Toyota’s plans to produce a sports car to sit above the Toyota 86 is likely to see the resurrection of the Supra badge, with the Japanese company’s boss personally fond of the nameplate.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the one-year anniversary event of the Toyota 86 in Canberra, Tatsuya Tada, the chief engineer of the sports car project admitted that Akio Toyoda, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, has strong feelings towards the Supra name.
“Akio has very strong feelings about Supra and all the engineers [have] strong feelings about Supra.” Tada told CarAdvice.
“Mr Toyoda said to me that if you want to call it Supra it has to be superior, it has to be super great sports car. Unless it's a great sports car it wouldn't be called Supra.” He said.
Despite the preference towards the Supra nameplate, the decision on the name will not take place until six or seven month’s before the car’s release – as was the case with the Toyota 86.
CarAdvice believes that a concept of the new Toyota Supra will be unveiled at this year’s Tokyo motor show, which will begin the official timeline for the car’s release in the next few years.
The bigger brother to the Toyota 86 is likely to take on the likes of the Nissan 370Z and fill a hole in Toyota’s three-part sports car saga. Orders from Mr Toyoda have been to create a stable of three sports cars.
“Akio Toyoda always says to me, Toyota sports car [family] should be three sports car brothers. 86 is in the middle.”
Asked if the company is favouring one size car over the other, Tada said the company is working on both projects concurrently without prejudice.
Toyota has utilised its relationship with Subaru for the 86 and is extensively committed to its partnership with German manufacturer BMW for the Supra-size sports car, with Tada hinting that his company is very much interested in transmission and engine technology from BMW.
Earlier this year Tada told Toyota UK’s official blog that the collaboration between the two brands is leading to something very special.
“I am hoping for a synergy effect with BMW that will result in a product that none of us could have imagined; something more than anyone expects. I would even go so far as to say that for the collaboration to work we have to bring a product which exceeds all these expectations.”
Should Toyota resurrect the Supra name?