The long-awaited successor to Toyota’s iconic Supra may now be locked in, with a new report out of Austria this week claiming a 2018 production schedule is planned.
Talk of a new Supra has been doing the rounds for sometime, and confirmation in 2013 that Toyota would work with BMW to develop a new sports platform has only served to motivate the rumour mill further.
Now, according to newspaper Kleine Zeitung, BMW and Toyota will both use contract manufacturer Magna Steyr to build the so-called ‘Z5’ and the model that fans have looked to as a spiritual successor for the Supra.
The report adds that an initial annual production volume of 60,000 cars across both lines is planned.
For its part, Magna Steyr has confirmed only that BMW will soon confirm plans for a model that will replace the Mini Countryman and Paceman on the manufacturer’s production schedule. (The next Countryman will be built elsewhere and that Paceman is to be retired.)
This latest report follows word in September last year that the two car makers would make a final decision on their jointly-developed sports car architecture by the end of 2015.
Above: fans are looking to the FT-1 concept as a potential preview for Toyota’s next sports hero
Recent spy photos of a new BMW roadster suggest that decision has been made, and BMW CEO Harald Kreuger told industry journal Automotive News this week: “BMW has a long roadster tradition. “We will occupy the segment once more. It’s not big, but it’s important for the strength of the brand”.
Toyota’s sports car chief, Tetsuya Tada, told CarAdvice last week that he remains committed to the potential for more hero models.
“We’re putting all the effort into making it happen,” he said.
“At all companies, the core person’s ideas always come first. And at Toyota, our president, Akio Toyoda, seems like he is a chief executive with a passion. And he’s very passionate about making good quality ‘motorsport’ cars.
“And then because the man at the top intends to produce a car with passion, that’s what the company is looking for,” he added.