Oh, Supra. We have not seen this a lot fan uproar concerning the rebirth of a beloved Japanese sports activities automobile since… properly, for the reason that NSX, which actually wasn’t all that way back. Identical to with Honda/Acura’s resurrected icon, fan passions run deep with Supra, a automobile that almost all have solely ever touched by way of a PlayStation controller. The numerous and myriad reactions to its unveiling this previous January in Detroit present simply how strongly individuals really feel concerning the former Quick & Livid hero.

I used to be fortunate to get to drive a prototype of the MkV Supra final 12 months in camouflage kind and even then, lengthy earlier than Toyota took the wraps off, I might really feel the flames being stoked within the Roadshow remark part. In the present day, pricey readers, it is time to tamp these fires as a result of the 2020 Toyota Supra is right here, it is good and I do not care that it carries a German coronary heart beating inside a German physique. You should not, both. 


Let’s simply go forward and tackle this early: From a standpoint, the Toyota Supra is mainly a BMW Z4. It shares the identical engine, chassis and suspension, plus numerous different bits. It is even assembled proper alongside the Z4 at Magna Steyr in Austria.

So, sure, the 2020 Toyota Supra has greater than slightly BMW in it. However if you wish to discuss DNA, from a genetic standpoint I am just about indistinguishable from a mouse. In execution, nonetheless, I look moderately totally different — although I do confess a honest affinity for cheese.

Equally, a automobile’s character comes as a lot from its tune because it does from its , and Toyota has gone to nice lengths to distinguish the Supra from its Bavarian counterpart. Throughout mainly the complete growth challenge for the automobile, for years, Toyota and BMW engineers did not share notes. To this present day the Supra’s important growth driver hasn’t turned a wheel within the new Z4.

The objective was to create a automobile with a German physique and a Japanese soul, although that spirit shall be arduous to really feel once you’ll have to grip a BMW-style shifter to again out of each parking house. A distinctly iDrive-style knob sits to the precise whereas the sound coming from the engine carries the identical type of digital augmentation that has these days crept into BMW interiors.

I perceive how wanting previous all that may be tough, however belief me after I say it is worthwhile. 

The muse

Whenever you say “Supra” to a automobile fanatic, most will instantly envision one particular mannequin: the MkIV Supra Turbo. Manufactured from 1993 till 2002, the Supra’s untimely departure from the US in 1998 solely elevated its standing as the final word tuner automobile. Faster off the showroom flooring than many an Italian unique, the MKIV was however ceaselessly tweaked to even larger heights of efficiency — or, typically, deeper depths of undrivability.

It is by way of that distorted, aftermarket lens that many lovers bear in mind the Supra, however we should return to the automobile Toyota truly bought when contemplating how the brand new, MkV Supra stacks up. Regardless of the German parentage, the 2 vehicles are much more comparable than they’re totally different.

It begins with the engine, a three.Zero-liter, turbocharged, inline-six, identical to earlier than. The place the previous automobile delivered 321 horsepower, the brand new one manages 335. Not an enormous increase contemplating the 20 years between, however torque is manner up: 365 pound-feet vs. 315 within the previous automobile. Gasoline effectivity will get a good greater increase: The brand new Supra does 31 miles per gallon on the freeway, in comparison with simply 22 within the outgoing automobile.

(I’m totally conscious that no person’s shopping for a Supra for the gas economic system, however given it was emissions that in the end pressured its early exit from the US market, it is good to know that the brand new automobile is way more environment friendly.)

That engine its within the nostril, however a fast look underneath the hood exhibits it has been pushed dramatically rearward — and that is regardless of the bundle of ugly, black plastic swaddling every thing. Certainly, Toyota has managed an ideal 50:50 weight distribution right here. At three,397 kilos, MkV is about 100 kilos lighter than an automated MkIV Supra Turbo. That is regardless of the brand new automobile having, amongst its many trendy facilities, eight airbags.

Who needs rear seats when you may have subwoofers and strut-tower braces?


The brand new Supra is 5 inches shorter than the MKIV and but two inches wider, a stance that may solely do good issues for dealing with. The brand new Supra is actually deceptively small, nearer in size to a Toyota 86. One thing needed to go to ship this dimensional brevity, and it was the rear seats. As a substitute, you get a type of parcel shelf and uncovered strut tower brace.

That 365 pound-feet of torque is shipped rearward by way of an eight-speed automated transmission. The dearth of a guide possibility shall be seen as unhealthy information by many, however this is identical ZF unit that performs unobtrusively in lots of different efficiency vehicles and, as I am going to element later, its efficiency is equally fantastic right here.

That energy is then break up by an electronically actuated, clutch-type limited-slip rear differential. That is a great distance of claiming the automobile would not need to depend on the brakes to maintain one wheel from spinning up. The LSD can go from totally open to totally locked in a fraction of a second and it comes customary on each Supra. Adaptive suspension can also be customary, as are Michelin Pilot Tremendous Sport tires on 19-inch wheels, which measure a wholesome nine-inches large on the entrance and 10 inches on the rear.

