Toyota Supra's future to yet be decided publicly

We’re getting close to the final chapter of the MkV Toyota Supra introduced in 2019 as the Japanese sibling to the BMW Z4. Right now, the Book of Supra is a mystery and we’re dealing with a cliffhanger. Automotive News reported BMW Z4 production ends at Magna Steyr’s Graz, Austria plant next year. Without a base to build the Supra on, the questions are what happens to the fifth-gen and will there be a sixth-gen? Toyota hasn’t sold a lot of its passion project, but everyone knew this was going to be niche, and the figures aren’t bad for the shrinking coupe and convertible segment. For context, the (admittedly less expensive) Mazda MX-5 Miata, flag-bearer for the segment, has sold more than 10,000 units in a year in the U.S. just five times in the last two decades, the most recent time in 2021. The Supra’s best year in the U.S. came in 2021, with 6,830 units sold. Last year, that dipped to 2,652 units. And the Z4? Dealers sold 1,881 units in the U.S. last year, and even if you add the droptop’s sales from 2021 to 2024, the Z4’s tally doesn’t equal the Supra’s 2021 sales. So you can imagine the struggle when execs use the phrase, “We need to make sure there’s a business case.”

None of this is to say the Supra will die. Toyota told Autonews the automaker has “nothing to announce at this time.” North American group VP Dave Christ, asked whether there’s a way to go it alone with the Supra happen, said, “I think if we want to build something, we’ll figure out how to build it,” while adding, “we’re evaluating what’s next.”

If we were to give into absurd hope, we’d look at the recent engine announcement from Toyota, Subaru, and Mazda regarding ICE development. Toyota wants compact, smaller-displacement hybrid engines of 1.5 and 2.0 liters that generally return more horsepower and better fuel economy than today’s 2.0- and 2.4-liter units. Honda’s publicly toying with the same idea in its Prelude concept, no reason Toyota isn’t at least thinking about the same. But again, this is all hope.  

The next chapter is expected to open next year, with a GRMN Supra powered by a BMW M3 engine, accompanied by hints of a manual transmission option. Perhaps by then we’ll get more clues about how Toyota plans to resolve the mystery.

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