The future is looking bright for Toyota enthusiasts, or any early-adopting driver hoping to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to automobile aesthetics and performance. Toyota has a legacy in innovation, and this is no truer than today as we prepare to enter 2016 and beyond.
Back at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show Toyota unveiled it's concept car - the Supra FT1. The vehicle was the highlight of the show and left fans wondering if the Supra, which halted production in 2002, was about to return. However, a concept car often remains just that, and is not released to the public for sale. Drivers were about to write off the prospect of a Supra successor until events following the Detroit Auto Show unfolded. From January 2015 and on, the FT1 began making an appearance at major international car shows. What really got people talking was the Supra's showing at the New York International Auto Show in April. The concept car had been updated, taking feedback from fans, designers, and industry influencers alike. When this happens, official production soon follows.
"The more changes an automaker makes to its concepts and the longer they keep them around, the higher the chance of receiving a production version." (NY Daily News re: Toyota Supra FT1)
Thirteen years after Toyota stopped production of the Supra, we can finally start talking about its heir apparent. Read further for more on what you can expect from the new Toyota Supra.
What You Need to Know About the Future of the Toyota Supra
But is it a Supra?
Car & Driver is speculating that the new Supra may not be the Supra you know from over a decade ago, and thus may not carry the exact name. While Toyota president Akio Toyoda remains coy on the matter, industry sleuths anticipate that this Toyota of the future will indeed be a variation on the Supra, as evidenced by the FT1 concept car.
A Partnership with BMW
The new vehicle is a result of a combined effort between Toyota and BMW. Toyota's version is the successor to the Supra. BMW's model is anticipated to fill-in for their Z4 Roadster. Each vehicle will have it's own unique chassis (the structural frame) which will differentiate the two brands significantly.
An Impressive Body
The new Supra is expected to come in with a length of 177 inches, a width of 72 inches, and a height of 52 inches. As a dimension comparison, look to a rear-wheel drive Porsche 911. As far as aesthetics are concerned - it will be marvelous. This metallic sports coupe is curvaceous and sexy. The fenders flow in an upward motion, arching over an impressive set of wheels. The new Supra will look like it's on the prowl, even when parked in your garage.
As the anticipation builds, Toyota remains tightlipped about the exact details behind the powertrain of the new Supra. What you can expect, is serious turbo power, of ?both the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder variety. Sources state that the new base Supra will have a combined hybrid system of a turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor at each of the front wheels and a third integrated with the engine and transmission. Expect a result verging on 400 horsepower which is impressive if you consider that the car will come in at just over 3000 pounds.
Affordable High-Performance Vehicle
The anticipated price range is expected to land somewhere around the $50-60,000 (USD) range. Given the style, hybrid components, and horsepower behind the up and coming Supra, buying a high-performance car of the future is becoming an affordable prospect thanks to Toyota.
More news regarding the new Supra will arrive next year. While a surprise at Detroit's 2016 North American International Auto Show is not out of the question, experts expect an unveiling in 2017 and sales in North America to begin in 2018. Stay tuned to our blog for updates.
If Not the Supra, What Then?
All signs point to the production of a new Supra being Toyota's stamp on the future. But is there something else on the near horizon? The Toyota Mirai for one. The Mirai, which is Japanese for future, is now. Orders for the Mirai can be placed in the U.S. as of October 2015, with Canada likely to follow in a year or two ahead. This futuristic four-door sedan uses hydrogen fuel cells for propulsion, taking a revolutionary step towards zero-emissions for Toyota drivers. As a leader in the hydrogen fuel cell movement, Toyota is involved in the proliferation of hydrogen fueling stations in North America, and announced a partnership with industrial gas supplier Air Liquide and with FirstElement to build a network of roadside stations in the U.S.. Partnerships in Canada are soon to come. The Prius may have set the standard for environmentally friendly cars of the future, but the Mirai is redefining it. You won't sacrifice function and feel with this eco-conscious car. The instant torque of the vehicle's powertrain combined with the placement of the hydrogen components gives the Mirai a fast, low center-of-gravity, and sporty feel. And the Mirai is as quiet on the road as a purring kitten.
The future vehicles of Toyota span far beyond what you will find on the lot of your local Toyota dealership. Toyota is shaping the future of all cars on the road.