The web result’s a automobile that may hop from zero to 60 mph in simply four.1 seconds after which scream on as much as 155 mph earlier than the digital limiter steps in and slaps the again of your wrist.

Sure, I do understand how quick I used to be going.


On the street

Whereas I want I might say I explored that limiter within the manufacturing Supra, my drive happened largely in Virginia, a state the place the native legislation tends to skip the wrist slapping and throw individuals proper in jail for dashing. So, I largely used the street portion of the drive as a possibility to set the cruise management and, properly, cruise.

Boring, maybe, however it is a very important operate for the Supra. Whereas it’s a sports activities automobile, it is meant to be an on a regular basis type of factor. It should be snug and sensible and, winding by way of the scant hills round Virginia, it proved precisely that. My first concern was that the low-profile, 19-inch tires would lead to some terrible journey high quality and street noise. I used to be pleasantly shocked to seek out neither in extra.

The suspension, on regular mode, is compliant and the seats tender. Likewise, the exhaust is mellow within the default setting and the transmission sedate. I would not name it a soothing drive, however with the adaptive cruise and the lively lane-keep help programs enabled, I might undoubtedly see myself masking massive miles in a Supra with out criticism.

The hatch even swallowed up my video producer’s full praise of substances plus my backpack, and that is saying one thing. 

This can be a nice automobile for hurtling far-off with somebody particular, even when they are not probably the most environment friendly of packers.

This, then, is a good automobile for hurtling far-off with somebody particular, even when they are not probably the most environment friendly of packers. Nonetheless, regardless of that on-road prowess, the majority of Toyota’s launch occasion centered on the Supra’s monitor efficiency. That is why my vacation spot was Summit Level, a motorsports mecca simply over the border of West Virginia.

Maybe the Supra’s most controversial angle.


On the monitor

Of the numerous circuits Summit Level Motorsports Park has to supply, Toyota chosen Shenendoah, which in my eye is a bit courageous. Shenendoah is a remarkably twisty factor, with 22 numbered turns in its full, 2.2-mile configuration. It is also very slender and moderately bumpy with many blind, off-camber sequences.

The model we ran, which skipped a lot of the longest straight, was spectacular enjoyable within the agile (if underpowered) Toyota 86. For the Supra, although, I believe I might have most popular one thing slightly bit greater — like Jarama, maybe, the place I did the preliminary prototype drive. A much bigger monitor would permit the Supra to stretch its legs a bit extra and exhibit the finesse of its suspension. On Shenendoah, the Supra’s further weight and physique roll in meant I needed to be much more affected person when hustling by way of the extra busy sequences.

That is to not say the Supra did not deal with the scenario with aplomb. The Pilot Tremendous Sports activities supplied oodles of grip on the uneven asphalt and that suspension was by no means phased by the imperfections. Supra proved a composed and reassuring associate on a monitor that calls for lots from each automobile and driver. 

Likewise, the limited-slip differential put the ability down cleanly and likewise appeared aggressive underneath braking, with the rear feeling very tight within the one arduous braking zone on the finish of Again Straight.

Braking was my major concern after driving the prototype final 12 months, and for higher or worse, this specific stretch of asphalt at Summit Level did not problem the Supra’s 13.7-inch entrance Brembos, nor their four-piston calipers. Nonetheless, given my colleague Steven Ewing’s notes of brake fade when driving the 2019 Z4 at Estoril, I concern that the stoppers should still be the Achilles heel for the Supra. 

Left to its personal units, the eight-speed automated transmission is a delight.


And what about that eight-speed auto? Left to its personal units, the transmission did a suitable job of selecting the correct cog for the precise nook. It is nowhere close to as superior as Porsche’s newest taste of PDK, which is sort of telepathic in its gear choice, and certainly the Toyota sometimes bought confused throughout lengthy, low-speed, steady-state corners. But it surely largely did fantastic — except I attempted to shift for myself. The transmission responded sluggishly to requests from the wheel-mounted paddles. I rapidly realized to disregard them.

However there’s one factor that I could not ignore, and that was the unimaginable problem of truly entering into and out of the Supra with a helmet on. I am truly beginning to get a headache once more simply enthusiastic about the variety of occasions I bumped my helmet in opposition to the door body squeezing into and out of the Supra throughout my day on the monitor. I’ve pushed caged racers with simpler ingress and egress. Make it inside, although, and there is spectacular headroom, that double-bubble roof serving an actual function past inspiring fond ideas of the 2000GT coupe. 

The excellent news is that tall drivers will work within the Supra even with a helmet. The unhealthy information is that they’ll should be fairly versatile and stout of cranium.

You would be forgiven for anticipating the nav system to talk with a Bavarian accent.


