Will it be a coupe only?
It has not even made its official debut and already a few Toyota officials can’t help themselves by disclosing some interesting details. Set to premiere next month at Detroit, the fifth-generation Toyota Supra will initially be a coupe only, which makes sense considering its platform and straight-six engine-sharing cousin, the BMW Z4, will be a roadster. However, Toyota is apparently already discussing the possibility of a drop top Supra.
According to Carsales.com.au, Toyota’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada admitted a convertible derivative is possible. “Of course we consider this,” he said. While BMW has been pretty clear the Z4 will remain roadster-only, Toyota has made no such statements regarding the Supra’s own roadster status.
Unlike the current Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, the Supra’s platform was engineered from the beginning to be a roadster, so it’s not at all difficult for Toyota to slice off the roof while still maintaining proper structural rigidity. Furthermore, the business case could be there. You see, Toyota and BMW spent six years developing this sports car platform and therefore the developing costs for a topless variant are already paid for, mostly. That was not the case with the 86/BRZ.
One of the key reasons why a convertible variant of those twins was ruled was due to the extra cost. Considering the coupes were never exactly flying off dealership lots, Toyota couldn’t justify spending even more. This time around, things are different.
Not only is the roadster development work mostly done, the Supra nameplate has pedigree, meaning it’ll (hopefully) automatically draw larger crowds and buyers. Both the Z4 and Supra will be built at a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Austria that should have no problem accommodating multiple body styles. But if there’s one Supra body style, aside from the coupe, that we’d want, it’d definitely be a targa with removable roof panels. Previous-generation Supras offered this so there’s historical precedent. And yes, if a Supra roadster is possible, then a targa variant should not be a problem.