Some people might not be happy about the Supra's possible future.
After years of waiting in anticipation, people will soon be able to get behind the wheel of the reborn 2020 Toyota Supra. Despite this, discussions about the A90 Supra's eventual successor have already begun. During an interview with Japanese Nostalgic Car, Supra Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada-san talked about what we can possibly expect from the next Supra, hinting at the possibility of an all-electric or autonomous Supra arriving in the future.
One thing seems certain, however: there will be an A100. Eventually. "The A100 will come, one day, but the taste will probably be very different," Tada-san said, "It might be an EV, or autonomous, or like a Formula E car. Who knows." He added that the A100 "might take the Supra name in a drastically different direction" away from the iconic lineage of the A70 and A80. Whenever it's time for the A110, Tada-san will likely be retired anyway, adding that "when I pass the baton to a new engineer, I don't know what will evolve."
If the Supra ever goes fully electric or adopts autonomous technology, it will be interesting to see how people react considering the backlash the Japanese automaker received for co-developing the A90 Supra with BMW. Some fans still bemoan the new Supra for lacking a manual gearbox. If Toyota had developed the A90 Supra without BMW, however, it would have likely cost over $100,000 since the Japanese automaker would have needed to build a new in-line six. This would have also pushed the Supra's launch back until 2021 according to Tada-san.
"Back in 2012, we had a lot of different options. One of them was to build everything within Toyota," Tada-san revealed. "It had already been ten years since A80 went out of production [in Japan], and we wanted to do it as quickly as possible. We had already closed the plant for the inline-six, and we'd have to build another engine factory just for this engine. But it wasn't just about the money," Tada stressed.
"If we had gone that route, the car would not be done, even today. It wouldn't be out for at least a few more years. The problem is, you can't sell a car like I showed you today in 2021. Safety and emissions regulations are getting tighter and tighter every year," he added. "I already knew that 2019 to 2020 would be the deadline for this kind of car. It would be my last chance to develop a sports car of this kind, especially globally. So, I prioritized the time window first. After that, I made no compromises."