This Frankenstein Supra Convertible Is More of a Toyota Than the Real Thing

January 9, 2020 Cars By

The all-new fifth-generation 2020 Toyota Supra was one of the most-heralded vehicles to debut last year. Reviewers loved it. True Supra enthusiasts, however, had one slight quibble beyond the absence of a manual transmission. Beneath the bodywork, the Supra is basically a BMW. It uses a BMW platform, a BMW brain and a BMW inline-six engine. It’s assembled in Austria. It even gets included in BMW product recalls.

That, however, has left the door open for others to experiment with the idea of what a more Toyota-based version would look like. For example: Nihon Automobile College (NATS) in Japan is hand-building a convertible “A90 Spider” version of the MkV Supra for the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon. Their Frankenstein vehicle suggests what the Supra might have looked like if Toyota had taken a different, more Toyota-centric route.

NATS’s Supra runs on a Toyota platform — specifically, the one from a second-generation Lexus SC430. It’s powered by Toyota’s legendary 2JZ engine from the fourth-generation Supra, which here has been turbocharged to 600 horsepower. It cribs body panels (Toyota’s contribution) and a widebody kit from the current MkV Supra’s OEM and aftermarket parts pool.

Don’t expect to see an open-top version of the true BMW-based Supra anytime soon, either; the hardtop is the major differentiator between the Supra and the BMW Z4. There have been rumblings about a targa-style removable roof, but a power upgrade is probably the most likely change for the Supra coming down the line.

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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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