QotW: What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?

We’re about to get behind the wheel of the long-awaited fifth-gen Toyota Supra. Depending on who you talk to the expectations could not be higher, or lower. Toyota says we’ll have the chance to talk to engineers, designers, and other people who worked on the car. We might even get to take it on a track. We’ll finally be able to satisfy our own curiosities, like is the car substantially different from a BMW, will it live up to its predecessor, and what’s really behind the choice of the Supra badge? Let us know what burning questions you have for the A90.

What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the greatest car of the Heisei Era?”

There were many great answers this week, and surprisingly, not all of you suggested the best cars of the 1989-present era were of the NSX/FD/Supra variety. Toyotas also won the bulk of the nods, with dankan‘s nomination of the XV10 Camry, Steve‘s pick of the Lexus LS 400, and Angelo‘s recommendation of the Toyota Crown Comfort. But not all of them were pedestrian sedans. Tom Westmacott and Lachlan both appointed the Lexus LFA, a choice that’s hard to argue with. However, the most inspiring answer this week was a vote for the R35 Nissan GT-R, from a reader whose name could not be more appropriate, Mothra:

It’s the R35 GT-R.

That car is the culmination of not only one manufacturer’s sales and racing success, but the success of an ideology. The ideology being that a car produced by Japan, an independent Asian nation, could compete and win on the world’s stage.

If the Showa Era was dominated by the mindset that the East had something to prove in order to “earn” the respect of the West…It was the Heisei Era that proved Japan (and the rest of the East) could define their own measures of success and pride. The Nissan GT-R succinctly embodies that radical paradigm shift.

Where we all stand now is at the symbolic beginning of a new era in which the East’s potential is without limit…and the West has to prove it can keep up.

As the auto industry gazes to the horizon unknown, one name still quakes the Earth with infamy: GODZILLA.

Omedetou! Your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop.

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49 Responses to QotW: What questions do you have for the A90 Supra?

  1. Nigel said:

    How long will you be around ??

  2. Nigel said:

    Hope it is a while ??

  3. dankan said:

    Is it actually fun enough to compete against the Cayman/718 in that market space?

  4. Alan said:

    Warum bist du ein BMW?

    Warum bist du nur automatisch?

    Warum hat Toyota uns verlassen?

    • Mark Newton-John said:

      Ohne BMW, die Supra mehr als $100.000 kosten.
      Heute is 2019,und PDK ist schneller und besser als manual Getriebe.

      • Alan said:

        But it’s not a Supra. Sticking a badge on something doesn’t endow it with character. It’s a philosophical debate at its heart, just as many prefer the feedback and interaction of a manual gearbox over the efficiency and speed of a PDK.

    • Ben Hsu said:

      Hopefully I can answer all these questions in an upcoming article on the Supra’s development with Chief Engineer Tada.

  5. BlitzPig said:

    Have your dealer techs been trained for proper service of BMWs, and are they prepared for the higher frequency of repair that goes along with BMW technology?

    Will the logistics of parts supply for the BMW bits on the new Supra be better than the abysmal parts availability at the BMW store?

  6. Jeremy A. said:

    I would have 3 questions for it.

    1). Will it ever see a 3JZ engine? I would not expect Toyota to put the 2JZ back into production. I want to know if Toyota will start building inline-6 engines again, and give us an evolution of the Mk IV Supra.

    2) Will the Mk V Supra ever have a turbocharged or twin-turbocharged option?

    3) Will the Mk V offer any open-top options (T-Bar roof, Targa Top, Etc.)

    • Mark Newton-John said:

      No more development of the JZ engine. It would have made the Supra more expensive and pushed the release of the car even further.
      And with Toyota moving towards electrification and fuel cell, doesn’t make good business sense to make a low production motor for a low production car.
      And the Supra needed a six, and BMW has been making them for a long time.

      With Nissan killing off the Z roadster, a convertible Supra is unlikely.

      Turbocharging? Hell, Toyota won’t even do it to the 4U motor in the 86…

    • Ben Hsu said:

      I will try my best to answer, given what I’ve heard from Toyota engineers and my experience with the auto industry in general.

      1. No. Toyota is not interested in building inline-6 engines any more, or at least not at the cost it would require. They’ve already re-organized the engine plants and assembly lines and to revert to an I6 design.

