Well this is a turn up. The wraps have only just come off the latest Toyota Supra, after many years of waiting, and already we have two new models. As had been predicted (if not expected this early), there are four-cylinder Toyota Supras available. Only in Japan for now, granted, but they most certainly exist and are surely going to make it to other markets in time.
Like the six-cylinder car, the 2.0-litre Supra uses a BMW engine, in this case the 1,998cc four-cylinder turbo that's also found in the latest Z4. There's a 258hp version, as also nestles in various 30i BMWs, with peak power developed at 5,000-6,500rpm, and maximum torque of 295lb ft at 1,550-4,400rpm. According to Toyota's stats, it's capable of 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds (using the same eight-speed auto that all Supras will come with) and weighs 70kg less than the six-cylinder car - that makes it 1,450kg by Toyota's 'internal measured value', or 1,425 by the more conventional DIN (i.e. with fluids but without driver) rating.
Arguably of more interest is the lower powered 2.0-litre version, or the SZ as its dubbed in Japan (where the 258hp car is the SZ-R and the 3.0-litre the RZ - clearly old habits die hard over there). The car is significant because of how closely it ranks alongside the GT86. Just 3hp separates them, this Supra at 197hp and everyone's favourite coupe at 200, not to mention 140mm in length. While the Supra is heavier at 1,410kg (by Toyota's measurements, or 1,385kg DIN, against 1,247kg for a GT86) it's swifter thanks to its additional torque and automatic 'box - 236lb ft means 62mph in 6.5 seconds, against 7.6. Put simply it's hard to see both a lower powered Supra and a GT86 existing in the same line up.
For what it's worth Toyota believes that the four-cylinder engine offers up "exhilarating driving from the city highway to the expressway", and we know from experience of cars like the Jaguar F-Type what a switch from six cylinders to four can do for the dynamics of front-engined, rear-drive cars.
Obviously there's no official word yet on whether or not the four-pot cars will make it to the UK (though surely it's more a matter of 'when' than 'if') but it seems unlikely that the GT86 will survive with another, newer, faster and more famous sports car atop the Toyota lineup unless the Supra remains exclusively six-pot powered. We'll have to wait and see. Either way, the bang of the new model landing just got that little bit louder.