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Supra launch date named by Toyota

Toyota Supra set for Q3 debut in Australia, several months after related BMW Z4

19 Sep 2018

TOYOTA Australia has confirmed a third-quarter 2019 launch date for its born-again Supra, making the announcement on the same day that BMW revealed mechanical details for the closely-related third-generation Z4.
But while the Z4 roadster will be offered in Australia with a choice of three engines, topped by a 250kW/500Nm turbocharged inline 3.0-litre six, Toyota has confirmed only one engine for the fifth-generation Supra – the BMW-sourced blown six with “more than” 220kW and 450Nm.
In launching the vehicles, BMW will beat Toyota to the punch, revealing the full Z4 range at the Paris motor show next month ahead of a global showroom roll-out in the first quarter of next year.
The Supra, on the other hand, will be revealed in production guise in the first quarter of next year before making it into showrooms later in 2019.
In Australia, the Supra will become the first Toyota model to carry Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) branding, the company’s new global performance car brand named after the Japanese Gazoo racing team.
Announcing the Australian launch date for Supra, Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley indicated that part of the 2019 Supra’s role would be to raise Toyota’s brand image.
“As the halo model for Toyota sports cars and our new GR brand, Supra points to a new-generation of driver-focused vehicles that will offer dynamic styling and faithful handling, even at the limits of performance,” he said.
“These inherent qualities will also flow into our regular production models, enhancing Toyota's DNA as a company committed to bringing the freedom, adventure and excitement of driving to everyone.”
The respective engine line-ups for the jointly-developed Z4 and Supra point to an apparent pecking order for the two vehicles, with the more powerful Z4 M40i sitting above the Supra which in turn sits above BMW’s two four-cylinder Z4 variants, the 20i and 30i.
BMW claims a 4.6-second time for the 0-100km/h sprint, while Toyota says its version does the dash in “under five seconds”.
Toyota claims the aluminium and steel body has rigidity close the levels achieved by its carbon-fibre LFA supercar, while also offering nimble handling due to wide track and a short wheelbase – shorter than that of the smaller Toyota 86 coupe.
Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada said his goal was to develop a car that would reward driver intentions with sharp steering and high cornering performance.
“Regarding driving pleasure, my target was to achieve extreme handling performance as a pure sport car,” he said.
“Thanks to Supra's robust body and high-performance suspension, you can enjoy an extremely high level of all performance aspects, including acceleration and deceleration response, ride comfort and cornering,” he said.
Like the Z4, the Supra will get an eight-speed automatic transmission, active limited-slip differential and adaptive suspension as standard equipment.
Testing was said to include laps of the Nurburgring and power slides on closed tracks for ensure a fun factor.
Ironically, the Toyota media release refers to the Supra’s “pure driving pleasure”, seemingly channelling BMW’s global sales slogan.
The Supra’s exterior was designed at the company’s Calty design studio in California, while the BMW’s shell was penned in Germany by Australian designer Calvin Luk.
The first Supra – essentially a six-cylinder Celica – was launched in 1978, but evolved into its own model over the years.
Toyota said it sold 2895 Supra in Australia until it was discontinued locally at the end of the third generation in the early 1990s.

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