they might be a bit upset about this car’s “mixed parentage,” as it were.

    • 0 avatar
      Bazza

      Agreed. It is one of the most ignorant statements ever posted by a TTAC contributor. It betrays fatal tone-deafness and a complete misunderstanding of the actual audience.

    • 0 avatar
      Mackie

      Hear! Hear! My thoughts exactly.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    Too many brands, not enough customers. Platform/parts/design/whatever sharing is inevitable for small-volume products.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I’m not a fan of the styling in pictures, but sometimes its better to see it in person first. It’s a hard choice. Economies of scale and all that, bring back a well-regarded name. Capture the market that had Supra posters on their walls.

    Although the 93-98 Supras were during Peak Toyota, you can’t bring that back. But there’s too much “BMW Zed” in the style of this Supra. I’m sure its a fine axis of Japanese/German car building, but I really don’t want one.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    I can understand the argument against these Frankenstein automobiles 20 or 30 years ago when every automaker was investing in this segment and attainable sports cars were more numerous. A unbroken and clean lineage perhaps meant more to buyers. But now, it seems that the business case for these vehicles is becoming more tenuous by the year. I for one am thankful that it exists at all, even if its not for me.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I agree. We need more sports cars, even ones we couldn’t or wouldn’t necessarily buy. It keeps the breed alive.

      Besides, in this case, it’s fun to watch ToddAtlas embarrass himself by calling BMW a “lesser car company” compared to all mighty T O Y O T A.

  • avatar
    gtem

    ” Keyboard forum warriors who rarely step foot outside their mother’s basement, let alone turn a wheel at X or are even remotely able to afford $50k for a new Supra, will wail into their DnD pillow cases that this new Toyota has too much BMW lineage and isn’t worthy of the Supra name.”

    Way to be a douche lol

    I’m a pretty dyed in the wool Toyota guy who owns a pair of their much more pedestrian products (a 23 year old 4Runner from their golden years and a 2012 Camry), and I say it’s completely pathetic that Toyota more or less rebadged/parts-binned their halo sports car out to BMW. They could have just as easily simply rebadged/tweaked the RC350 and ended up with a much more credible vehicle.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    I have no problem with parts/platform sharing, especially within the realm of sporty cars, since they are low volume.

    I’m not a Supra buyer, but that has nothing to with its BMW parts count. I am a possible BRZ/86 buyer, even though I don’t much favor Subarus, but I would much like a small sporty 2 seater/2+ 2, and those two cars fit the bill. So does a a Cayman, but I can’t see spending $60K for a car.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    I personally like the idea of a true sportster but I’m not necessarily a fan of the Supra–now that it’s out of camouflage, it shows far too much of its BMW heritage and not nearly enough of the original Toyota that carried the name. I could never afford the original Supra when it was out but while I could afford this, I simply don’t want it. The 86 is much more appealing because it shows its Japanese heritage and just looks fun to drive.

    But then, I haven’t been a fan of Corvette ever since it got that razor-blade look, either. I’d much rather have a ’59 than an ’09, if you know what I mean.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I think of it this way: given the way the business is going, this kind of “crossed lineage” might be the only way automakers make money building something other than some f**king blobby CUV.

    I’m all for it if it keeps entertaining cars coming our way.

  • avatar
    John R

    I, too, am just grateful that this thing exist (as does the NSX and GT-R next to it) and that it is an inline-6.

    And the philosophy makes sense. If they’re not making a baby-buggy…er…CUV/SUV then it has to be this way production-wise.

    I’ve seen a couple reviews on YouTube that have since been released after embargo and it looks really nice in motion – especially in bright colors (yellow in particular) and then in black with the black wheels a red side-mirrors.

    This is a good car. To those lamenting that Toyota didn’t just use one of their V6’s I would argue that the internet would then be arguing, “cOnGrAtS, tOyOtA, yOu mAdE A 370z!!!”

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Agreed.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Is that any worse than what the internet is saying now: “cOnGrAts, U made a Z4?”

