New BMW M division president Markus Flasch has left the door slightly ajar for the supply of his firm’s latest six-cylinder performance engine – the 503bhp S58 unit destined for the 2020 M3 and M4 – to Toyota for use in a hotter version of the GR Supra.
Although the new-generation straight six has so far been fitted to only the X3 M and X4 M Competition performance SUVs, it is due to be installed in all of BMW M’s next generation of compact high-performance models, from BMW the M2 coupé upwards. And, in a break from convention, it’s possible that it could feature in a high-performance Supra, too.
So far, no expression of interest from Toyota has been made, according to Flasch. But if the deal was done, it would make it the first BMW M engine to be sold as a customer unit, and to feature in a third-party car, since the McLaren F1’s S70 V12.
In conversation with Autocar, Flasch said: “We’ve certainly made no offer to supply the engine to Toyota – and no request has been made, as far as I know. But it’s an interesting idea, if unlikely for now. It would be a lot for us to give away, you might say. But I’d never say never.”
The GR Supra currently uses the B58 3.0-litre straight six engine from which the S58 was developed, although only 10% of parts are common between the two power units. A lack of power compared with some cars at its £50,000 price point has been a criticism levelled at the Toyota during its initial market reception. The S58 BMW M engine would provide Toyota with the head room to move the car up to 476bhp or even 503bhp, in a motor that would likely be easy to package in the car.
“As a rule, we don’t offer BMW M engines to third parties because we consider them such a strength of our cars,” Flasch added. “I think it would be a hard decision for a lot of the team to accept – particularly with the S58 being so new. Why would we sell it before we had a chance to use it ourselves in all the places we plan to?" But, as Flasch said, never say never.