Enthusiasts will have to shell out BMW money for a Toyota.
Earlier this week, we covered a report that exposed how Toyota had certified a Supra with a 2.0-liter inline-four with the California Air Resources Board even though it repeatedly told us it would offer no four-cylinder Supra in the US. The news signaled that the automaker had changed its mind and decided to bring one of the two four-cylinder engines it will offer in foreign markets to America.
If the report turned out to be true, that would give US customers the option to buy a cheaper version of the Supra rather than spend $51,000 on the base 3.0-liter inline-six variant, which is the only one being offered in America. We reached out Toyota to see if the CARB certification meant that it had reconsidered its stance on the four-cylinder Supra, and Toyota replied with some disappointing news.
As it turns out, the act of certifying the 2.0-liter Supra does not actually mean the automaker wants to bring the powertrain stateside. A Toyota spokesperson filled us in, saying, "BMW took steps to certify an engine for a variety of uses. At this point, Toyota’s plans for the Supra in the US include only the 3.0-liter inline six that will be in the 2020 Supra when it goes on sale this summer.”
The news comes as a bit of a mixed bag. It means that if Toyota doesn’t change its mind, the only stock Supra we’ll ever see will boast a BMW-derived 3.0-liter inline-6 making 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, slightly less than the Z4 it shares an engine with. The Japanese market alone gets two four-cylinder engines, one making 255 horsepower and another that gets just 194 ponies.
The main reason for our dismay is that it seems like Toyota’s Supra strategy for the US will price out many fans. Rather than offer smaller, cheaper, and lighter powertrains that we now know Toyota is certified to sell here, it’s making it so diehard fans will need to shell out luxury car money for a piece of the action.
And then there’s the fact that Supras with smaller engines would be perfect for tuners who want to swap out the four-cylinder motors for a 2JZ engine. We hope Toyota changes its mind about this because as we now know, a 2.0-liter Supra will have as less trouble selling here than it did clearing California's emissions standards.