It’s still not clear what will be under the hood of the upcoming Toyota Supra. Enthusiasts are crossing their fingers for an inline-six as special as the one that powered the fourth-gen model, which is highly possible considering Toyota’s technical partnership with BMW. But a new report further solidifies rumors that a hybrid powertrain is in the works.
In an interview with Auto Express¸Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl said a hybrid-powered Toyota sports car is a strong possibility. “I would imagine that in the future that will definitely happen,” he said. “We already have some sporting models with hybrid powertrains on the Lexus side. But on the Toyota side, I think we will find that if we can have a World Endurance Championship racing car with hybrid technology, it can happen on a road car.”
He doesn’t mention the Supra specifically, and his vague timeline also doesn’t help. “I do not have any doubt whatsoever that, in the longer-term future, there will be a real Toyota sports model using electrification.”
Other than the Toyota 86, the automaker doesn’t have another sports model. It would make sense then that the Supra would serve as Toyota’s flagship hybrid sports car with technology trickled down from the company’s motorsports efforts, specifically its Le Mans Prototype program. That said, the hybrid system could feature electric motors at both axles and a gas engine mated to a dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In addition to the straight-six engine, the Supra is also rumored to feature BMW’s carbon fiber-reinforced plastic construction, with a goal of keeping the coupe’s curb weight just under 3,100 pounds. As previously reported, BMW’s version of the co-developed sports car will be a convertible roadster to succeed the current Z4. Both cars are expected to debut sometime next year.