Over the last decade (or longer), Toyota has been teasing us with pictures of a potential new Supra. The Supra badge alone has become one of the most recognizable in all of the Japanese market, something I’m sure Toyota is well aware of.
Back in the 90’s, they did it right. A monumental engine with improved weight and handling over its predecessor and unmistakable design elements for the era. In years following, the aftermarket world would solidify the Supra’s place in automotive history, by exploring the almost never-ending limits of the 2JZ engine. Its popularity in the F&F series only further established its long-term relevance, and its resale prices began to show this.
Toyota had built a kickass car, and were very fortunate to receive a huge amount of brand-recognition long after the death of the MK4 chassis. They had an opportunity to take this popularity and run with it. And there’s really only a few criteria that the world clearly presented to them as non-negotiables if the car was ever to return:
- Sporty, modern aesthetics capable of standing out in some way
- A capable, turbo inline six cylinder engine
- Manual transmission option
That’s literally it.
Here’s what actually happened: Toyota rebadged a BMW Z4. But even worse than that, they made it look like a GT86. And the problems here are so deep it’s almost unfathomable. The car is equipped with a BMW turbo-six, a company whose reputation has been substantially tainted by their abomination of a turbo-six, starting with the N54 in 2006. Toyota also did away with most of the unique design elements present in the last 12 years of Supra prototypes, creating a confused combination of their entry-level sports car and the BMW roadster. And through all of these takes and no gives, Toyota decided to make this car only available with an automatic transmission.
Oh, it also starts at $51,000. Let’s not forget that.
Now the real problem here is that a big derpy ocean-barge of a company like Toyota is incapable of understanding why they won’t sell nearly as many as anticipated. They’ll scold all of their marketing and research teams for wasting the company’s money, because clearly, there’s no demand for a Toyota Supra, failing to realize that they had blown off both of their feet with a 12-gauge the second the information hit the automotive community.
And like the Japanese auto-makers do, they’ll all follow suit. And when the community begs for a rebirth of an old iconic namesake again, they’ll reference “that time Toyota tried to do it and none of you bought it,” dooming us, seemingly forever. We’re fucked. And Toyota did it to us.