Posts Tagged ‘supra’

Toyota & BMW to Partner on Two-Seat Hybrid Sports Car

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Toyota FT-1 Concept

All the way back at the end of 2011, Toyota and BMW announced a partnership that would help both brands further their fuel-cell, hybrid and lightweight technologies. Then, in 2012 the agreement was elaborated to include a new joint venture sports car. Finally, near the end of 2013 the two brands hinted that the venture would eventually yield a Z4 replacement for BMW and a Supra successor for Toyota.

Now, we’d originally expected to see the fruit of that agreement at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, but Toyota gave us the FT-1 Concept instead. However, we now know that the FT-1 Concept may have struck closer to the Toyota-BMW agreement than we’d first thought… This is because AutoCar has just confirmed that the FT-1 bears striking similarities to the car the two brands eventually intend to produce.

First, though, let’s go back and look at which aspects of the future twin cars each brand intends to handle. Toyota plans to use their experience with the LMP1 sports car and the TS030 Le Mans prototype to develop a plug-in hybrid powertrain. BMW will reportedly be responsible for designing the chassis and body, and actually manufacturing the mechanics Toyota develops (engine, electric motors, etc.).

2014 BMW Z4

As you continue reading, though, do keep in mind that these are all still rumors at this point. Nonetheless, here’s everything else we know about the potential Z4/Supra successor:

Most of what we know revolves around the powertrain, since over the past six months Toyota has showcased some incredible new technologies in that department. Most notably, the new BMW-Toyota supercar is rumored to feature a front-engine, all-wheel drive configuration with a high-power hybrid system. In fact, it appears the car will feature technology very similar to what we saw in the Toyota Yaris Hybrid R last year in Frankfurt – a high-output, low-displacement direct-injection engine (the Yaris Hybrid R had 300hp with 1.6L) paired with three electric motors and supercapacitors instead of the typical lith-ion batteries.

In addition to the engine and motor configuration, the car is expected to utilize a sequential manual gearbox instead of a CVT, and lightweight technology as seen in BMW’s i3 and i8 sports cars. It will also use some of Toyota’s carbon fiber manufacturing technology that they perfected through the Lexus LFA supercar to simultaneously lighten and stiffen the car. Finally, driving mechanics will be perfected through Toyota’s torque vectoring control units.

Even though both hybrid supercars will feature the same underpinnings, it’s expected that Toyota and BMW will differentiate the specific exterior design. Personally, we hope that Toyota sticks pretty close to the FT-1 Concept, as that car looked spectacular.

Obviously, there’s a lot that we still don’t know about the potential BMW-Toyota supercar. We don’t know how much it will cost (although rumors put it in the six-figure range), what the exact powertrain numbers will be, or anything about its green technology. And we certainly don’t know when or where the car will make its debut. Having said that, we hope to get more concrete answers – if not a full preview – by the end of 2014.


Toyota FT-1 Concept Reportedly Confirmed as Next Toyota Supra

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Toyota FT-1 Concept

The Toyota FT-1 Concept was one of the few cars that we didn’t get a chance to discuss during this year’s Detroit Auto Show. That’s not because it wasn’t a great concept, but because Toyota, along with every other automaker, made sure we had quite a bit to discuss (such as the TRD Pro Series) and we simply didn’t get around to it.

With this latest piece of news, we’ve been given an opportunity to go back and look at the breathtaking sports car concept.

What news is that?

The title says it all – Toyota has reportedly confirmed that the FT-1 Concept will eventually make it to production as the resurrected Toyota Supra.

We’ve talked a bit about the Supra before, but just to remind you, it was a beloved RWD sports car from Toyota’s early years, specifically the 80s and 90s. Towards the end of the 90s it began being banned out of various markets for its failure to adhere to the then-new emissions regulations. Now, almost 20 years later, Toyota is ready to bring its most-loved sports car back from the grave.

News of the Supra’s return is actually just a small sampling of what Toyota’s planning in the years ahead. A recent interview between Karl Schlicht, executive VP of Toyota Europe, and AutoExpress let us know to “expect more risky designs and emotional surprises like the FT-1 Concept.” Toyota is on a mission to transform its brand image from that of bland and reliable to that of the best and the boldest.

Schlicht went on to credit Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s current CEO, with the Japanese automaker’s new direction. “Toyota has really changed under Akio Toyoda – he really doesn’t care about selling more cars than anyone else, in fact he’s paranoid about growing too quickly,” Schlicht said. “He’s told everyone in the company not to chase the number one spot, but to do things right, make the best cars and the money will come.”

Of course, this strategy is probably a lot safer when you already are the number one spot, but we appreciate the sentiment nonetheless. And, we’re certainly not going to object to more cars like the Toyota FT-1 Concept, which can apparently trace its roots all the way back to the Lexus LFA – an uber-expensive, limited production supercar that nobody in Toyota besides Akio Toyoda himself wanted to make.

Schlicht elaborates: “The LFA was the hardest project to push through, but he [Toyoda] did it anyway. He wanted to liberate the minds of his engineers. In a way the FT-1 is the next stage in that, a more accessible version of the LFA.” In fact, he even went so far as to claim that the GT-86 and the upcoming Lexus RC-F wouldn’t be possible without the innovation spurned from the LFA’s development.

To digress just a little bit, we still don’t know very much about the reportedly upcoming Toyota Supra. However, we know that the Toyota FT-1 Concept was designed by the companies CALTY studio, so we expect the Supra will be just as stunning as the FT-1, if not more so. Furthermore, we know that the concept featured a powertrain capable of 485hp, so if and when the Supra comes to be, it’ll certainly pack a punch.