      2. The A90 engine is turbocharged already. Whether a twin-turbo is added will probably depend largely on BMW.

      3. Toyota won’t discuss future product, but I don’t think there will be open-top versions. The coupe design was meant to differentiate it from the Z4. Any moves towards a convertible would blur the lines that Toyota and BMW are trying hard to establish. Also, I believe the Supra’s double-bubble roof is an integral part of its design and structure, and Toyota doesn’t want to reduce its body rigidity in any way.

  7. Mr. Bill said:

    Can you appreciate in value for the next 25 years?

    Can you achieve cult status based only on your quality and seemingly endless potential?

    Can you strike fear into the hearts of all challengers? Or, Chargers?

    Can you live up to the unshakable bench-racer reply of, “Yeah, but…Supra.”

    • Ben Hsu said:

      Only time will tell. I do think there is a lot of tuning potential, but I’m not sure it will have the cult following of previous Supras.

      • Mr. Bill said:

        Thanks Ben,
        I do think this iteration of Supra has a lot of potential. The tuner culture may not rise again to the level of previous generations whose popularity rose in step with the culture, but I think those who “get it” will love it all the more for what it brings to the marque.

        Keep up the good work Ben.

  8. Tim said:

    How is the seating position and general “roominess” of the Supra vs the 86?
    How big are the brakes? eg, can you replace the massive factory wheels with 17″ ones?
    Is the cabin “muted” or can you hear what the car is doing?
    Where does it fit on the scale of 240Z to Tesla in terms of feedback?

    • Ben Hsu said:

      The cabin is smaller than an 86’s because it doesn’t have the rear seats. However, while it’s smaller overall, it feels like there’s more room from a driver’s perspective. There’s more leg and shoulder room, and you don’t sit quite as low.

      The brakes are 13.7″ in front with four-pot calipers, 13.6″ or 13.0″ depending on trim, with a single-pot caliper in the rear. I don’t think it will be possile to fit 17″ wheels on it.

      The car isn’t muted like a typical Toyota/Lexus. There is a butterfly valve in the exhaust to amplify the noise, which is very burbly and aggressive, especially in Sport Mode. It even does the BMW thing where noise is projected into the cabin via speakers, at around 15 percent volume.

      It’s hard to compare a car with electronic controls versus one with mechanical linkages. To put it perspective with modern cars, the capacity for throttle modulation is better than that of a Mazda, but modern Mazdas like the 3 and Miata have better steering feedback. The suspension is good, but very different from that of a Miata. Those tend to be smoother, while the Supra’s is much more energetic. Neither is better, it just depends on your preference.

  9. MIKE said:

    WHY DID YOU TAKE A FLAGSHIP REPRESENTATION OF TOYOTA”S EXCELLENCE AND TARNISH THE NAME SUPRA BY USING A BMW MOTOR( A DETUNED ONE AT THAT AND NOT REPRESENTING TOYOTA 100% AND THE SUPRA LEGACY. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER TO JUST LEAVE THE NAME SUPRA OFF THE VEHICLE AND CALLED IT A TOP END FSR OR A LEXUS VERION OF THE FSR. THE NAME SUPRA WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF RESERVED FOR THE LIKES, SUCH AS LEXUS LFA AND SHOULD BE RESERVED AS SUCH. GIVEN THE LAST ERA OF SUPRA WAS HITTING ITS LIMIT AS A PRICE POINT FOR A JAPANESE SPORT CAR NEARING 100k AND BY TODAYS STARDARDS AND PRICE POINT WOULD BE 250k +, WOULD HAVE BEEN BEST TO JUST LEAVE THE SUPRA NAME OFF THIS BASTARDIZE VERSION. LEAVE A GREAT THING GREAT AND IF YOU CANT AFFORD TO BUILD AND SELL IT, DONT DO IT AND HANG THE LEGENDARY NAME OFF IT. SAD, SAD MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE SUPRA

    • Alan said:

      IT’S MORE THAN THE MOTOR MIKE IT’S THE WHOLE CAR MATE

      • MIKE said:

        ALAN,THE POINT IS..BASTARDIZED NAME AND LEGACY OF THE SUPRA PERIOD. MATE

        • Alan said:

          OK GOT IT I AGREE

          • Mike said:

