Taking place in February, the Canadian International Autoshow always generates hype for the upcoming car season. From the resurgence of a JDM legend to a hypercar made of Lego, CIAS 2019 definitely did not disappoint.
Sibling Rivalry – BMW Z4 vs. Toyota Supra
It is common knowledge at this point that BMW and Toyota have collaborated on the Z4 and MK V Supra. The last time Toyota teamed up with manufacturer, we got the GT86, Scion FRS and Subaru BRZ.
Like many enthusiasts, I was concerned about the loss of unique brand identity especially for a nameplate as iconic as the Supra. After all, Toyota and Subaru did not do a lot to separate the rear wheel drive 86 twins.
Following Tradition with a Turbocharged Inline Six
Both the A90 Supra and Z4 M40i will share a BMW B58 turbocharged 3.0L inline six. It is a logical choice as the German automaker has been making turbo straight sixes since the introduction of the E90/E92 3 Series in 2006.
In fact, the B58 engine made the Wards Auto Top 10 Engines of 2019. It also made the list in 2016 and 2017 as well.
Surprisingly, the same turbo six cylinder engine makes 14% less power in the Toyota Supra (335 hp/365 lb-ft) than the BMW Z4 (382 hp/369 lb-ft).
It makes more sense once you factor in the sizable price difference between the two sportscars. Toyota Canada announced a MSRP of $65,000 for the Supra. The G29 generation BMW Z4 M40i roadster will command a $11,100 premium at $76,100.
ZF 8-Speed Delivers Another Blow to “Save the Manuals”
Much to the dismay of the “Save the Manuals” movement, both the Toyota and BMW will be available exclusively with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. I cannot help but think this is a missed opportunity for a Japanese legend like the Supra. The only saving grace is that Toyota has left the door open for a manual version if the market demands it in the future.
Compared to the MK IV Supra, the A90 has a shorter wheelbase and length but it is slightly wider and taller. It is not a bad looking car by any means, but it failed to command my attention the way the Toyota FT-1 concept car did back in 2015.
The new G29 generation Z4 looks much better than the outgoing E89 to my eyes. It has an athletic stance and aggressive lines that I think will look even better in coupe form.
I think the Cluster Architecture (CLAR) both cars are built on will prove to be a highly capable performance platform. At the risk of sounding greedy, I would love to see a Z4 M Roadster and TRD Supra in the future. In the meantime, aftermarket manufacturers and tuners are collectively salivating at unlocking the full performance potential of this pair of sportscar siblings.