One of the most awaited cars of the last few years is the new Toyota GR Supra. It is the first new Supra in the United States in 21 years and enthusiasts have been left starving since then. The loss has caused the fourth-generation Supra prices to skyrocket. But the new Supra is not without controversy. The new Supra is a BMW Z4 under its skin and some fans were not happy.
What made the last Supra a legend among tuners was its 2JZ-GTE engine that produced 320 horsepower back in 1996. That engine could produce 750 horsepower with some tuning help without internal modifications because of its robust architecture. Some enthusiasts wanted the 2020 Supra to be a supercar and were perhaps expecting big horsepower numbers.
But that would have meant that the Supra would easily cost over $100,000, especially if Toyota had to do all of the work from scratch for small production numbers. That would not have been approved by management so enthusiasts should be happy that we’re getting the Supra because we could have received nothing.
So, let’s talk about what the 2020 Supra offers. It is smaller than you think when you first see the pictures. It is about 175 inches in length, which is about 20 inches longer than a Mazda Miata. The styling is definitely different and is a love-it-or-hate-it affair. We found people on both sides talking to us at traffic lights and gas stations. Looking at photos, you may love or hate the styling, but we think it looks much better in person.
Get inside the Supra and our initial impression was of the smell inside the cabin, which is just like a BMW. You will also find that the switches, steering wheel and basically everything is familiar BMW gear. This is not at all a bad thing since BMW interiors are generally quite nice. It’s surprisingly roomy inside, and while the rear view can be tough through the back hatch, backing up out of a parking space at a crowded mall is made easier with the use of a color backup camera, in-dash display and radar parking warning systems. The hatchback rear door is a welcome addition and allows a bit of practicality. We found it big enough to fit two full-size carry-on bags and two large backpacks with room to spare.
The 2020 Supra features a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six that produce 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. This is where MK4 lovers will love to hear that cars with only bolt-on modifications and a tune are already seeing 500 horsepower and running 9-second quarter-mile times. The torque comes on strong from low engine speeds, thanks to a combination of a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct fuel injection and continuously variable timing on the intake and exhaust camshafts. Engine response is further enhanced thanks to the inline six’s variable-intake, valve-lift system that adjusts intake valve timing and duration. There is only one transmission choice, which is an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. Short ratios for the lower gears and a launch control function, which is not intended for use on public roads or for repeated short interval use, enable amazing acceleration for a car with 335 horsepower. Toyota estimates 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.1 seconds, which makes it the quickest Toyota-branded production vehicle to date. Top track speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. These numbers are suspicious, and a few people have put the Supra on the dyno to see what it really puts out. It turns out that the Supra is actually making around 390 horsepower, according to Motor Trend magazine. This really makes sense because the Supra pretty quick, and at 4.1 seconds is within a half second of cars making twice the power, such as the 760 hp Mustang GT500 and the 797 hp Challenger Hellcat.
The Supra offers two driving modes, normal and sport. Sport mode sharpens throttle response, increasing steering weight, improving transmission shift crispness, stiffening the dampers, more aggressive active differential tuning and amplifying exhaust sound via an exhaust cutout. Then there is traction mode, which is part of the vehicle stability control system, and when selected, provides track-driving capability by reducing intervention of the traction and stability control functions. Launch Control is available when the vehicle is in sport and traction modes.
For performance driving enthusiasts, the Supra has an active differential that uses an electric motor and multiplate clutches to control lateral torque. The active differential precisely controls torque distribution between the rear wheels, with stepless variable locking from 0-100 percent. The differential can control torque distribution between the rear wheels when cornering under both acceleration and braking, enabling greater momentum through a corner.
With 255/35-19 front and 275/35-19 rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, the Supra turns in well and the steering ratio is quick. Because of its short wheelbase and high power output, the Supra is extremely fun to drive. It is easy to get the Supra sideways.
The new Supra is a great car, whether driven daily or tuned. The upshot is that the Supra is affordable, which was a huge benefit of the collaboration with BMW. The base price is $49,990 and the premium trim brings the price to $53,990. That is a lot of car for the money and we should be thanking Toyota for bringing it to our dealers.
Additionally NASA has partnered with Toyota so that a NASA membership and a day of HPDE come included with the car, courtesy of Toyota!
|Engine:||3.0-liter DOHC inline six-cylinder|
|Horsepower:||335 @ 5,000 – 6,500 rpm|
|Torque:||365 pound-feet @ 1,600 to 4,500 rpm|
|Front Suspension:||Double-joint-type McPherson strut|
|Rear Suspension:||Independent, five-arm multilink|
|Curb Weight:||3,397 lbs.|