Cars

Here’s the Real Reason the New Toyota Supra Isn’t in ‘Need for Speed’

The 2020 Toyota Supra is the latest addition to the Japanese automaker’s lineup. After being discontinued in 2002, fans of the car were starting to worry if they’d ever see this powerful sports car on the market again. Luckily, a new model was revealed in 2019, with a faster six-cylinder turbocharger and a promise of even more powerful trims in the future.

For those of us who can’t afford one of these cars for ourselves, watching it demonstrate its power in movies and video games is the next best thing. Fans looked forward to racing around the track in a Supra in various racing games like Forza Motorsport, GT Racing, and Need for Speed.

This is why fans were surprised to find out that the Supra was missing from the latest Need for Speed roster of cars.

‘Need for Speed’

The series itself is an open-world racing game. First released in 1994, there are now over 20 Need for Speed sequels that you can play on pretty much any gaming console. The series has performed so well in terms of sales that it even got a movie adaptation in 2014. 

While there have been some exceptions, the majority of these games focus on escaping police officers and participating in illegal street races. You can unlock the Toyota Supra SZ-R in a few of these titles, as well as other Toyota models like the Celica GT-S and the MR2.

The new game, Need for Speed: Heat, is set to be released in November. While you can play as other cool cars like the Nissan GT-R and the latest Lamborghini, the 2020 Toyota Supra will not be included in this game. This left fans confused and angry.

Toyota’s response

Given its involvement with the franchise in the past, some players were compelled to reach out to Toyota on social media for an explanation. The official ToyotaUK Twitter account responded to one fan saying that Toyota would feature its cars in other games that “don’t promote illicit street racing”.

Many found this response to be ironic, considering that the Supra MK IV featured prominently in one of the Fast and the Furious movies, a franchise with a history of stories surrounding illegal street racing.

The 2020 Supra was even spotted on the set for the Fast 9 film. Thus, indicating that Toyota is still on board with this franchise. ToyotaUK later deleted its response, probably due to the backlash the tweet received.

‘Gran Turismo’

The following day, Toyota made another series of tweets elaborating on the absence of the Supra from Need for Speed. However, there was no mention of the questionable ethics of street racing.

Instead, the spokesperson behind the account tweeted that they could not give out much information, but confirmed that the Supra and other Toyota cars would only appear in Gran Turismo games in the foreseeable future. Unlike Need for Speed, Gran Turismo games focus on closed-circuit racing and competitions.

Toyota has not yet given an official reason as to why the Supra wouldn’t appear in other titles. However, there is some speculation among fans.

GTPlanet pointed out that Toyota vehicles in other racing games have gradually started to disappear. Because of this, it’s highly suspected that Toyota has made a deal with Sony to only feature its cars in the Gran Turismo series, but contractual obligations prevent Toyota from confirming this.

While Need for Speed fans will be disappointed this fall at the lack of a playable Supra in Heat, there are no plans to patch earlier Toyota vehicles out of past games. For those with a need to virtually drive the latest Supra, Gran Turismo Sport released an update earlier this year adding the car to its roster.