I’ve reached a point where Toyota’s non-stop procession of Supra teasers has made me dead to the world… or so I thought.
Since this summer, covering the Supra has become a chore, all thanks to Toyota’s absolute lack of restraint in preemptive marketing. I went from being enthralled — excitedly telling everyone that “the Supra is back, baby” after news broke of the automaker’s 2014 filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office — to experiencing a deep malaise anytime I read about the upcoming model. You know this because I’ve complained about it before.
There’s just been too much teasing. You can only show me your ankle for so long before I want to see the whole foot. Fortunately, Toyota threw me a bone this week and decided to post a video highlighting the Supra’s exhaust note in delicious stereo sound.
The video, which consists of an out-of-focus coupe flinging itself around what we assume is a track, was preceded by a brief interview with Supra/Gazoo Racing chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada. Earlier this week, he told Automotive News Europe that “the straight six is the only engine with perfect balance and low vibration. We can realize smooth driving with exciting sound.”
Toyota does not currently build such an engine, so it had to reach out to BMW for help. Unfortunately, this led many to presume the Supra would be little more than a Z4 with some unique bodywork, as the pair were co-developed and share the same platform, chassis, 3.0-liter turbo, 8-speed transmission, and the majority of their mechanical components.
One thing is abundantly clear, however. The cars sound quite different.
While there’s not an overabundance of audio files showcasing the Z4’s exhaust note, what I have heard was tepid in comparison to the latest in a very long line of Supra teasers. The Toyota sounds meaner, snorting and popping as it skidded around for the duration of the video.
That’ll likely relieve some tension in those who worry the cars will be too similar. Toyota said it would make meaningful modifications to deliver a more hardcore vehicle than BMW. So far, we know those changes include tweaks to the suspension, engine, transmission, and exhaust — and, if the sound I’m hearing is indicative of the rest of those modifications, things are looking up.
It’s possible I’m even getting a little excited again. We’ll see if that feeling lasts when we take a gander at the 2019 Toyota Supra at next month’s North American International Auto Show.