Currently reading: New Toyota Supra will be 'very different' from BMW Z4
The newest version of Toyota's two-seater has been developed alongside the BMW Z4 - but don't expect them to be exactly the same

The new Toyota Supra sports car will be a "very different" car from the BMW Z4 it is being developing alongside, the project's chief engineer has told Autocar. 

The road-going version of the Supra is due to arrive in 2019, but has been previewed with a GR Supra Racing Concept at the Geneva motor show.

Toyota Supra: latest pictures, performance figures and predictions

The new version of the front-engined two-seater is set to be powered by a 335bhp motor. Both the Supra and the Z4 have been spotted testing in camouflage, and BMW has already shown a Z4 concept.

Speaking at the Geneva show, Toyota's European boss, Johan van Zyl, said: "Yes, the Supra is returning. This concept is a clear signal of our intent to bring one of our more iconic sports cars back to the circuit. This is designed for the track and is a thoroughbred race car."

The GR Supra Racing Concept shown at Geneva has been created by the firm's motorsport division, Toyota Gazoo Racing. It is rear-wheel drive, and the firm says "advanced lightweight materials" have been used in its construction, particularly on the large rear wing, front and rear bumpers and diffusers, and side skirts. The windows are made from plastic to save weight.

The Z4 has now been revealed - take a look here

The road-roading version will launch as a coupé, with different versions likely to follow. Chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, who previously headed engineering for the GT86, told Autocar: "In May 2012, the chairman called me and told me to go to Germany. I wasn't given the mission to create a Supra, I was told to discuss possible developments with BMW. After two years of discussions, we came to the idea of the Supra."

Tada described progress on the road-going version as "steady", and confirmed it would be due next year. He added: "It's really fun to drive this car. Front engines, rear drive… with such a concept, you can have the greatest amount of fun to enjoy a drive in the world. It's fun on the road as well as the race track, the autobahn and the English countryside."

Toyota has not released full technical details of the concept. The chassis features lowered front and rear suspension, and features a competition-focused interior with a racing dashboard and seats. It also features a quick-release steering wheel and paddle shifts, plus a full roll-cage.

Tada insisted that the Supra will be very different from the Z4 it has been developed alongside. Noting that there were "differences" between the two firms in terms of car development and philosophies, he added: "It's different to the Z4, they are two different cars. We didn't start by finding common parts. We worked on our own ideas to see what cars we wanted to create, then we shared ideas to identify where we can share common parts."


Read our review

Car review

Iconic Japanese performance nameplate returns after years in the wilderness

Back to top

The concept is presented in a racing livery featuring the number 90, which the firm says is a historical reference to the Supra's codename, and a clue to it previewing the fifth generation of the model. The original Supra, launched in 1978, was known as the A40, and was followed by the A60 in 1981, A70 in 1986 and A80 in 1993.

Previously leaked details suggest the road-going Supra will weigh 1495kg, have a 335bhp engine and be capable of 0-62mph in 3.8sec.

In pictures: the history of the Toyota Supra

While the road-going version of the new Supra is not due until next year, Gran Turismo Sport players will get an early chance to sample it: the GR Supra Racing Concept will be featured in an update of the game due in April.

Read more

Geneva motor show 2018 - live news and updates

2019 Toyota Supra statistics leaked

In pictures: the history of the Toyota Supra

BMW showcases Z4 concept

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
LP in Brighton 12 March 2018

Makes sense

No point in having them compete with each other like the GT86 and bRZ do.

But I wonder about the plastic windows? Surely these must be a glass laminate to prevent scratches.

bowsersheepdog 6 March 2018

Okay as a race spec model

I'm not sure about the concept of having the parcel shelf on the outside of the boot, but apart from that there's plenty of promise to work on for the eventual road-going version.  Hopefully with the air vents toned down a bit.