There's no question Toyota is jointly developing a new sports car with BMW. There is some uncertainty, however, about what it will be called. Many would like to see the Toyota Supra name return to the lineup, including Toyota's own chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.
In an interview with CarAdvice, Tada said, "I love the Supra and I love the Supra name."
The global engineering chief and father of the Toyota 86 continued, "It's historically important to Toyota. We're pushing for the name Supra for the new car we are developing with BMW."
We know that Toyota at least wants to reserve the Supra name as a possibility, as the company recently filed a trademark application for the nameplate in Europe. The Toyota FT-1 concept of 2014 is believed to preview the next-gen Supra, despite not being badged as such.
As we've reported previously, the partnership between BMW and Toyota will yield a successor to the BMW Z4 (believed to be named Z5) and a new Toyota sports car. The cars will share a platform, but the drivetrains could be unique. According to Tada, the joint sports car development is going smoothly.
"I'd say the partnership is going well, very smooth," Tada said. "We're testing all over the world too, not just Fuji or Nrburgring, but all [around] the world."
We haven't caught a Supra prototype testing in the wild yet, but we have seen the BMW version. The Z5 will ditch the retractable hardtop in favor of a lighter softtop. Drivetrain options aren't yet known, but we expect both turbocharged four- and six-cylinders to be available. No engine details were given when the FT-1 concept debuted two years ago, but a hybrid drivetrain has been rumored.