While the “reveal” of the new Supra at the Goodwood Festival of Speed wasn’t a proper reveal, as the car that sped up Lord March’s driveway was still sporting camouflage, today we learned something newsworthy about Toyota’s sports coupe — there will be a four-cylinder version.
Like the turbocharged 335-horsepower 3.0-liter inline-six we expect to power the top-spec Supra, the smaller engine will be sourced from project partner BMW. The 2.0-liter engine will also sport turbos, and will be good for a respectable 262 horsepower.
Our friends over at Road & Track broke the four-cylinder story after scouring through documents from transmission supplier ZF, which is making the eight-speed auto which will sit behind the engine. Unfortunately, there was no mention of a traditional manual in the paperwork, but at this point, enthusiasts aren’t holding their breath for a third-pedal.
The idea that there would be an entry-level version of the new Supra isn’t terribly surprising, but the comments from Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada in the wake of the revelation were interesting, to say the least. In addition to saying it’ll be more balanced than its six-pot stablemate, he instructed tuners planning an engine swap in the direction of the smaller mill, saying “please buy the four-cylinder. It will be cheaper.”
Yup, Toyota fully realizes there’s a number of enthusiasts chomping at the bit to pull a heart transplant on its new baby.
And unlike, you know, every other engine swap, for once the most likely candidate isn’t General Motors ubiquitous LS, but rather the 2JZ-GTE from the last generation Supra — because that engine is the key factor in what made it such a legendary tuner car. Last year, Jalopnik’s David Tracy wrote an interesting piece on exactly why it’s so good, but for those who start to zone out at the mention of fully closed blocks, valves per cylinder counts, and compression ratios, here’s the shorthand: Toyota wanted this engine to be super reliable and strong, so the engineers designed it to handle far more power than the factory would ever ask of it — like two to three times more.
That means every greasy bit is overbuilt, and with fairly simple modifications, skilled wrenches can get it to pump out around 800 tire-slaying horsepower. Of course, a swap won’t be cheap, since every other drivetrain component will have to be beefed up, but expect to see ferocious 2JZ-GTE Supras at the first SEMA after its available.
Of course, we expect the version that’ll arrive at your local AutoNation Toyota dealer will be a solid performer right out of the box. But that doesn’t make us any less curious about what all the mad scientists out there have in store for it. Here’s hoping we get a look at the new Supra sans camo soon.