Let’s get one thing out of the way lawful off the bat: there may be extra mechanical stuff in the Supra with BMW logos stamped on it than bits originating from Toyota. And that’s no longer a value judgment—it lawful is.
In the giant, formal ball that is global manufacturing, companies usually search for partners that bring parts to the table that fit the job description of the future car in quiz. So, the drivetrain, most of the suspension, the in-car know-how—all of here’s a made-in-Munich equation. The door plate and even the underhood parts treasure the coil packs atop the spark plugs all state “BMW.” Hiya, at least give car points for honesty. Nonetheless the market has been awaiting the unusual Supra since the FT-1 idea car debuted way back in 2014, so the unusual Supra has been a long time coming.
May possibly Toyota have engineered a great practice-up to the vaunted 2JZ inline-6 from Supras past? Obviously. May possibly it have done its own suspension architecture and platform? You bet. Nonetheless for a very low-quantity car, it be a boardroom battle you may possibly be assured to lose when partnering with BMW may possibly veil virtually all the product’s needs. Whether that’s lawful for the fans and shoppers attracted to the unusual Supra is another thing solely, however car companies must live and work in the real world the place R&D expenses for a single platform are in the billions of dollars. Bean counters usually make the decisions, and if a unusual platform and its expenses cannot be spread across extra than one product line, it be nearly most unlikely to define. If Toyota hadn’t partnered with BMW on the Supra, this car would no longer exist at all.
Getting past the BMW origins
The larger enthusiast quiz is whether or no longer or no longer it works as intended. And that answer is certainly optimistic. Vitality from the 3.0L, turbocharged inline-6 is just not any much less than 335hp (250kW) and 365lb-toes (495Nm) of torque starting at lawful 1600rpm. We state “no much less than” intentionally here—there are some stories that this engine is far healthier than the 335hp rating would suggest. Plus, Toyota lawful announced that the 2021 car will have 380hp (283kW). When that the BMW Z4 M40i with the same exact engine is already rated at 382hp (285kW) in the United States, well, questions start to arise.
Regardless of precise energy stage, this inline-6 makes great inline-6 noises at pudgy throttle all the way to redline. In Sport mode, it also adds some overrun popping and burbling from the exhaust on a closed throttle that some will find entertaining. [I find it entertaining—Ed.] It’s far no longer, nonetheless, way overdone as on some other fashionable sports activities cars, treasure Jaguar’s supercharged V8 F-Kind.
Mated to the engine is a ZF 8-pace automatic with shift paddles. Toyota claims a 0-60mph figure of 4.1 seconds, and we think that’s conservatively stated. It feels sooner. Alternatively, no manual transmission is available. It’s far EPA-rated at a combined 26mpg (9l/100km), with 24mpg (9.8l/100km) in town and 31mpg (7.6l/100km) on the highway. Request mighty much less on track, though.
A rapid physics lesson explains why the Supra is accurate to force
Dynamically, the Supra handles crisply with far larger-than-average flip-in, although the steering’s communication lacks information. Chassis highlights include very accurate ingredients treasure adaptive dampers, a torque-vectoring rear differential, Brembo entrance brakes, and Michelin Pilot Natty Sport tires on 19-inch forged wheels.
The quality of the road surface comes via loud and clear via the suspension, the seat, and the prodigious tire thrum, however actual steering feel is a touch disappointing. The middle of gravity is also remarkably low, however the feeling you get when throwing the car around at the limit is actually very traditional. This is why.
Sitting as far back in the wheelbase as one does in the Supra, you get a solid sense of polar moment. And polar circulate. Since you may possibly be driving the car from the back half of its overall length and the axis of the car’s rotation—the yaw middle—is actually in entrance of the driving force, one feels that car rotation with even extra emphasis when oversteering even honest a little. (A mid-engine car imparts much less of this feeling that you may possibly be at the heavy finish of the pendulum.)
This abilities is akin to that of older, traditional entrance-engine sports activities cars of the 1950s, ’60s, and into the ’70s. This is no longer a criticism, per se, and no longer at all bad; in fact, it may even be extra entertaining than a mid-engine car that offers equal alarm to understeer and oversteer yaw.
