Ever since the A90 Supra debuted at this years Detroit Auto Show keyboard warriors from across the land set their complaining sights on the Supra's BMW power plant. Toyota's latest Supra shares its drivetrain with the new BMW Z4 and as we recently discovered, for very good reasons.
This week Toyota is hosting the new Supra's press drive event. This event invites automotive journalists and characters to not only drive the car but also meet the engineering team responsible for developing it. Patrick George of Jalopnik went head first and ask the engineers the internet's most important Supra question, " Why does it use a BMW engine"?
According to Mr. Georges article, he received this response, "To make the new Supra an all-Toyota project, Tada said, would have pushed development back two or three years and possibly put the price tag over $100,000. He didn’t want that, he said. While its $50,920 base price isn’t cheap, it’s still relatively attainable."
Tetsuya Tada, the Supra's Chief Engineer was concerned with a 6-figure car, “To make the car so expensive would defeat the purpose of a Toyota sports car,” he said. He said he wanted the Supra to be something that normal humans could possibly afford if they worked for it. “That’s why it doesn’t use exotic materials like carbon fiber."
The use of a BMW Straight-6 doesn't just make the Supra affordable, but it also makes it good. Let's face it BMW's been building great straight-6s since before most of us were born. Toyota has been out of practice for almost 20 years so for Toyota to play catch up didn't make any sense.