Upcoming Toyota Supra to be exclusively automatic?
The fact that BMW and Toyota are collaborating on a new coupe is not a new revelation. That news has been circulating for a long time now. What is new, however, is spyshots leaking detailing the transmission choice.
The folks over at Autocar UK recently managed to nab some new images of the upcoming model which shares DNA with the next BMW Z4, and a look into the cockpit shows BMW switchgear, infotainment system, rotary dial controller, BMW heating controls and most importantly, an automatic gear shifter.
Now, you might be thinking that this is just a test mule, nothing has been confirmed, and these parts could just be in there for the time being. Of course, this is all true. No word has reached us from either BMW or Toyota, with the latter telling our UK counterparts "We don't comment on future products." However, sources say that the car's use of a high-tech hybrid system necessitates the exclusive use of the auto 'box.
The petrol engine will be Bimmer-sourced, while the hybrid kit has roots in Toyota's WEC program - namely the TS030 Hybrid Le Mans car that came so tantalisingly close to victory last year. The ICE powers the rear wheels and electric motors help the front wheels where necessary. Energy will be regenerated through the brakes and via the petrol engine, stored in supercapacitors like the ones in the TS030.
Elsewhere on the web there are rumours floating about entry-level models of the car that will do away with the hybrid system for some markets, which could possibly open the door for a good old-fashioned manual transmission. However, we can't be sure until the official launch. And remember, this information looks to only be pertaining to the Supra model - no mention of the Z4's transmission as of yet. Perhaps the new MX5 competitor we all want will come from Germany rather than Japan?
The Z4 is set to be offered in both convertible and hard-top options, while the Supra will only be in hard-top form.
Cover image credit: cvdzijden - Supercar Videos