During a stopover during final stage testing of the all-new A90 Toyota Supra, while the car, it’s project chief Tetsuya Tada, and entourage of engineers were in Australia testing the car against our gamut of roads and weather conditions, Tada san mentioned that the company was flexible on the Supra’s body style.
As we all know by now, the Supra is the twin prong of a joint development between Toyota and BMW, with the German portion emerging as the third-generation Z4 Roadster. Both cars would share a platform, engine, and transmission, but the finer points about how they behaved and drove would be done independent of the other.
The fact that one utilised a folding soft top while the other had a fixed hard top was a rather neat but nonetheless major differentiating factor to ensure the two cars wouldn’t be in the awkward position of sibling rivalry. However, the admission to Motoring that Toyota were indeed exploring a Supra convertible upends that separation of borders.
Unlike the Supra, the BMW Z4 (and the Z3 before it) has spawned hard top versions of itself in the past, though not in particularly high volume to shift focus away from the fact that the Z cars in general were designed to be roadsters. Toyota, for their part, have never pulled the trigger on an roofless Supra, coming close with the removable Targas. Might this be the first one?
It certainly wouldn’t take much effort to do so given that both cars will be manufactured alongside each other by Magna Steyr in Austria, and since the blueprint for such a variant already exists from BMW, Toyota need only will the car into existence.
While it is certain that the Z4 is uncompromising in its efforts to maintain high structural rigidity, any measure undertaken by BMW is immediately undone by the fact that the Supra has a fixed roof. Converting the Toyota to accommodate a roadster variant would therefore take away that ace attribute, and the enthusiasts will likely not easily ignore this shift in priority.
While true that the car that preceded the Supra, the 2000GT, did become vastly more famous sans roof when it had dominated the screen in the 1967 James Bond movie, the most recent iteration finds itself with a fanbase far less concerned about looks and much more about about its drive.