I am super super late to giving my thoughts on this car, but better late than never.
Months ago I had planned a massive write up on how I feel about this car, but I just don't have the time for that now so will offer my thoughts in an extremely condensed version of bullet points.
- The final car is more disappointing than the rumors personally.
- Toyota claims they had a huge part in the development of the platform itself, yet so far neither Toyota nor BMW has shown any concrete proof of this.
- I've seen the car in person close up now and the proportions are just as awkward as in photos. In my opinion the platform and the resulting car is simply too small to pull off the FT-1 inspired exterior styling that Toyota was going for.
- Also with proportion aside, the overall exterior to me just doesn't look as unique as the MK4, and I don't think has the same presence as the MK4, MK3, or even MK2. With age, I don't think the styling will go down in Supra history to be as memorable as previous generations.
- As already mentioned by others, Toyota already had a TNGA RWD architecture they could have used, as well as a TT TNGA V6 engine. Why weren't these used?
- Toyota's claim that developing their own brand new I6 engine would have been far too expensive is ridiculous. Mercedes recently came out with a brand new I6 engine design, there are rumors FCA may be developing a new I6 engine, and Mazda is also making their own new I6 engine design. If Mazda, Mazda, can afford to make a new I6 design, then Toyota has no excuse. Zero.
- Speaking of costs, did Toyota factor into their overall budget the extra costs of now training Toyota techs at dealerships to use unique BMW tools, or the costs of equipping dealerships with BMW tools and equipment just to service this car?
- Anecdotal, but I have heard one or two stories now of MK5 models failing to sell at auctions. This is not a good sign for market success.
- Based on the information out there, it was originally BMW that casually approached Toyota about the idea of sharing development on a model, not the other way around. Toyota then took this idea seriously and that's how the project started.
- Akio Toyoda has stated how over the years he felt embarrassed showing up at the Nurburgring and driving old and discontinued models from his company, compared to competitor executives driving new and current sports models.
- While many will disagree with me, I honestly believe then that the MK5 project occurred as it did partially due to reasons of pride for Akio Toyoda. Given that there was no internal MK5 project at Toyota at the time, I get the sense that Akio Toyoda likely rushed and greenlighted this project with BMW just so he could essentially say to competitor executives at the Nurburgring "hey everyone look, I have a new and current sports car from my company too". Except, it's not a true Toyota. Toyota bean-counters also likely approved this project exactly because of the shared development model.
- It truly does seem like a great sports car, and a fairly decent value for the money when compared to the Z4. However to me this does not make it a great Supra, or even a real Supra. Toyota in their marketing has pushed how much they focused on a RWD platform with an I6 engine. What Toyota failed to understand here, or arrogantly dismissed is that what truly makes a Supra a Supra is far more than simply having RWD and an I6 engine. What makes a Supra a Supra is obviously first of all it being a 100% Toyota-developed model. Secondly, the Supra historically was a showcase of some of the best that Toyota could do in a sports coupe/GT coupe. It was historically a competitor to the NSX and GT-R. Now that the NSX and GT-R have evolved, where does that leave the Supra? We're left with a rebadged BMW that cannot directly compete with the current GT-R or NSX.
- Had this been a shared development project with say Mazda, or Subaru then I would have been fine with it, just as I was personally fine with the 86. Mazda and Subaru are closely linked with Toyota so that would have made sense to me. What will never make sense to me is why Toyota partnered with a direct competitor from a totally different country with a totally different corporate culture, and one that Toyota has zero ties with. Toyota's official reason of BMW having had an I6 engine at the time is not enough for me.
As good of a sports car BMW and Toyota made here, Toyota should have called this something else. Ideally, this project should have never gone ahead if you ask me. To me this is not a Supra, and I will never consider it a Supra.
I have no interest in debating these points with anyone really, these are simply my personal thoughts as a long-time Toyota enthusiast.