Unfortunately, we have no official idea when we will see the Toyota Supra production model, or even if there’s to be another concept between now and then. However, AutoGuide indicated that the new Supra would likely come sometime in 2015 as a 2016MY. It’s a bit of a wait, we know, but if there’s any car worth the wait it’s the new Toyota Supra.


Toyota Unofficially Confirms New Toyota Supra Concept in 2014

Posted by Stephen On Friday, December 20th, 2013

It feels like every three months throughout 2013, we’ve heard some new rumor about how Toyota might-finally-hopefully-bring-back-the-Supra-quick-everybody-cross-your-fingers. Well, earlier this week, we heard a new rumor that puts all those previous rumors to shame. That’s probably because it’s not a rumor at all, but an unofficial promise by Toyota to bring a production-intent Supra Concept to the 2014 Detroit Auto Show next January.

To add a little context, the Toyota Supra was a much-loved sports coupe that had a solid 16-year run from 1986 to 2002. Unfortunately, the car was slowly pushed out of production due to its high emissions in a world where government-enforced emissions standards were quickly becoming the norm.

Despite its eco-unfriendliness, the Toyota Supra was a well-respected and adored sports car, and one that Toyota fans have never fully forgotten. Since 2002, Toyota has fanned the rumor mill’s flames every now and then with hints of a possible successor. Finally, after years of teasing, top-level Toyota executives have unofficially confirmed that we will see a Toyota Supra Concept in just one month’s time.

The last time we heard rumors this serious about a Supra successor was back in 2007 at that year’s Detroit Auto Show. At the show, Toyota premiered the FT-HS Concept which you can find pictured at the top of this post.

Possible Preview of the Toyota Supra Concept?

As you can see, Toyota has a strange affinity for following patterns. And that’s exactly why the preview of the Gran Turismo 6 Vision Concept is so intriguing.

The image previews Toyota’s contribution to the Gran Turismo 6 Vision Series, a downloadable add-on to the Gran Turismo 6 racing video game. The series is a collection designs and concepts from a variety of brands – not just automakers – and it just so happens that Toyota’s contribution is a coupe racer that looks eerily similar to the FT-HS Concept in profile, albeit with a large rear spoiler and some other performance add-ons.

More interestingly still, the original Toyota Supra was so beloved that it too made its way into numerous racing video games, including some of the older members of the Gran Turismo genealogy.

One final coincidence to top it off? The Gran Turismo 6 Vision Series DLC (downloadable content) will be available for download sometime in early January, right around the same time as the 2014 Detroit Motor Show.

And there you have it. That’s what you call bringing a news story full circle.

So, for any of you who’ve been waiting near a decade for a Toyota Supra comeback, the time is upon us. In just one month’s time, we could very well be looking at the all-new Toyota Supra sequel. If it comes, you can be sure that you’ll see it here, so stay tuned!


Auction Supra Goes Drifting

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Massive thanks to Scandinavian customer Dan who sent me these superb shots of the Supra he bought from us drifting in a major local championship. As usual, click to see them in their full-size glory.

Dan tells me that it is currently running at 560WHP (which means 560 horsepower at the wheels – so obviously a lot more at the engine) with 820Nm of torque. I can tell you that these figures are quite a bit more than when we bought it for him from the auction in Japan. But Dan is concerned that this might not be quite enough, so he is currently doing some testing at 698WHP and 930Nm. Go Dan!

In the words of Jeremy Clarkson … “POWERRRRRRRRRRRR!”

Enjoy …

Drifting Supra

Supra

Supra with tire smoke

Supra in pits


The New Toyota-BMW Codeveloped Supra Edges Ever Closer

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, June 15th, 2013

For at least the past three years, we’ve heard rumors that Toyota will bring back the Supra sports car with the help of BMW. Finally, in January of this year we got official word that Toyota and BMW signed a contractual partnership in order to, among other things, develop a new midsize sports car. This mysterious sports car, of course, sounds eerily similar to the Supra of old.

Toyota Supra concept

BMW & Toyota: A 4-Point Agreement

Before we go into recent news regarding the Toyota Supra, let’s take a moment to rehash the basics of the Toyota-BMW agreement. The alliance aims at accomplishing four specific goals:

1. Make progress towards a viable hydrogen fuel-cell car
2. Develop a shared platform for a new midsize sports car, very similar to the Supra
3. Research denser lithium-ion battery solutions
4. Integrate new light-weight materials into their vehicles

In effect, this agreement gives you a basic rundown of both BMW’s and Toyota’s intentions for the future. This is especially relevant for Toyota who has repeatedly stated they don’t believe all-electric vehicles are where the market’s going. It appears that light-weight materials, fuel-cells and improved batteries are where Toyota wants to go instead.

The Toyota Supra Comeback (Probably)

With the partnership between Toyota and BMW clearly defined, let’s talk a bit about this “midsize sports car” they keep talking about. Obviously, it’s a pretty vague reference. So, how do we know that they’re looking at a Supra revival and not a brand new vehicle?

Well, the short answer is we don’t. Or rather, we didn’t until earlier this week when Bloomberg let us in on the intentions of a certain Takeshi Uchiyamada – incoming chairman for Toyota and head of negotiations with BMW.

According to Uchiyamada, the Supra is the perfect car for allied development. “[The Supra is] what I want but it’s not me who makes the decision. It’s futile if we make something similar to the ’86.” In other words, because Toyota already has a successful sports car, the Supra becomes all that much more favorable since it wouldn’t overlap at all with who the GT-86 is trying to target.

We don’t know much else about the upcoming Toyota Supra, but we do know when we’ll learn more. Rumor has it that Toyota will have a Supra concept – or whatever midsize sports car they end up developing – prepared by the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show.