            Thanks, Alan yes BIG disappointment how Toyota choose profitingg over pride in a name that should be held to high Toyota standards. If anyone one should know about this the japanese should a thing about pride and honor, not sell out and bring in an outside source to fill the void, look what happened to Nissan, bought in an outsider, and now has lost honor and disgrace, yes they had to, because nissan was putting too much effort in developing true sports cars, but that what made them great
            .just like Mr K…he didnt even like the Gyr/z when he was given one, said it’s too heavy, too many electronics, not what he consider a true sports car. The japanese build great cars and now fall in to the same greed, profite over quality as they fall in complacency, hence what is happening to the Supra:(

  10. Steven Endo said:

    Toyoda-san:

    Please, please ,PLEASE see the folly of once again entrusting Toyota’s legendary reliability to a third party (ummmm… especially BMW…) and offer a “lower level” option built by Toyota with Toyota parts (“3JZGTE”, please) with a proper 3-pedal, 6-speed manual transmission!

    If that’s not possible, I’ll accept a “4SGE” equipped 86 (M/T, of course)!

  11. Omar said:

    Is Toyota open to completely running away from the BMW powertrain, going forward, in favor of a Toyota powerplant?

    Why didn’t they use the Lexus LC or new IS platforms?

    Why didn’t they use the twin turbo V6 and turbo 4cyl from their Lexus line up and mate it to the BMW 6sp?

    How long will it be before the MK6 with Toyota power come into production?

    • Mark Newton-John said:

      The Supra needed to be different from the Lexus LC, and the IS is just a bigger Corolla.

      The heritage of the Supra is a straight six. Sure they might have gone with V-6, but you wankers would still be complaining about that, instead of going with BMW.

      An A100 Supra? Only if the A90 sells, otherwise it will end up like the ZZW30…

    • Ben Hsu said:

      1. Given everything I’ve discussed with Tada-san and other Toyota representatives, a Toyota powertrain is not a possibility, at least not on this generation of Supra.

      2 & 3. According to Tada-san, an inline-6 was a must-have, so Lexus V6 and V8s were not an option for him. BMW had the engine, and it made more sense to use the BMW platform. Also, Tada-san was concerned about meeting global standards for emissions and safety. BMW was able to help Toyota legalize the car as a truly global one.

      4. Tada-san was open to the possibility that there would be an A100, but he would be retired (or working on something else) when it happened. I don’t think Toyota truly knows when it might be coming.

  12. Matt said:

    Can I buy parts for the Supra at the bmw dealership ?

    • Ben Hsu said:

      Sorry, I had limited time to ask questions and wasn’t able to get this one in! However, Toyota techs at dealers are getting intensive training (and new equipment) to work on the Supra.

  13. Mark Newton-John said:

    Here is the main reason why they went with BMW for the Supra development.
    https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAAZ1MQ?m=en-us&referrerID=InAppShare

    • Mike said:

      Mark, doesnt matter why they went with bmw, it just that it should never happened to a name like the Supra, in which it has ruined a name that has a legacy, Toyota has enough experience to develop a motor to suit the vehicle, it just that if they were to build one for today’s market, people would be able to afford it. My opinion is that they should have left the name supra off of it and called it Fsr something..ie le, lx,,etc,,or do it right and base it off a low cost Lfa, at least its toyota and we can all respect that

      • Steven Endo said:

        I agree with your first statement, that it should not be named Supra for the same reason they did not call the GT86/FRS/86 a Celica: because it’s not built by Toyota.

        But I dont agree with your last statement that it’s a Toyita and we can respect that. As much as I love my FRS from the perspective that it’s a great little fun, RWD, coupe, it is a little disappointing from a “it”s a Toyota POV. Damn, I wish they had at least put in a Toyota I4 in it…

  14. Mark Newton-John said:

    I simply want to know what Toyota will call this motor. From the M to the JZ to the…

    Toyota calls the Subaru motor the 4U, even though it has nothing to do with the 2U motor, will the use M, JZ, or even B?

    Because it should have a proper designation with the engine, such as AE86, RT40, and of course, JZA80.

    And knock off the MkV crap. This ain’t England, and Toyota doesn’t use it. NO ONE is referring to the latest Corolla as MkXII…

    And get off my lawn…

    • Alan said:

      No one may be referring to the Corolla as the MkXII but everyone refers to the Supra in those terms and has for decades… so what’s your point?

