While rumors that BMW’s upcoming Z4 roadster would begin production at Magna Steyr’s facility in Graz, Austria, for months, it wasn’t until late last week that the company was actually willing to confirm them. Unfortunately, the manufacturer hasn’t been willing to do the same with the Z4’s sibling car — the Toyota Supra.
Considering that the pair share a common platform and development team, it would make a lot of sense to see them occupying the same factory. But Toyota has remained incredibly tight lipped on the car, only offering us a singular taste by way of the Gazoo Racing concept from the Geneva Motor Show. Meanwhile, BMW has been parading the Z4 around endlessly and even went so far as to show productions test mules lightly camouflaged in self-released “spy shots.”
Specific details are a little foggy but the company admitted the likelihood of a M40i variant with a turbocharged inline-six, M Sport brakes, adaptive suspension, and an electronic differential when it fielded a working prototype. It’s supposed to house a 3.0-liter B58 engine sending a rumored 380 horsepower through a ZF eight-speed in the United States. European-spec cars are said to be less ferocious due to regional fueling regulations.
Our guess is that the Supra should provide similar hardware but Toyota hasn’t said anything that lets us tack on anything definitive. That goes double for it’s production locale and launch date. The Austrian manufacturer said BMW’s roadster will definitely begin production in the fourth-quarter of 2018, meaning sales should begin shortly thereafter.
Will the Supra find it’s way into Magna Steyr’s arms? Almost certainly. We can’t think of a reason why Toyota would want to see it built elsewhere and the logistics for doing so would be difficult to comprehend. The Graz facility already produces the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar E-Pace, and also picked up the I-Pace earlier this year. What are two more lower-volume models, using a common architecture, going to matter to the site’s 12,000 employees?
We’ll find out for sure later this year. Toyota can’t keep the MkV Supra under wraps forever. Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada has already hinted that the model will use the same powertrain as the Z4 but receive some tweaking to differentiate itself from the BMW dynamically. He also said it would debut after the German roadster has had its time in the limelight.
The Z4 is scheduled to appear at the Paris Auto Show this October. That seems like a long way off after we’ve already seen so much of the car. But BMW is also planning a special event this summer to showcase the roadster to the public — at which point, Toyota can take its turn and clear things up for us.