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2020-05-05

Toyota Working with BMW To Modify The Supra

Image:- 2021 Toyota Supra A91 Edition

In Munich, Toyota engineers are working together with BMW on the future of the Supra.

Much has been written about the decision by Toyota to team up with BMW to bring back the Supra using the Z4 backbone. Some have criticized that move, saying it's "not a real Supra," while others are simply happy that the A90 is there. A year into the nimble sports coupe's life cycle and there are already quite a few changes for the 2021MY, including more power for the six-cylinder engine, a new base four-cylinder model, and the special edition of the A91.

Toyota sat down and chatted with media members – including Autoblog – to talk about the Supra, which the firm sees as a halo model. Due to its special status in the lineup, rear-wheel-drive machine sales numbers aren't that important. Rather, the positive impact of the car on the brand image means more to Toyota, a company that has vowed to construct a performance version of everything it sells.

That is not to say that Toyota is unaware of the volume generated by the reborn Supra, claiming to be happy with the 2,884 cars it sold in the United States during the 2019 calendar year. Keep in mind that the car was not available for the full 12 months as it went on sale in the second half of July and had an average price of about $56,000 to $57,000 in transaction. Toyota is "really pleased with the sales," according to Jack Hollis, Group Vice President & General Manager.

The conversation then inevitably steered toward the BMW tie-up as the press was curious to find out if the Bavarians are still involved in the evolution of the Supra. Short long story, they are very much. The company has a team of engineers in Munich working closely with BMW to improve the car, the senior manager of vehicle product planning said. He made it clear that Toyota is still "entirely responsible for the setup of tuning and chassis on this car."

"There's more of a separation as we go over time. While we are still bouncing off each other's ideas and sharing our information, we make a deal to go our separate ways. This is not without conversation. It's not without engineering ... chief engineer Tada and his team stay on features in relatively constant contact with BMW.

As for the 2021 Supra, the coronavirus pandemic has unsurprisingly impacted its launch in the US. The Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria where the car comes to life, is currently closed and hopes to resume operations in the next few weeks. Due to the 400 cars built before the closure of the factory, the six-cylinder Supra is still on track for a June on-sale date but it will be a long wait for the four-pot model. That's because the production of the cheaper variant hasn't started and the COVID-19 crisis has caused a two-month delay, meaning that until this fall, the more attainable Supra will not arrive on the stateside.