Is The New Supra Mostly a BMW M- Series?

Is the new Toyota Supra a BMW in disguise? Have we all been hoodwinked and deceived? Or did Toyota make wise choices to deliver what Supra aficionados wanted, but faster and more affordably? Both were built by Magna Steyr in Austria. Both use the same structure and share all underbody hardpoints, suspension design, and powertrains. But what about the differences?

  • Powering the Toyota Supra & BMW M-Series
  • Supporting the Toyota Supra & BMW M-Series
  • Separating the Toyota Supra & BMW M-Series

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Powering the Toyota Supra & BMW M-Series

Yes, the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Supras share many of the same parts and specifications as the BMW M-Series. But the plan for sharing the BMW’s 3.0L engine was a smart business move to provide Toyota customers with what they wanted.

Armed with consumer polls and surveys, Toyota learned that customers wanted a straight six motor in the new Supra in order to stay true to its history. Toyota had a decision to make: they could either design their own completely new engine or use an engine already in use with another popular brand.

Designing and building their own signature engine would cost time and money, resulting in even more delays on the long-awaited car, and a raise in price. Toyota chose instead to use an engine that is already in production and boasts impressive performance numbers. Choosing an esteemed partner in BMW, Toyata chose to provide the power the new Supra must have by including the option of the same 3.0L straight six engine that comes in the BMW Z4 M40I and the M340I.

Performance Comparison

Toyota Supra – 3.0L straight 6-cylinder with 382 HP / 60 mph in 3.7 seconds
BMW Z4 – 3.0L straight 6-cylinder with 382 HP / 60 mph in 5.0 seconds

Toyota’s de-tuned version of the engine came in 2020, with more power and torque available in the 2021 and 2022 models. BMW’s version of the engine comes standard with more horsepower and torque, at least 35 more HP according to testing. However, Toyota chose to balance the equation by making the Supra lighter by using carbon fiber accents in some components.

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Supporting the Toyota Supra & BMW M-Series

Both BMW and Toyota freely admit that their cars (the Z4 M801 and the Supra) share the same chassis — in fact, both claim that it is there that the similarities end. A closer look reveals that is not exactly the case.

BMW’s redesign for the Z4 follows the design path of past BMWs. Their German styling is seen throughout their car, both inside and out. Toyota, not having a current model of the Supra to redesign, decided to go bold. The unique design adds all-new curves and lines to the new Supra accompanied by the all-new interior. Oddly enough, the infotainment screen, buttons, dials, gear shifter, and layout of the center console all have a similar look and feel of a BMW.

A closer examination reveals several small BMW logos on certain parts that support and power the Supra. The list of similarities between the different models is monumental. Hardliner Supra purests may proclaim this as blasphemy. They should try to understand the motivations behind Toyota’s choices and simply enjoy this new era for the beloved Supra.

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Separating the Toyota Supra & BMW M-Series

While many similarities exist between the cars, such as the vaunted output comparisons, there are still differences that set these two beasts apart. Sleek German styling is the hallmark of BMW, while climbing into the Supra’s cockpit feels akin to strapping into a racecar. Both cars strike a different mood with their different styling, build, amenities and price points.

The Toyota Supra and the BMW M-Series are not the same automobiles. In spite of some connections, drivers will experience completely different experiences. Supra fans are sure to enjoy this advanced edition of an old favorite, while BMW aficionados will always choose their brand of luxury car over other exotics.

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