New Toyota Supra rigid as Lexus LFA, likely final sports car without electrification


Following the new Toyota Supra's dynamic debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed last week, the company has begun to spill a handful of additional details. After learning the car will offer a turbocharged inline-4 engine alongside the inline-6 mill, we've heard from chief engineer Tetsuya Tada, who explained the Supra is also as rigid as the Lexus LFA supercar.

In a company-produced interview for Toyota's British blog, Tada said the new Supra sports a lower center of gravity than the 86 sport coupe and noted the body rigidity is twice that of the 86. 

"It’s actually the same level of rigidity as the Lexus LFA supercar, and it has been achieved without using carbon fiber so we could keep the price point at an affordable level," he said.

Tetsuya Tada with A90 Toyota Supra

Tetsuya Tada with A90 Toyota Supra

The track width of the Supra is also wider, but the car surprisingly boasts a shorter wheelbase than the 86, which is just 101.2 inches. The 86's track is 59.8 inches up front and 60.6 inches in the rear. The numbers for the Supra are not yet available.

"The car was developed with a specific ratio of wheelbase and track in mind, and I think we’ve been able to achieve the balance that we were looking for," Tada added.

Although the A90-generation Supra is a passion project shared with BMW and its next Z4 roadster, Tada said he thinks even "hardcore" Supra fans and owners will find a lot to like about the car. The team worked to pull design cues from the previous-generation A80 Supra while ensuring the new car has a fresh feel altogether.

Tetsuya Tada with A90 Toyota Supra and previous four generations

Tetsuya Tada with A90 Toyota Supra and previous four generations

As for the experience learned from the 86 program, the Supra is absolutely meant to be the former's "bigger brother," Tada explained. The thinking comes from Toyota President Akio Toyoda's want for the company to have "three brothers" in its sports car portfolio. Tada said the Supra sits at the top and the 86 in the middle. That leaves room for something else in the future.

But, the future may be somewhat different. Tada said strict regulations are making it more difficult to create "emotional sports cars." He made the bold statement that he believes "the new Supra will be the last present from Toyota to those who enjoy hearing the pleasing sound of a pure petrol engine at high revs."

It looks like that third sports car will be electrified in some manner.

 
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