Toyota Supra variants to get more power, no manual transmission

When Toyota announced the official horsepower rating for its fifth-generation Supra sports car, you could almost hear a collective groan from the enthusiast community. With “only” 335 horsepower on tap, the 2020 Supra was at a significant disadvantage compared to the 382-horsepower BMW Z4 on which it’s based. But fear not, Supra fans, because more power is reportedly on the way.

In a Friday interview with Autoblog, Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada revealed that Toyota is planning several updates for the Supra in the near future. Those updates won’t exclusively focus on power, but squeezing more out of the car’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 is near the top of Tada’s to-do list.

“With a sports car, the promise is to offer more performance with each additional version,” he said.

Tada didn’t reveal what kind of performance bump we can expect from an updated Supra, but something in the 50-horsepower range to put the sports car on par with the current Z4 seems likely. The report said that may come when the car is updated in about three years. There’s also an outside chance that Tada and his team will go to the extreme and fit a future version of the Supra with the same 503 horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-6 destined for the engine bay of the next-generation BMW M3, but don’t hold your breath.

It’s not as if the Supra doesn’t already perform well. We found it to be fast and frenetic in our first drive review. The 0-60-mph time is a very quick 4.1 seconds, and when Car and Driver strapped one to a dyno, it found that the Supra makes 339 hp and 427 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, which means the true horsepower figure at the crank is more like 400.

In addition to more horsepower, Toyota is also planning to improve the Supra’s performance hardware during the course of its lifecycle. That should include things like optional carbon-ceramic disc brakes and available aero packages to improve the car’s already sharp handling.

Unfortunately, Tada also informed us what not to expect from future Supra models. A convertible model has been ruled out, and Toyota has no plans to offer a Supra with a manual transmission. He said buyers interested in a manual should opt for the Toyota 86.

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