Momentum - March 2019 - 14

TODAY'S

ENGINEERING

2020 SUPRA: TOYOTA'S JAPANESE
SPIN ON GERMAN ENGINEERING
IN TODAY'S WORLD of rationalized
product lines with optimized bills-ofmaterial sharing for maximum scale, the
corporate case for low-volume sports
cars is tricky. A desire to return its Supra
(last produced in 2002) to production
led Toyota to partner with BMW,
sharing the Cluster Architecture (CLAR),
underpinnings, and drivetrain from that
company's latest (G29) Z4 roadster and
contracting out assembly to Magna Styr's
Graz, Austria plant.
It makes for a strong example of
the benefits of global markets, as this
arrangement lets Toyota return a flagship
sports car to showrooms. It even features
an inline 6-cylinder engine, which was
a hallmark of earlier Supras. The shared
parts leave fans wondering whether the
2020 Supra is a real Toyota, or just a
BMW in disguise.
In this case, the engine is an
undersquare BMW 3.0-liter inline
6-cylinder, code-named B58M30 01,
Photo credit Toyota

Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada says the Supra was
developed to be a balanced sports car, without
concern with how it compares to the Z4.
14 March 2019

Photo credit Toyota

The 2020 Toyota Supra coupe exhibits some hints of its Toyota sports car heritage, though it shares its
architecture, underpinnings, and powertrain with the BMW Z4 roadster.

rather than the 2JZ of the previous
Supra. In Supra specification, the engine
is claimed to deliver 335 hp (249 kW)
and 365 lb·ft (495 N·m), which compares
to 382 hp and 369 lb·ft (285 kW and
500 N·m, respectively) in the Z4. Toyota
doesn't want to discuss whether there are
any hardware differences between the
engines, leaving the possibility that the
Supra is a simple software upgrade away
from BMW-level power. Both cars use a
ZF-supplied 8-speed planetary automatic
transmission driving the rear wheels.
Differences seem to be mostly
cosmetic, along with a different state
of engine tuning. The styling clearly
includes cues to historical Toyota sports
models, but still manages to look
like a Z4 because of the underlying
proportions. "It combines the heritage
of the 2000 GT, the 86 and the Supra,"
insisted Tetsuda Tada, chief engineer.
"We made sure there were remnants of
that in the side view."
But other than visually, Toyota didn't
seek to push the Supra away from
the Z4. "It wasn't a specific intent to
differentiate," explained Tada, who insists
that Toyota doesn't know anything about

the Z4. "Toyota had a vision of what
a Supra should be and created it. Our
car is a coupe and theirs is open, so the
advantages of each are different."
The transmission is the same, even
if manual-shifting enthusiasts might
wish it were different. "The automatic
transmission is highly refined," said Tada.
"It is geared so you can concentrate on
driving." He doesn't rule out a manual,
however. "If the market demands one,
we'd consider it." And maybe there could
be engine upgrades too. "BMW has
variations of the engine, 500-horsepower
ones," Tada noted. "The beauty of sports
cars is always looking for improvement."
If Toyota had input in BMW's
development of the chassis, it may have
been the requirement to design the
production car with racing modifications
in mind from the outset. "It is the first
volume Toyota built with the premise of
being a racecar," Tada said. "The hardest
part of building a racecar is being able to
cool it. If you can cool it, you can extract
maximum performance. There is space
for an enlarged radiator and passages
for airflow."
By Dan Carney, contributor, SAE Mobility Media

MOMENTUM



Momentum - March 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - March 2019

Momentum - March 2019
Contents
Making the connection
Briefs
Engineering design process crucial for success
A new perspective on airplane design
Focus on testing fuels win
Midnight Mayhem: Racing in the dark
2020 Supra: Toyota’s Japanese spin on German engineering
Over-the-air affair
SAE 101: March 15 is deadline for SAE scholarships
DOSSIER: Nicolas Parent of Lion Electric Co.
Advertise your interests
Take it from the experts
Momentum - March 2019 - Momentum - March 2019
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover2
Momentum - March 2019 - Contents
Momentum - March 2019 - Making the connection
Momentum - March 2019 - Briefs
Momentum - March 2019 - Engineering design process crucial for success
Momentum - March 2019 - 5
Momentum - March 2019 - 6
Momentum - March 2019 - A new perspective on airplane design
Momentum - March 2019 - 8
Momentum - March 2019 - 9
Momentum - March 2019 - Focus on testing fuels win
Momentum - March 2019 - 11
Momentum - March 2019 - 12
Momentum - March 2019 - Midnight Mayhem: Racing in the dark
Momentum - March 2019 - 2020 Supra: Toyota’s Japanese spin on German engineering
Momentum - March 2019 - Over-the-air affair
Momentum - March 2019 - SAE 101: March 15 is deadline for SAE scholarships
Momentum - March 2019 - 17
Momentum - March 2019 - DOSSIER: Nicolas Parent of Lion Electric Co.
Momentum - March 2019 - 19
Momentum - March 2019 - Take it from the experts
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover3
Momentum - March 2019 - Cover4
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