The response towards Toyota's release of the 2020 Supra has seemed to be a let down to the
die hard fans for the beloved tuner car of the past 20+ years for a few profound reasons.
Whether it be the likeness of the BMW Z4 in mind, body and soul, or just the fact that the spirit
of the Supra seems to have evaded them entirely- We understand the heartbreak. This got us to
thinking, if Toyota didn’t want to reproduce the 2JZ, why not go with what the tuner and
performance world has been calling the “German 2JZ” for years and use the N54 instead of the
In early 2019 rumors about a new Supra where starting to catch like wildfire. The main question
being, “Will Toyota bring back the 2JZ?” you know, that famous Fast and Furious one liner,
“2JZ- No S***!”. This motor came in the Mark 4 Supra and became a petrol head favorite almost
right away and for good reason. The top of the line performance 2JZ came in the Mark 4 Supra
and was named the 2JZ-GTE. It is a twin turbo, inline-six, 3.0-liter, with 325 horsepower at 4800
rpm. and had torque of 324 ft/lbs at 4800 rpm. This motor was quickly found to be easily
modified and tuned and hold a significant amount of power. The 2JZ really put the tuning world
of the mid 90’s and early 00’s on the map.
The 2020 Supra was released with the BMW Z4 B58 motor. Toyota decided to go with this
power plant as they have taken a step out of the performance ring to focus on passenger cars.
Much to the dismay of the purists, they decided that developing their own in-line 6 for a less
produced car would be a financial back step. While it is heartbreaking that the heart of the
Supra is not Toyota, we are happy that they honored the 2JZ platform and found a in-line six 3.0
liter with twin turbo power. However, you do not get the option for a manual gearbox.
We continue to wonder why they didn’t chose the infamous “German 2JZ”, the BMW N54. So
here are the comparisons between the 3 motors, we’ll let you be the judge:
Toyota's 2JZ was produced between 1991-2002 and varied between production street and
performance applications. The top of the line performance 2JZ came in the Mark 4 Supra and
was named the 2JZ-GTE. It is a twin turbo, inline-six, 3.0-liter, with 325 horsepower at 4800
rpm. and had torque of 324 lb-ft at 4800 rpm. It was hailed as the tuner king because of its
ability to take so well to performance modifications and tuning. To this day, the 2JZ is a very well
sought after motor and is swapped into everything from Volvo’s to Porsches to Boss S14’s.
(Yes, we’re looking at you Corey Hosford.)
The N54 debuted in 2006 in the 335i model of the E90/E91/E92/E93 3 Series range as a
twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six, making 340 horsepower at the crank and almost 332 ft/lbs of
torque. While the 300 horsepower peaks at 5800 rpm, the torque stays constant at 295 ft/lbs,
from 1300 rpm all the way up to 5000 rpm. The N54 has been hailed as the “German 2JZ”
because of its likeness in power and most notably its popularity for performance modifications
and tuning. It is still on a system that will allow modifications and tuning, unlike its current
predecessor the B58.
The B58 engine makes 335 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 365 ft/lbs of torque at 1,600 rpm. The
B58 comes out of the 2020 BMW Z4 which will get the 382 hp version of the engine, which
makes the same 365 ft/lbs of torque, and at a cheaper price than the new Supra. Just a fun fact.
The B58 currently only comes with a automatic 8 speed transmission, which makes swapping a
manual gearbox in the new Supra a difficult and expensive task.
Between all 3 platforms, we think the closest similarity is between the 2JZ-GTE and the N54.
Both of these motors are known for their ability to take very well to bolt-ons, modifications, turbo
swaps and tuning. Both of these models also came in manual options. Between the likeness in
the platforms themselves, the power comparison, the upgrade options, the ability to tune and
the option for a manual Supra in 2020, we think the N54 is what Toyota and BMW should have
opted for in the 2020 Supra. Hell, it might have made the price and availability for the new Supra
a little easier for us too!
What are your opinions on the new Supra?
What is your opinion on the N54 as the "German 2JZ"?
Let us know below!