By now, there’s been enough ink spilled complaining about the fact that the new Toyota Supra is largely a BMW under the skin to make the Exxon Valdez feel inadequate. But those complaints largely neglect one of the big reasons Toyota was willing to work with the Bavarians in the first place: BMW’s extensive roster of inline-six motors, the only sort of powerplant the company said it was willing to consider for its halo car’s top engine.
And while the two carmakers decided to use the turbocharged inline-six known internally as the B68 in the Supra and its Z4 sibling, there are plenty of other potent six-pots that could potentially fit in the new Toyota sports car. Like, for example, the 503-horsepower S68 made by the M division that’s all but certain to be found in the next-generation BMW M3 and M4.
Interestingly enough, this tantalizing tidbit comes not from Toyota, but from BMW — specifically, from M division president Marcus Flasch, who mentioned the potential chance of sliding the potent 3.0-liter turbo six into the new Supra to Autocar.
“It’s an interesting idea, if unlikely for now,” Flasch told Autocar. “It would be a lot for us to give away, you might say. But I’d never say never.”
The new B68 motor made its debut in the X3 M and X4 M that launched earlier this year (you can read our first drive review here if you’re curious to know more), in 473 and 503 hp states of tune in the regular and Competition versions of the hot crossover, respectively. But the engine is expected to see widespread use across the BMW M lineup, according to multiple sources, including in cars like the next M2, M3 and M4.
While the 2020 Supra certainly doesn’t feel lacking in power in the real world, thanks to its bantam proportions and apparently-underrated engine, its claimed power output of 335 ponies leaves it wanting in the spec sheet competitions so important to building excitement. In the power-rich days of the late Twenty-Teens, when muscle cars are pushing north of 700 horses and even the wimpiest Corvette makes 455, selling a $50,000+ sports car where the most powerful version’s horsepower figure starts with a 3 could be something of a questionable proposition. One where that figure starts with a 5, however? That’s a different story.
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