It’s a hard no from the chief engineer.
Earlier this year, Toyota announced it’d electrify every model by 2025. That revived some hope of a hybrid version of the Toyota Supra after the Japanese automaker said last year a hybrid powertrain had already been ruled out. Now, though, it appears Tetsuya Tada, Supra Chief Engineer, has put the final nail in the Supra’s hybrid coffin. He told Motoring.com.au that he said “no” not only to a hybrid Supra but to a lot of other ideas, as well.
According to Tetsuya Tada, Toyota marketing had asked him to develop a Supra hybrid, to which he replied, “no.” The reasoning? Not only are there technical limitations – such as ample space for the additional powertrain components and the effect of their weight on the car’s performance – Tetsuya Tada said the sound and smell of the gasoline engine feels more like a sports car. But he is open to the idea under certain conditions – if hybrid powertrain weight and size improves.
He also told the Australian publication that hybridizing the Supra would be “for the new generation engineers.” He said something similar in May when asked about the A100 Supra and the form it’d take, saying then that he’s confident he’d be retired by the time the A100 launched. In the Motoring interview, Tetsuya Tada also said he didn’t believe a market for a convertible Supra existed, and that a manual Supra would depend on demand.
If Toyota keeps its plan to add some form of electrification to every model by 2025, then either the company will make an exception for the Supra and its gasoline-only engine, or the company will no longer offer the sports car after that year. Toyota has five years to decide what to do with the Supra or whatever product succeeds it. It gives the company time to develop a new powertrain, explore a successor that is a hybrid or EV that doesn’t compromise performance, exempt the gasoline-powered Supra from its electrification plans, or discontinue the model altogether.
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