BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra

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The German Z4

Bmw “Zukunft” 4 and Toyota Supra. The first has made the hearts of many fans beat faster. The pragmatic German, reliable, two-seater car, rear-wheel drive, which after a (perhaps) too logic model is renewed and gets again the soft top. The Supra is the iconic of “import-car”. A few words can describe the emotions that you feel in the presence of this sacred monster, even if we do not see many in Europe. Well, what do these two cars that belong to such different worlds have in common? The new generations, everything. The partnership between Toyota and BMW gave rise to the Supra, which is now developed on the Z4 platform. The two cousins share the same 340 hp V6 3.0 engine, chassis and electronics. Many purists will be now ready to complain. The only substantial difference between the two is that the Japanese will remain just a coupé, while the Teutonic, a classic convertible with the soft top, as we said. The same recipe applied to such different philosophies is not the usual “heated soup”. You have to look at the contents, and here the interpretations of the two car brands mean that the two cars are very different to the practical effects. After a first common step in the development of the chassis elements, the respective manufacturers continued the development in an individual way, to give the right imprint to their cars. The BMW Z4 with its six-cylinder twin scroll is anything but a “Sunday car”. The sporty chassis and the powerful engine give it more of a small touring feel. Despite the soft top, the Z4 remains very enjoyable and quiet and BMW have worked hard to ensure maximum comfort even when the roof is down. The 8-speed ZF gearbox is very fast and precise in the gearshifts and always ready when you call in the gears from the gas pedal. The design of the new Z4 is very elegant and modern, in line with the new BMWs and perhaps for this reason does not attract, in my opinion, particularly attention. The same can be said of the interior. Beautiful, well-engineered, qualitatively suitable for the car and equipped with the latest technology, but virtually identical to other BMWs, one of all, the 8 series.  A good choice, a sports car with a good sound, but that perhaps lacks that hint of “wow factor” that has never been typical of German concreteness. When you think that the choice between Z4 and Supra is only between soft top or hard top, you are wrong. It is a way of living the car, a choice made of many small differences, which contribute to make the driving experience very different. The Z4 is a more mature and sober car, more “logical” and predictable both in its look and in its driving. It is the car known for its reliability and refined sportsmanship. You know exactly what you can expect from this automobile and it won’t surprise you, neither disappoint you – it will give you exactly that. Let’s not forget that we’re talking about a very successful project. Do not get me wrong, the Z4 is not a boring Christmas bingo among relatives, where you have to wear yet another woolen sweater, lovingly handmade by grandma. It is more of a dinner in an elegant suit in your favorite “Michelin” restaurant. You know that you will eat well, you like the beautiful environment, you might surprise yourself trying the new dessert on the menu, but it is not necessary. You can always have the same dishes and you’ll still be happy. You are pleased to be where you are and have nothing to envy… 

Toyota Supra

The Japanese cousin of the Z4, called Supra, is now at its fifth generation. In my opinion, it is a very elegant coupé with the right dose of anger. The BMW interior gives that touch of innovation and sobriety that we are all used to (but not on a Toyota). Something that you like and that you are familiar with, but that you’ve seen before. The sharp line of this sports car comes with a design that was somehow lost, a philosophy that Toyota has tried to bring back with the GT86 and that seems to have merged with the Lexus philosophy, resulting in those wonderful forms. In this case, I know I am biased. I fell in love with this all-round coupé which, with the geometric lines of the windows, the double bubble on the roof, the long bonnet and the short and sporty tail, reminds me of some of the stylistic elements of one of the greatest Italian coachbuilders and designers: Zagato.  The Supra represents a revolution in its segment, nothing so exceptional as to consider it a milestone let’s be clear. It shows the courage of a company like Toyota that makes innovation in the automotive field its credo, a bit of a parenthesis. A small pause for reflection addressed to us enthusiasts, showing that Toyota’s sporting spirit is still alive and that we “petrolhead” can still dream of owning a new sports car designed for 2019. For many, the power of the engine may not seem much, as well as the collaboration with BMW may not have been the right way. But if we think that without this collaboration to reduce development costs, this Supra, this sports car (because that’s what it’s about) would have never been born, then the point of view for judging this car should change. So, it is right to appreciate the effort to bring back a myth, revisited in this modern key. The cult of Toyota for sports cars can be seen here, in this project, in many small details. The chassis has many points that can accommodate reinforcement bars, a clear encouragement to the tuners to be able to develop, even on this platform, their kits. The turbocharged engine lends itself more easily to accommodate horsepower and the space under the bonnet is enough. Moreover, in the extremely aerodynamic lines there are numerous potential air passages that in the present version are closed, but that would allow to implement the cooling of more performing elements. The creativity of fans will certainly not be a problem and maybe we can expect a version enhanced by Toyota itself, who knows… 

In any case, the 2019 Supra is obviously a modern car, equipped with the most innovative technologies. All this allows you to fully enjoy this sports car, which in everyday life can even become docile. Perhaps because it wasn’t fully developed by Toyota, it is the one that most excites the fantasies of fans. Surely the Japanese manufacturer’s refinement focused mainly on the sporty accent that can be perceived in many shades: from the tone of the exhaust, to the slight touches of the interior to the calibration of suspensions and steering. This car has a strong personality and has been able to best interpret its spirit: to be the link between the small sports cars and the most famous supercars that are sold for other budgets. This exotic dish has a surprising new taste; a creative chef who does not follow any recipe book, but boasts a lot of experience and the best ingredients. In the end, the result can only be stunning. 

Good blood does not lie. These two cousins are two great cars. Now it is up to you to understand, according to your personality, which one you will appreciate the most. If you choose without using your head, no one will disappoint you.