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2018 ‘J29’ Toyota Supra getting 20i, 30i, 40i BMW engines, auto only (video)

Some interesting – and potentially upsetting – details of the upcoming Toyota Supra have surfaced online, with a strong indication the new model, codenamed ‘J29’, will be an auto-only affair.

As we already know, the new sports car will form the basis for both the Supra and the next-gen BMW Z4. A document containing future BMW model codes has apparently been leaked and has found its way onto enthusiast forum SupraMKV, spilling the full can of beans in regards to the variant lineup and indications of the powertrains.

The codes show the range will start with a 20i, which is expected to consist of BMW’s 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder. It produces 135kW in existing BMW cars. Next up there looks to be a 30i model, which, according to the codes, will be the entry level model in North America. In existing BMW cars the 30i is a boosted version of the 20i engine, producing 185kW.

At the top of the range is set to be the 40i. It will likely consist of BMW’s B48 3.0-litre turbo inline six engine, which, in the case of the M140i and M240i, produces 250kW and 500Nm. Strangely, it looks like the new BMW Z4 will be offered with a manual transmission while the Supra will feature only an auto across the board.

It’s understood this auto will be the ZF 8HP eight-speed automatic that’s currently used in a wide range of BMW and other European vehicles. All variants look like they will be rear-wheel drive, at least, but if these codes are accurate we might hear a few upsetting cries from Supra fans longing for the return of a manual transmission.

In the codes we also see “LL” and “RL”, which points to both right-hand drive and left-hand drive. This provides decent potential for the Supra to be offered in Australia at some point. No official details have been confirmed.

Recent spy videos taken at the Nurburgring show both models tackling the demanding German circuit. Given the level of camouflage still in place we don’t expect a full reveal for a while yet. Click play to take a look (top video is Supra then BMW).

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.