Toyota Motor Corp. has set its purpose by taking back the Supra model. A favorite among tuners came back to regain its site in the automotive world. Toyota has partnered with BMW AG to guarantee the best technology. Shoppers may expect the release next year.
Despite the automotive industry is being headed to self-driving cars, President Akio Toyoda bets to resurrect their most representative sports car. Toyota works toward getting customers excited about taking the wheel. Asia´s leading automaker invested 6 years to develop it. They picked the Geneva International Motor Show held on Tuesday to present the concept coupe. Sales will start in the first semester of 2019.
Toyota´s beat for cars such as the Supra is oriented to stand out among current trends. They are going against their biggest threats represented by electric cars, vehicle-sharing, and autonomous driving. Toyota is seeking to reach customers who want a combination of power and speed. It is the real challenge for a company that is well known for offering affordable cars.
But, how the market will react now to a sporty, fast and exceptional Toyota? The last edition of the Supra won its right to become a performance icon on its own, but it happened 20 years ago.
Forbes already said Supra might start in $50,000 for the two-door, rear-wheel drive option. It would make them a rival for the Mercedes SLC Roadster and the Chevrolet Corvette. At this moment, Toyota only has the sporty 86 in his lineup. Its price goes from $26,000 to $40,000 based on the options and designs.
The stardom of an icon
40 years have passed since the first appearance of the Supra. At first, it was a modified version of Celica. It became a style icon by adding an oversize rear wing and by stylizing its lines. Afterward, it turned into one of the favorites for tuners. In 2001, the movie “The Fast and the Furious” included a souped-up 1993 version of it side to side with a Ferrari. It made it a star in the automotive pop culture. About 600,000 cars had been sold by 2002. In spite of it, it was the last time a Supra was manufactured as it was affected by the crashes of the global economy.
Despite having sold many units in 2013, Toyota has only sold a third of what was sold in that year. They have been struggling with the 86 and its predecessor since 2002.
Sharing the best technology
The soft-top Z4 from BMW AG includes main components and chassis as the Supra. It will start to be sold this year after making its debut in August. These common components have been included in the Supra too as a result of a technology-sharing agreement between both companies.
Although Supra is taking more time to debut, it might be a signal of the importance of the project. It is well known that Toyoda himself test drives the vehicles. After a test, he turned the car back to the engineers. Some media reported they had to go back to re-design it in the drawing board to change the rear suspension.
But, Toyota has other sporty models such as the supercar concept with 1,000 horsepower presented in January. It reflects Toyoda´s vision, since 2009, who foresees the business farther than just a sale of units.
The HIS analyst Urquhart is confident that Toyota has enough personnel and executives who can keep it financially on track. It allows President Akio Toyoda to be a real car guy at the top.