Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada hopes the new sports car that is being co-developed with BMW will be a midsize model that bears similarities to the erstwhile Supra. According to Bloomberg, Uchiyamada wants the new sports car to be significantly different than the Toyota 86 (aka Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S).
Earlier this year, BMW and Toyota confirmed plans to build a midsize sports car, in addition to agreeing to work collaboratively on researching carbon fiber and fuel cells. The new car will reportedly be based on the chassis used for the 86/BRZ, but it will be somewhat larger. In fact, that car’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, is heading up the new midsize sports car project.
Uchiyamada, who will be confirmed as Toyota’s newest chairman later this week, reportedly wants to ensure there is a distinction between the Toyota 86 and the new model. He envisions a resurrected Supra — the rear-wheel-drive coupe went out of production in 1999 — and warns that, “It’s futile if we make something similar” to the existing Toyota 86.
Earlier reports suggest the upcoming Toyota will also serve as the replacement for the current BMW Z4. It’s expected to use a BMW-sourced inline-four gasoline engine as well as a hybrid drivetrain, possibly with an all-wheel-drive setup as is planned for the 2015 Acura NSX, wherein electric motors drive the front wheels. A concept version of the car could debut this November at the Tokyo Motor Show.
In its final year on sale in the U.S., the Toyota Supra (pictured) was offered with a 225-hp, 3.0-liter inline-six engine or a 320-hp turbocharged inline-six. Prices ranged from $30,918 to $40,308. The car was discontinued for the 1999 model year.