By now, you’ve probably heard of BMW’s joint venture with Toyota to build a sports car together. Both brands have been working on a sports car platform together and will both be debuting their own car from it. For BMW, that car will be the upcoming Z4 roadster. For Toyota, it will be the next-gen Supra. We knew that both cars would share similar chassis and technologies, but it seems they will share some powertrain bits, as well.
From some recent spy photos that have surface, we can see the interior of the new Supra (We don’t own the photos but they can be seen here). In these photos, the shift level is visible and it’s clearly a BMW-sourced automatic gear lever. That means that the Supra will likely be using a ZF-sourced eight-speed auto with BMW’s electronics. That’s actually good news, though, as BMW has been praised for programming the ZF8 gearbox better than anyone else, really. What’s also interesting is it seems like it will also have a variant of BMW’s iDrive system, as the massive dash-mounted screen looks eerily similar to BMW’s. Plus, an iDrive rotary controller can be seen on the console. But that steering wheel looks like a Toyota unit, so this isn’t the BMW Z4 we’re looking at.
From this Autocar report, we’re also hearing that the Supra will pack a BMW petrol engine (possibly the B58?) mated to an electric motor with supercapacitors storing the energy. This will give it a mild hybrid setup and some added low-down torque, completely eliminating turbo-lag.
The upcoming Toyota Supra should excite many BMW and Toyota fans. Being based on the upcoming BMW Z4, the Supra will have a lot of lightweight materials on board, such as aluminum and carbon fiber, making it light and rigid. Accompany that with rear-wheel drive, a BMW I6 and a ZF8 gearbox and that’s a pretty good recipe for a sports car. The lack of manual option is disappointing, but sports cars with the ZF8 are still very fun to drive and this shouldn’t be any different.
Plus, in these spy photos, the car looks very good. It has all of the typical Supra proportions plus a double-bubble roof. C’mon, how can you not love that?