Another interview via Google Translate (not the best). It was so poorly translated, but I tried to clean it up a bit. Again, if someone here reads Japanese or Chinese maybe you can please give us a better translations. Thanks
Yoshida Yumi's eyes ☆ Toyota "Supra" revival decision! What did you gain with joint development with BMW?
Toyota's sports car "Supra" which finished production in 2002, 16 years ago. Such a famous car of the past year will finally resurrect by the joint development of Toyota and BMW!
On the BMW side, the Z4 concept was announced at Pebble Beach which was held in California in the summer of 2017, and then shown again at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017.
At the Tokyo Motor Show, I also covered this car, and Toyota President Akio Toyoda visited the BMW booth and encountered the scenes that I checked every detail. ... If it comes to Toyota's version of the next SUPRA, expectations will also rise.
At the Geneva Motor Show 2018, I was excited and headed to the venue as I heard that I could see the next Supra. Finally, the concept model became the world's first show at the venue. Nonetheless, this time it is not a production model, but the race version of GR "SUPRA RACING CONCEPT".
The SUPRA RACING concept wearing a long nose and short deck form which should also be called a sports car tradition uses a lot of light and rigid carbon composite material which is a standard material of the racing car and furthermore has excellent aerodynamic performance and to realize running, left and right overhanging fenders, large rear wings, rear diffusers, etc. are adopted.
In addition, it adopts suspension, wheel, tire, brake etc. dedicated to racing car. The interior also loads items for racing such as roll cage and bucket seat, steering wheel with paddle shift, monitor for backward confirmation, etc.
Indeed, the Supra racing concept feels like battle willingness is full. Although it was not a production available model, it was a bit disappointing personally, but I reworked my mind and asked the chief engineer for questions about the next SUPRA.
Tada, Toyota Motor Corporation, answered. Mr. Tada is familiar as a chief engineer of "86 (Adminroku)".
- Why was this the official release of the race version, not the production model?
Mr. Tada: The next SUPRA has been developed with the aim of making it a racing car from the beginning. When that person modifies to a racing car on the basis of a mass-produced car, it is much more complete as a machine. In other words, in order to run fast in the race, I have polished the base production cars. By the way, the next SUPRA is aiming to be consistent with the "LM - GTE" class which is the racing car regulation of the endurance race.
- When did you start development of the next SUPRA?
Mr. Tada: It is just after we released the 86. When I held 86 test rides for Europe in Spain in 2015, the chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada issued a directive "Come to the BMW of Munich, Germany with a secret! But, I did not tell anyone anything, I went to the site, so I made a big fuss later (bitter smile).
I really gave each other opinions with BMW. Now that I know a lot of things, BMW and Toyota are different from the approach to building a car first. Initially, we intended to make the same cars as possible with BMW, about changing emblem and body color. But they said "Since the cars that we want to make are different, let's think about the best cars in each, let's find the parts that can be shared and the ones that can't". Also, the time spent on development and the budget were all different from what we were thinking. "How to make a car" was different.
- Have you discovered that it is a secret of the running of BMW by being jointly developed this time?
Mr. Tada: BMW's car is evaluated as good handling and running, but I do not know the secret, why it is good. But I understood that BMW's ways of making cars are different from Toyota.
They inject tremendous energy at the start of development. The direction of the car's running is determined by the numerical values of the wheel base and the tread 8 to 90%. I have thought and thought so far, but I firmly decide the golden ratio that purely runs, bends, and stops, and places the mechanisms of the engine and others around it as the axis. I think that I have turned back this time to the fact that it is crucial to do such basic things properly.
- Supra and Z4, please tell me the direction each is aiming for.
Mr. Tada: Toyota wants to make Supra a pure sports car, and BMW is thinking of making [the] Z4 a luxury sports car, each aiming for the best of each other.
By bringing 86 to the world, Toyota aroused the enthusiasm of sports car fans all over the world, and eventually it became a long-awaited Supra theory. Especially the demand from the American market was high. But the next SUPRA, we wanted to be a car that fits the modern technology and era, not the revival of the former model. As a result of that, what kind of car is Supra? And, as a result of thinking variously, two conclusions came out. One is that the engine to be mounted is six in-line. And the other is FR layout.
- Do you have a benchmarked car in developing the next Supra?
Mr. Tada: That's fine, Porsche. I do not want to make the Supra a work of art, but I want to make it a sports car as an industrial product to the last. When thinking so, Porsche is a tremendous existence. It is amazing to ride a Porsche, it feels like handling and sensuality of the engine. This was also a very useful reference for the development of the next SUPRA.
- By the way, is MT prepared for the next SUPRA?
Mr. Tada: At the moment, it is not; it is just a dual clutch transmission. I think whether it is not fun if MT is a large power car like the next SUPRA. Raising the torque of the engine will make the shift feel worse. If so, it is very doubtful whether MT specification is necessary. However, I think that there is a meaning of MT adoption if it is said that even general people will taste the sequential type transmission installed in the racing car.
By the way, it is said that the official announcement of the production version I'm looking forward to will be about fall of 2018. Anyway, I am looking forward to the debut of the next SUPRA!