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suprafeatThe Toyota FT-1 has had JDM fans excited at the hint of a new Supra ever since it was first revealed in January last year. And once it was confirmed that BMW is working with Toyota on a new sports car project, the prospect of an icon returning became very real indeed.

It seems more likely than ever that the Supra name will return, as Toyota Europe vice-president and product planning chief Karl Schlicht told Autocar: "The intention with the new car is for it to sit above the GT86. It doesn't replace that model; the GT86 goes on with its own mission."

A sports car bigger than the GT86 would tie in nicely with the return of the Supra name, sitting above a smaller, more affordable sports car as the manufacturer's performance flagship. It would also allow the new car to be more expensive, to cover the costs of what is likely a rather expensive powertrain, which is expected to come in the form of a hybrid petrol-electric engine provided by BMW. This will power all four wheels.

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Unlike Toyota's partnership with Subaru on the GT86/BRZ/FR-S triplets, the two cars produced from this arrangement will not be direct rivals. The platform will be scalable, meaning that the project can spawn both a Supra and a smaller Z4 replacement.

Despite all the talk of autonomous cars and hybrid economy cars dominating the news in recent years, it's great to see so many manufacturers putting their faith in performance motoring once more. We are excited...