Toyota Supra Caught Testing, Hybrid Version is a Go

Spy photographers grabbed photos of a camouflaged Toyota Supra sports car undergoing street tests in Germany.

The heavily disguised car is the result of a 2011 joint venture between Toyota and BMW that included development of a new sports car platform as well as sharing battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology.

The new chassis will be the basis for the new Supra and the successor to BMW’s Z4, with that new model taking the Z5 name.

Rumors about the Supra’s powertrain have been swirling, but it’s believed that a BMW four-cylinder engine will be under the hood of base models, while a Toyota twin turbo V-6 with 400 horsepower and 300 pounds-feet of torque will be offered in step up versions.

Toyota’s ace will be a gasoline electric hybrid model, which discards the company’s traditional continuous variable transmission for a new dual-clutch transmission.

British publication Autoexpress says the hybrid Supra will borrow tech from Toyota’s LeMans race cars.

The new sports car will have electric motors placed on the front and rear axles, with a gasoline engine driving the rear wheels.

Electricity will be provided by regenerative braking and stored in a lithium-ion battery pack.

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The spy photos indicate that the styling doesn’t follow the Toyota F-1 concept as expected. Instead, it takes on more of the look of the old Supra — last sold in the US in 1998 — with the test mule exhibiting hood-to-cabin proportions that are similar.

The photo shows a hard top rather than a fabric top seen in spy photographs of the BMW Z5.

Atutocar said it’s believed that the Supra will be strictly offered as coupe.

A photo glimpse inside the test car shows a BMW steering wheel and gauges, but they could simply be stand ins used during development.

The Supra name for the new car is not cast in concrete, but earlier this year Toyota made trademark applications for its use in the US and Europe, a hopeful sign for the car’s loyal enthusiasts.

Expect the Supra to begin production in 2018 and arrive as a 2019 model priced around $40,000.

Autocar