      The 370Z is not a bad concept, it’s just old and Nissan hasn’t seen fit to give it any attention for 10 years now. I’d be willing to take a look at a modernized, turbocharged, Toyota variant of it. I’m not interested in buying a BMW.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Like a lot of posters, I’m lukewarm to the styling, waiting to see it in the flesh. Alot of JDM lovers grew up on manuals, are starting to prefer the purity of the driving experience, rather than outright speed. For this demographic target, not offering one could mean loss of a sale. Like a lot of Midwestern Gen Xers, I longed for a MkIV Supra, but also appreciate the simplicity of Mustangs etc. So a 6spd GT350 is just as exciting to me.
    I’m holding out to see what the new 86 is going to be.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      They’ll sell the 86 to those people. There’s no way in hell they’ll get rid of the manual option on it if there’s going to be a second gen. It’s about the same likelihood as the Miata going auto-only.

  • avatar
    6250Claimer

    I don’t mind the brand collaboration thing, but as an E86 Z4 M Coupe owner, it pains me to see BMW using the Z4 name on this abomination. It’s not remotely a Z4 in any historical sense, so I think they should call it something else – Z5, whatever. It does do a great job of making my car look even better though.

    If I were in the market for a new one, I’d skip the BMW roundel and go straight to the Supra. Why not? I think the Toyota version is a better-looking car anyways, and it costs less, and has a great heritage.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I’d rather have a collaboration than none. I think this will be the way of the future. Platforms will be shared as well as those things that are considered more esoteric like engines.

    We already see in in transmissions (how many vehicles use ZF units ), brakes, and various electronic systems (traction control, stability control, ABS) and it will be coming to engines very soon.

    And to me, it makes sense. A basic block is engineered and if carmaker A whats to increase it’s displacement, it’s designed to be bored/stroked. If carmaker B wants to make more power, an increase in compression is a simple piston/connecting rod change away.

    And maybe, just maybe, manufacturers will pass a portion of the inevitable savings down to the consumer ( I know, wishful thinking, but a man’s gotta dream).

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s one thing for automakers to share platforms and engined when they are short of resources, but TOYOTA?? Toyota has RWD chassis, proper engines etc. The RC coupe easily could’ve become the basis for a new Supra. This is like BMW using the Mustang as the basis for the next M4. Unnecessary, spits on heritage, enrages fanboys.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Wanted to add to my comment above.

    Regarding the 2020 Supra, I think it’s going to be a very good car. The Z4M Coupe/Convertible is one of my favorites and this is one of a handful of cars that to me will feel like a sportscar.

    It’s low, has a short wheelbase, and a wide track. Early reviews say it feels like a powerful Miata, which is a good thing in my book of automotive goodness.

    People will compare it to Mustangs, Camaros, and Challengers and will cite the better power numbers of the pony/muscle trio but comparatively they feel like boats to drive. They’re just too big. Not what I want in a sports car.

    I’m excited for the Supra. Numerous testers have also reported that Toyota gave subtle indications that a manual will be available within the next couple of years, which should be available at the car’s initial release, but you seemingly can ‘t have it all.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    I’m not in the target market for any sports car at this point. But I have never understood why a manufacturer using parts already available to make a performance and/or upscale vehicle (i.e. lower volume) annoys some people so much. Sure, a totally bespoke special vehicle would be great…..but price things into supercar/ultra-luxury levels. That makes zero sense for something like the Supra. Its better that it exists than not, imo.

    I personally don’t care either way since I’m not going to buy one, but the only thing they should have done for a car like this was offer a manual, even if by special order and with an appropriate upcharge.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    I don’t get the hate for the BMW engine. BMW makes the best inline 6 car engines on the market, and has done for years. Could Toyota come up with something as good? Well let’s say yes — how much would that cost? Toyota have obviously done the math on that one, and here’s the answer.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    I owned both a Saab 9000 turbo and an Alfa 164S. These used the same Lambda platform, but different engines, transmissions and suspensions. Despite the common platform, these cars were worlds apart in handling and feel. I have a hunch that will be true for the Supra and Z4 also, even using a common engine. I’m sure there will be comparos by the car mags and blogs when both are available.
    +1000 on the manual transmission option. They are a great theft deterrent device ;).

