Toyota Might Be About to Reveal a Lighter, Cheaper Supra

It’s kind of a big deal.

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Toyota has a big presence in Florida this week, what with seven cars racing in Sunday’s Daytona 500. But NASCAR fun isn’t all the carmaker has planned this week: the company has announced it intends to reveal some “fresh news” about the 2021 Toyota Supra from the speedway on Thursday at 3 o’clock EST. And Motor Trend says that “fresh news” may be that a more affordable, four-cylinder version of the Supra is coming to the United States.

Speculation has been flying about a four-pot Supra ever since BMW certified its new 2.0-liter inline-four engine last year. Toyota sells a four-cylinder Supra in 194- and 255-horsepower variants in Japan. The latter, with 295 lb-ft of torque, will probably be the version sold in the U.S.

The current Supra puts out 335 hp with a BMW 3.0-liter inline-six, though some mild tuning can add significantly more power to that engine.

Don’t get your hopes up for a stick shift, though. The California Air Resources Board filing that hinted at the arrival of this four-cylinder version only mentions it being paired with an eight-speed automatic. That said, as with the six-cylinder Supra engine, BMW does make a manual transmission that Toyota could use should the demand arise.

Why should you care about a four-cylinder offering? It should make the Supra both lighter and significantly cheaper. The six-cylinder Supra starts at a hair under $50,000; a lower-priced version of the Supra could compete for a larger pool of buyers currently opting for a Subaru WRX and the Ford Mustang EcoBoost. Plus, it would provide a lower entry point for tuners planning to swap in Toyota’s iconic and notoriously power-tolerant 2JZ engine.

A 2.0-liter engine should also be more fuel-efficient — although, with a 24 city mpg /31 highway mpg EPA rating, the six-cylinder Supra is hardly a gas-guzzler by sports car standards.

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