Toyota's chief engineer wants the Supra name back

One high-ranking Toyota official thinks the BMW-codeveloped car needs a classic name.

There's no guarantee that Toyota's forthcoming sports car will revive the Supra name. For all we know, it could be some senseless alphanumeric. But there's at least one powerful voice among Toyota's developers pushing for a new Supra – Global Chief Designer Tetsuya Tada.

Tada-san, a died-in-the-wool sportscar enthusiast known as the father of the Toyota 86, is fighting for the iconic nameplate. He told Australia's CarAdvice, "I love the Supra and I love the Supra name. It's historically important to Toyota. We're pushing for the name Supra for the new car we are developing with BMW."

This is a good thing. There are too many brands willing to throw away prestigious vehicle names in favor of trendy but less endearing alphanumerics. We hope Toyota follows Tada-san's advice and brings the Supra name back.

Besides sending enthusiasts around the globe into a fit of chop licking by merely mentioning the Supra name, Tada-san also gave a few insights about how work on the car, which Toyota is developing alongside BMW, is going.

"I'd say the partnership is going well, very smooth," Tada-san told CarAdvice. But despite the cooperation between the two very different brands, the resulting vehicles should be unique, which is something Toyota's engineering boss supports. CarAdvice sees this as further support for rumors that Toyota's variant of the jointly developed car will lean more towards performance, potentially with a twin-turbocharged Lexus V6. The BMW version, supposedly called the Z5, will hew more towards a grand tourer's roll, succeeding the current Z4 and combatting the new Audi TT and Mercedes-Benz SLC.

CarAdvice expects the Z5 to debut first, likely later next year, while the Supra probably won't show up until 2018.

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