2019 Supra Preview
The automotive world is feeling keyed up about the upcoming return of the Toyota Supra, which is set to come back for the 2019 model year. The beloved Japanese sports car, which debuted in 1978 and hasn’t been made since 2002, was the first car to use fuel injection technology. Toyota made waves at the Geneva Motor Show in early 2018 by unveiling a version of the upcoming model as the GR Supra Racing Concept. The final incarnation – the production version of the all-new Supra – is set to be introduced at the Detroit Auto Show in January.
The reborn race-inspired coupe has been in development alongside first-time partner BMW’s work on its all-new Z4 roadster, with both cars being built by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria. It was back in 2012 that the Japanese and German automakers announced this collaboration, so it’s exciting to see it now coming to fruition. This fifth-generation Supra will be built on the same platform as the Z4 and will use –in the higher of two trim levels – the same twin turbo 335-hp straight-six that powers the current BMW 540i. The base engine will be a twin-turbo inline four that is based on the BMW 330i’s powerplant (in the neighborhood of 262 hp). Only an eight-speed automatic transmission is planned for the 2019 Supra, and it will be – no surprise – rear-wheel drive just like every Supra before it.
Performance and Style
Although Toyota remains protective of the car’s final appearance, sneak peeks at the ’19 Supra have revealed an aggressive and aerodynamic style punctuated by a rear diffuser. The head- and taillights look the part, providing ample slashes of illumination and a fierce look coming and going. Naturally, there should be track-inspired details, such as bolstered leather seats and alloy pedals for the Brembo brakes. Look for a relatively no-nonsense instrument panel and cockpit, but don’t expect any form of the dominating touchscreen displays that are so common these days.
The new Supra is said to be focused on handling, with an adaptive suspension atop a wheelbase of around 97 inches, and a rear differential to divide torque between the rear wheels. Rumors say that a T-top version may eventually happen for nostalgia’s sake, and that a stickshift might one day be offered if demand calls for it. But those are just that: rumors.