Plenty of Toyota fans are distraught over the fact that the new Supra will use a BMW engine. There are jokes that it will instantly become the least reliable Toyota in history. Behind that is a distrust of BMW, but the Supra likely isn’t aimed at the average Toyota owner anyway.
You might think the use of a BMW engine is a play toward exclusivity by Toyota, but that’s actually not the case. Instead, Toyota has a good reason to use the heart of a Bimmer: tradition.
Past Supras used an inline six-cylinder engine. As chief engineer for the Supra, Tetsuya Tada, explained to Automotive News Europe recently, sticking with that formula was an absolute must. Such an engine lowers vibrations, which is a big deal when you have a more taunt suspension tune. An inline six-cylinder also is smoother than a V-6. Besides, nobody wants to see the 3.5-liter V-6 from the Avalon and Camry plopped in the Supra, because that’s just profanity on wheels.
Developing a new engine costs more than what some small countries have for a GDP, so Toyota did the sensible thing: it decided to use a 3.0-liter unit from BMW. It works with the same eight-speed automatic featured in the upcoming Z4, but Tada says there are enough tweaks to the setup to make it feel different. In other words, the Supra won’t be a Bimmer with a Toyota badge.
Source: Automotive News Europe