The latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage features a freshly-imported right-hand-drive Toyota Supra.
BMW’s new M engine in the Toyota Supra? Not so fast
While there are dyed-in-the-wool Toyota enthusiasts who feel that the new Supra, jointly developed with BMW, is a bit like getting spaetzle when they’ve ordered ramen, some Supra fans have looked longingly at BMW’s nearly new 503-horsepower S58 inline six-cylinder engine slated to power upcoming iterations of the M3 and M4. BMW, however, says that so far Toyota has not expressed an interest in using that motor to make a higher performance version of the GR Supra.
The Munich-based automaker has sold engines to other automakers like Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, and Morgan, but until now it has kept its M engines to itself—with the historic exception of BMW’s S70 V-12 that powered the McLaren F1. However, as the newly installed president of BMW’s performance M sub-brand, Markus Flasch, told Autocar, never say never.
BMW has plans to use the S58 six-cylinder widely. Currently, it is only available in the new X3 M and X4 M Competition models, but it is expected to eventually power all compact M cars from the M2 up. If it were to be offered in the GR Supra, Toyota would first have to ask for it.
Flasch told Autocar, “We’ve certainly made no offer to supply the engine to Toyota—and no request has been made, as far as I know. But it’s an interesting idea, if unlikely for now. It would be a lot for us to give away, you might say. But I’d never say never.”
The new GR Supra is powered by an engine in the same family, the 3.0-liter B58, from which the S58 was developed, but the two engines only have 10 percent of their parts in common and some reviewers and consumers have been felt that the B58’s 335 horsepower doesn’t match the GR Supra’s price tag of $60,000 and up. As the S58 shares the same dimensions as the less powerful motor, it would be relatively easy for Toyota to make the swap.
That is, however, only if BMW is also willing.
“As a rule, we don’t offer BMW M engines to third parties because we consider them such a strength of our cars,” Flasch said. “I think it would be a hard decision for a lot of the team to accept—particularly with the S58 being so new. Why would we sell it before we had a chance to use it ourselves in all the places we plan to?”