The Supra also feels each bit as heavy as its 3,297lb (1,540kg) curb weight. Tossing it around on a track exposes this densely packed impact. The Supra is certainly enjoyable to force. It’s lawful a bit diversified in today’s high-performance sports activities car universe when even the C8 Corvette has long gone to a mid-engine layout. (For the document, we ragged a lawful controlled ambiance for prime-pace testing at Apex Motor Club in Arizona.)
Since the Supra defaults to a “Normal” driving mode that relaxes the engine, transmission responses, throttle responses, and damper stiffness, it can deal easily with a daily force or a road day travel, though the tire noise is always on the loud facet.
It looks to be treasure a Supra ought to peaceful
Sports activities cars must gaze the business, and the Supra uses some cues treasure headlights that owe their general shape to the last-of-the-’90s Supras (acknowledged to Supra cognoscenti as the A80 mannequin). Nonetheless it absolutely also uses a ton of make-up to separate it from the BMW Z4 on which it be built. Where the primary-of-the-’80s Supras have been angular, creased, and folded shapes, this unusual 2020 generation takes the A80-generation Supra invent to an even extra bean-treasure, hyper-organic, even bulbous place. There may be also some Toyota history here, too: the upper greenhouse and facet window shape conjures up the classic Toyota 2000GT of the 1960s. Nonetheless most of the various grilles and air intakes at the car’s honest a little F1-inspired nostril are actually fake. The final result’s even a little bit unusual-looking, however it absolutely is no longer exactly handsome in the way the A80 Supra of the 1990s was, and it be certainly no longer in the same ballpark as the classic 2000GT.
Inside, Supras of the past did sport four seats, even supposing the rears have been cramped and unusable by adults. The unusual Supra chucks these marginal seats, making things a bit extra apt about the car’s mission. This is a entrance-engine two-seat sports activities car in the format of older, extra traditional sports activities cars uncompromised by rear seats treasure the Corvette, BMW’s own Z3 and Z4 coupes, Nissan’s Z, and, going back several generations, the hairy-chested British mounts treasure Jaguars, TVRs, and Austin-Healeys.
Perhaps by killing off the 2 rear seats, Toyota was allowed to pour that attention into the entrance seats, which supply hundreds bolstering and encourage. The absence of rear seats also allows for audio contrivance parts, plus a healthy 10.2 cubic toes (289L) of trunk space, sufficient for two carry-on-sized bags of luggage. And the double-bubble roofline nets a lot of headroom, too. Nonetheless that headroom is irascible by a low-hanging door aperture such that anyone over about 5’10” (1.78m) will bash their head against the door opening.
Using BMW’s infotainment tech is a plus
As well as in matters mechanical, there may be a smorgasbord of BMW advise in the interior, which is no longer a bad thing, actually. It all suits well, is fairly straightforward, and offers barely sufficient tech to sustain things latest. The “Supra Command” contrivance is an alias for BMW’s iDrive, controlled with the same central sustain watch over knob as on Bavarian varieties. Navigation with real-time traffic data, the 12-speaker JBL audio contrivance, and Bluetooth connectivity are all brought together via an 8.8-inch touchscreen (though a 6.5-inch display cloak is standard). Since Toyota has long had an aversion to giving customers Apple CarPlay functionality, here’s a laughable way of getting around that roadblock, since the contrivance is BMW’s. Android Auto is absent.
All 2020 Supras receive active-driving features including forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, and road-sign assist. Of particular mention is the BMW-sourced lane-keeping assist. As on several recent BMWs we examined, the assist sometimes reacts oddly and overbearingly to white lines at the sides of roads. Treasure a bloodhound on a bum scent, this plot can get a whiff of something it does now not treasure and stays on a misread trail that requires a great great tug to sustain going the way you, as an alert driver, know you want to lag.
At a base brand of $50,855 (including the necessary $955 destination charge), the unusual Supra certainly undercuts some other two-seat sports activities coupes, treasure Porsche’s Cayman at $58,850, and offers an solely diversified dynamic feeling than a mid-engine sports activities car. With the know-how baked in, the turbocharged engine, and the paddle-shifted transmission, the unusual Supra is both high-tech and traditional at the same time. Regardless of BMW roots. These who brush off it solely because of its German platform may possibly be missing out on some severe enjoyable behind the wheel.
Listing image by Toyota