Feel and look

I’ve saved dialogue of the Supra’s design for final as a result of that is, after all, probably the most subjective bit. I am going to offer you my take right here in a second, however I am going to begin by saying that the 2020 Supra is a dramatically totally different wanting automobile in particular person than it’s in images. That lengthy hood and people sharp styling cues by some means conspire to make it look a lot, a lot greater than it’s. It’s miles extra petite and refined within the flesh than what you are seeing right here. So, do your self a favor and go witness one earlier than you digitally write it off.

That stated, having spent the higher a part of a day contemplating the factor IRL, I’ll confess to not being a complete fan of the best way it seems to be. On the constructive aspect, I actually like the form and its vacuum-sealed look. Supra cuts an extremely purposeful stance, as if Toyota’s designers whittled away every thing that wasn’t wanted.

Certainly, the corporate calls the design course of for the Supra “operate sculpting,” and that is why I can not assist however really feel disenchanted that so lots of the automobile’s design parts haven’t any operate in any respect. Faux vents abound on the brand new Supra, from the entrance bumper to the rear, hitting the fenders and doorways alongside the best way. The black traces are the scars from the cosmetic surgery required to make the FT-1 idea a actuality. They’re a disgrace and, as a lot as I like the pink, I might in all probability need to go for a darker colour to cover them. 

On the within, there’s not lots to dislike, but it surely’s right here the place the BMW parentage is most readily evident. From the door chime to the shifter to that twisty iDrive knob, all of it feels a bit bizarre. BMW makes a fantastic inside, and that is nothing wanting that, but it surely would not really feel notably Toyota. 

There are just a few key parts, although, together with the steering wheel, smaller and thinner than your typical Bavarian unit, and the gauge cluster, which is extra centered and racier. The seats, too, strike a fantastic stability between consolation and assist. 

So many pretend vents.


Choices and pricing

The 2020 Toyota Supra begins at $49,990, plus $930 vacation spot. For that you simply get what’s formally referred to as the Supra three.Zero. The following step up is named the three.Zero Premium, beginning at $53,990. This replaces the Alcantara seat inserts on the bottom mannequin with leather-based, provides a bigger, Eight.Eight-inch touchscreen (up from 6.four) and red-painted calipers that, apparently, wrap round barely bigger discs on the rear (13.6 inches vs. 13.Zero on the bottom three.Zero).

Lastly, there’s the restricted Launch Version, for $55,250. This consists of all of the goodies of the three.Zero Premium and provides pink mirror caps and pink, leather-based interiors on these vehicles painted both black or white. Crimson is the third colour out there for the Launch Version, however a number of different hues shall be out there for the common vehicles to come back

Each automobile comes with what Toyota calls Supra Security, together with a wholesome mixture of lively security programs like collision warning, automated emergency braking and lane departure warning. Step as much as the Driver Comfort Package deal and also you get adaptive cruise and full lane-keep help.

If you need CarPlay, you may have to both go together with the Premium mannequin or go for the upgraded infotainment system, which comes connected to a 500-watt JBL sound system and a head-up show. Android Auto is tragically not out there, and a Toyota consultant was mum on whether or not the corporate would cost an ongoing charge for continued entry to CarPlay, probably the most egregious tack-ons from BMW. I sincerely hope Toyota finds a manner round that.

Now, if you happen to assume that every one sounds a bit spendy you are not unsuitable, but it surely’s an enormous worth over what Toyota was charging for the final Supra Turbo right here within the US. The bottom MKIV Turbo in 1998 began at about $40,000, which in immediately’s cash is over $62,000. Consider it or not, that was truly a $10,000 low cost over the 1996 beginning worth of $50,000. That is practically $80,000 in immediately’s cash.

Find it irresistible or hate it, you definitely cannot ignore styling this aggressive. 



Toyota’s new Supra is an extremely divisive automobile. I get why, however to easily say that it is by some means flawed as a result of it was developed in partnership with BMW ignores the truth that, if not for that partnership, there could be no new Supra in any respect.

It additionally ignores the truth that it is a damned fantastic automobile. Sure, I imagine the styling could possibly be cleaner, however perhaps Toyota will take a cue from Chevrolet and make just a few fast tweaks for subsequent 12 months. And sure, this automobile can really feel slightly too tender and perhaps even too refined at occasions, however Supra traditionally has been a road-focused sports activities automobile and this new one suits fairly properly in that mildew, providing much more energy, poise and polish than earlier generations. And let’s not overlook extra worth, too. 

If you need one thing extra uncooked, don’t fret: tuners worldwide are already weaving their magic, and if this primary iteration finds good success, racier manufacturing unit editions will nearly certainly come. Given the first-year allocation of Supra has already bought out in Japan and in Europe, I might say Toyota’s off to a very good begin. 

Editors’ word: Journey prices associated to this function have been lined by the producer. That is frequent within the auto business, as it’s miles extra economical to ship journalists to vehicles than to ship vehicles to journalists. Whereas Roadshow accepts multi-day car loans from producers as a way to present scored editorial opinions, all scored car opinions are accomplished on our turf and on our phrases.

The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s editorial group are our personal and we don’t settle for paid editorial content material.


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