      • Mark Newton-John said:

        My point is AGAIN, NO ONE uses a “Mark” designation, NO ONE called the JZA80 a MkIV, less people confuse it with a Lincoln land yacht, and name one magazine who called the MA70 a MkIII, because it ain’t a Jag-you-are either.
        Does anyone call a Mazda FD a MkIII? F*** no. Does ANYONE IN THIS WHOLE WIDE WORLD call the latest NSX a MkII? Okay, maybe in the Midlands. BUT NO ONE ELSE.
        See?

        • Alan said:

          No I don’t see. All the enthusiasts and journalists (including me) refer to the Supra in terms of Mark to identify generation. Maybe not in print but certainly in speech.

  15. Mark Newton-John said:

    Here are some real questions for Toyota, not some comment bitching about BMW…

    How do you see the Supra competing in the premium coupe market, against the Mustang GT and other American coupes? And who does Toyota consider as a competitor? Genesis G80? Infiniti Q70?

    With Nissan Z sales not that great, and with Mazda having dropped the RX-8, do you think you could revive the performance coupe market?

    Does Toyota consider the Supra a complement or a competitor to the Lexus LC?

    • Ben Hsu said:

      I had limited time with Tada-san and the Toyota reps, and wasn’t able to get to all these questions, but I’ll answer the best I can and interject some of my own experience.

      Tada-san explicitly said the Cayman was the target.

      Nissan Z sales are poor because the car is a decade old, and enthusiasts who would want a 2-seater sports car tend to be more do-it-yourselfers, and are more likely to buy a used one. Tada-san said he made the Supra with the intention of the aftermarket following up with performance parts. Though he didn’t talk about the performance coupe market per se, he was adamant that he wanted tuners to develop parts for the Supra.

      Toyota does not see the Supra and LC as being in the same class. The former is a 2-seater pure sports car, the latter is a 2+2 GT.

  16. Alan said:

    No I don’t see. All the enthusiasts and journalists (including me) refer to the Supra in terms of Mark to identify generation. Maybe not in print but certainly in speech.

  17. Curtis said:

    The A90 looks great and I’m sure it’s going to be a great car to drive much like the GT86. My only question is given that this is a shared platform, can you give more feedback into how the Supra drives in comparison to the Z4? I know Toyota went with slightly less weight and power, but all the initial impressions I’ve read have been that it’s just good. No real comparisons to how it is after directly leaving the Z4.

  18. Mark Newton-John said:

    More on why the tie-in with BMW, why a Subaru motor in the 86, from Tada himself.
    https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAAYGkW?m=en-us&referrerID=InAppShare

  19. Mark Newton-John said:

    A little prescient, but I didn’t know Toyota cancelled the first A90 in 1997.
    Tada speaks:
    https://jalopnik.com/toyota-s-performance-boss-was-going-to-make-a-new-supra-1829125702

    • Mark Newton-John said:

      The dude made it easy, on purpose, so that tuners can add wings, body kits, and yes, throw a 2JZ-GTE motor in it. The man put HOLES in the body so they could do it.

  20. Tom Westmacott said:

    From an FD3S driver:
    – does the auto box lock up fully both on power and on overrun, so that you can properly modulate the car’s attitude with throttle? Does it have a true ‘manual’ mode where the engine:wheels drive ratio is locked until the driver explicitly requests a gearchange?
    – does the boost build smoothly through the rev range, or does it arrive in a big lump at a certain point?
    – if you enter a corner a little bit too quick off-throttle, how much does it understeer?
    – how comfortably does it ride on bumpy or badly surfaced roads? How nimble is it on narrow winding roads?
    – does the diff prevent spinning up an inside rear wheel when accelerating out of a tight corner?
    – how is the steering feel? can you feel the grip levels? does it have that EPAS dead feeling around the centre?
    – how responsive is the engine? how much turbo lag?
    – does the engine feel like it goes on making more power at the top end, or does it level off or run out of breath?
    – can you get a normal airline suitcase (hold luggage) inside plus two occupants?
    – how good is the traction on both grippy and slippery surfaces?
    – does it give good warning of impending break-away under power (oversteer), and how easy is it to gather up?
    – how does it sound / feel?
    – how do the brakes hold up under hard track use? engine cooling? basically how well would it cope with trackdays in stock form? Does trackday use invalidate the warranty?
    – how much does it actually weigh, ready to drive, on the scales (not the notoriously unreliable manufacturer figures)
    – does it have headroom for a 6-foot driver wearing a crash helmet?

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