Fans and car enthusiasts alike have been waiting years for the return of Toyota’s legendary Supra, but as more details of its co-development with BMW emerged, many have begun to question whether the risk was worth the reward. Toyota is no stranger to partnerships with other manufacturers and their tie in with Subaru for the BRZ and 86 was met with a similar reponse. So the question that needs to be asked, is if this union between Germany and Japan will play out any different.
When you consider how Toyota conducts business around the world, they often engage in partnerships to outsource certain components and save on production costs. For the Lexus LFA, they worked with Yamaha to produce that incredible V10 and they have co-developed many economy cars with Suzuki and Mazda. When it comes to the most crucial element of the A90, namely its straight-six engine, BMW was clearly the obvious choice.
Like every generation that precedes it, the fifth generation A90 Supra retains this powerplant. While Toyota still builds lots of V6 engines, they currently have no I-6 in production. BMW is critically acclaimed for this motor and they been building them successively since the 1930s. From a business perspective, this partnership makes sense, because it saves money and that’s what required to help new product lines grow.
An expensive, low volume model like the Supra may have never been approved in the current climate without two fully invested partners. If this was a venture that Toyota set out to achieve on their own, the A90 may have never come about at all.
Yes, the Supra and the Z4 share many key parts, but its an all or nothing scenario. In a market that’s dominated by crossovers and SUV’s, introducing a sports car can be a risky endeavor. Would we be better off without either of these cars and has Toyota failed to retain that which makes their badge so credible? Chime in below.