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Just to elaborate, chuckrs, Mazda and Fiat share an identical platform to build the Miata/124. For all that the Miata is faster, reviewers claimed the Fiat 124 was more fun. Additionally, the two look like completely different cars from the outside, despite sharing a number of body panels and an almost identical interior.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    I owned both a Saab 9000 turbo and an Alfa 164S. These used the same Lambda platform, but different engines, transmissions and suspensions. Despite the common platform, these cars were worlds apart in handling and feel. I have a hunch that will be true for the Supra and Z4 also, even using a common engine. I’m sure there will be comparos by the car mags and blogs when both are available.
    +1000 on the manual transmission option. They are a great theft deterrent device ;).

  • avatar
    b534202

    I see that Toyota steering wheel in those youtube videos and think maybe they should include a BMW part there as well …

  • avatar
    Noble713

    I’ve NEVER understood the hate for car companies parts sharing. Same thing with cross-brand engine swaps. The subject is like shining a blacklight on the irrationality of the car community. So many people are emotional, tribal zealots.

    I don’t see it in other performance communities, like e-sports. I think anybody saying “I only put Dell parts in my Dell gaming rig” would get laughed out of a LAN party. Most people are running the PC equivalent of a Factory Five GTM: insane performance that they’ve hand-built in their garage, and no two are alike.

    Or imagine some security contractor who only puts government-issue magazines in his Colt rifle….meanwhile everyone else is switching to Magpul PMAGs and looking at the brand-zealot like “You’re funeral if that crap jams. Hell maybe my funeral too -_-”

    Standardizing parts, at the very least certain standard form factors for components (what’s the mechanical/drivetrain equivalent of USB, SATA, PCIe, DIMM slots, etc?) across the industry sounds like a good opportunity to reduce costs via economy of scale in mass production.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I don’t see it in other performance communities”

      Really? I’m not super familiar with firearm forums, but if Glock started selling rebranded Taurus handguns that wouldn’t raise a single eyebrow?

      I don’t think the issue is that there is sharing in general, but the Toyota fans consider the BMW pieces used on the Supra to be inferior to what Toyota could do in-house (like the Dell parts or government-issued stuff in your example). This car is also far from a 50/50 partnership. It looks like BMW did the vast majority of the work while Toyota added some sprinkles and cash.

      • 0 avatar
        Noble713

        Ah, I actually thought about Glock owners and meant to include a caveat about them specifically. Yeah Glock people are zealots, and in my experience firearm owners who own a variety of hardware look at those with nothing but Glocks almost like they Scientologists.

        Re: could Toyota have developed stuff in-house vice BMW-rebranded crap…probably, but then we’d have a Supra in the same price range as the new NSX, which is a REALLY crowded and competitive market, and also seems contrary to what Akio Toyoda is trying to do in terms of putting more sports cars into the hands of normal people. I’m totally willing to pick up a used MkV Supra as an additional toy in a few years when they start at $50k. If they started at $150k….nope.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          The LC500 starts at $92K, which is a good indication of that a real Toyota Supra would cost today. I had an SC400 back in the day. IIRC, it was about 20% more than a Supra TT.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            Lexus has a coupe under the LC500 that would probably make a better basis. I maintain the 86 with the STI motor would have been more palatable as a retro, MK1 sort of car (back when it was Celica based.)

            Still, the Lexus RC with a turbo Toyota V6 (an inline 6 for this application would be a pipe dream). Would have been my preferred choice. I think the 86 has packaging constraints that rule out any motor other then the boxer.

            If they were going to partner up for this car, I wish they’d have gone with Mazda…then maybe I’d get a new RX7 out of the deal.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Also, this isn’t parts sharing…this is very close to badge engineering.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Art Vandelay: Also, this isn’t parts sharing…this is very close to badge engineering.
  • TotalNonStopCars: Nissan gonna Nissan.
  • PrincipalDan: Doesn’t the 2020 Corolla and Corolla hatch come with a “rev matching” manual? Corolla...
  • TotalNonStopCars: Oh boy, faster AND cheaper?!?! For Mercedes? Thats sounds like a recipe for overwhelming SUCCESS!...
  • Art Vandelay: Lexus has a coupe under the LC500 that would probably make a better basis. I maintain the 86 with the...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States