Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada Opens up About New Toyota Supra
The man behind the Toyota GT86 discusses his newest pride and joy, the fifth-generation Supra.
Toyota UK recently sat down with Tetsuya Tada the chief engineer of the all-new A90 Toyota Supra. Tada is the main authority on the fifth generation of Toyota's most iconic sports car, as well as the man responsible for the Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ twins. The full interview transcript is available on Toyota U.K.'s blog, but here is a summary.
Tada began working on the new Supra in 2012, which is when the GT86 came out. His team used their knowledge from the 86's development to make the A90 even better, putting it at the apex of Toyota's performance roster. President of Toyota Akio Toyoda believes that there should be three performance models in its lineup with the Supra on top and the GT86 in the middle, so Tada hinted that there may be an even cheaper entry-level Toyota sports car in the works.
The Supra's chief engineer is most excited about the car's handling and extremely low center of gravity, with body rigidity matching the Lexus LFA's without the use of carbon fiber.
To appease the most hardcore Supra fans, Tada says that, for now, the Supra will remain rear-wheel drive with an inline-six engine up front (although a four-cylinder variant is also confirmed). It may not look like it, but Toyota also took a chunk of its inspiration for the A90's styling from that of the legendary Mk4.
"I have an open stance and want to offer my respect for the older Supra models," Tada said regarding the A90's role in the Supra's legacy. "In turn, I hope the [last-generation] owners will be open enough to see what the new model is all about, even if it takes them some time to fully accept it.”
However, Tada says that with stricter emissions regulations and a push for electrification and autonomous cars, the fifth-generation Supra is likely the final (purely) gas-powered driver's car from Toyota. Enjoy that inline-six whine while you can.