also, better for engine swaps

The New Toyota Supra Has Another Surprise for Us

April 30, 2019 Cars By
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Back in January, Toyota revealed the new Supra at the North American International Auto Show. The initial plan had Americans exclusively receiving the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six version, with a base-model four-cylinder version would also bound for Japan. Now, it appears Toyota may have plans to bring the base-model turbo-four Supra to the US, as well.

On Monday, Automobile Magazine revealed it had uncovered California Air Resources Board certification documentation for BMW’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine. The list included the array of BMW models that use that engine…and one Toyota: the new Supra. (The new Supra and Z4 were co-developed by BMW and Toyota as a cost-saving measure.)

In Japan,Toyota sells two different tunes of the four-cylinder Supra: a 194-hp, 236-lb-ft base version (which shares an engine with the Z4 sDrive 20i) and a 255-hp, 295-lb-ft version (shared with the Z4 sDrive 30i). A 194-hp Supra would make little sense, as it would overlap with the extant Toyota 86; expect the 255-hp version here. 

Why is this important? Affordability. A four-cylinder Supra would presumably cost less than the six-cylinder, which starts north of $50,000. That would open the car to a range of buyers who might opt for a Subaru WRX STI or a Ford Mustang EcoBoost. The 2.0-liter should also, in theory, be more fuel-efficient than the 3.0-liter, though the six-cylinder Supra scored impressively in EPA testing with a 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway rating. (Also, the cheaper four-cylinder would make it a better candidate for anyone planning an engine swap; every dollar not spent on the existing powertrain is another dollar to spend on that 2JZ.)

Hoping for a manual? Keep on hoping, for now. The document lists an eight-speed automatic transmission as the only option for the 2.0-liter Supra. However, BMW has been known to pair that engine with a stick on some models, so it’s conceivable a manual Supra could materialize if there’s enough demand for it. 

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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