SUPRA DOOPA – Say Supra to a car nut and they instantly know what you’re on about. The car is an icon among Japanese performance car fans and even V8 petrol heads will grudgingly acknowledge Supra’s reputation.
There wasn’t a Supra for years but the model was resurrected this year to help Toyota change their public perception to a sporty car maker. This change in philosophy has filtered through other models in Toyota’s line-up including hybrid Camry and Corolla.
After a week behind the wheel, I totally understand all the hoopla surrounding this arresting vehicle that’s partially BMW under the skin.
For starters, it’s a “genuine” front engine, rear wheel drive, two seater sports car with oodles of power, a snarling exhaust and razor sharp dynamics.
Will I go on?
Supra looks unreal in the metal especially from the side and is way better looking compared to anything from BMW and plenty of other highly regarded sporty car manufacturers. It’s keenly priced into the bargain.
New Supra has a lot to live up to from a legendary nameplate going back decades.
There’s no 2JZ under the bonnet but rest assured, the 3.0-litre straight six with a single, twin scroll turbo from BMW’s M2 gets the job done and then some. And the word is Toyota is telling porkies about Supra’s power, under-calling the card by a significant amount.
The only problem with all of this is I don’t think you can actually buy a new one…. they’re all gone and put money on speculators offering up their cars at a premium. Hope they get burned…
Striking… is the best way to describe new Supra. Initially I wasn’t a fan citing too many curves and pumped out panels. That changed pretty quickly as I looked at the car from different angles gaining an appreciation of what the designers wanted to achieve.
Which is a powerful expression of the two door sports car. The wow factor is plain to see from the huge clamshell bonnet, concave roof, huge rear diffuser, broad wheel arches, multi-faceted boot and droopy rear styling. It looks super sleek in profile and the front is highlighted by a set of curving LED strip lights.
It’s all capped off with gorgeous forged 19-inch alloys on the GTS.
Supra is bloody low though, about 1.2 metres under the fastback roofline, perhaps a touch more which makes access somewhat challenging for tallish people.
The details are slick and the highlights give Supra a distinctive look owing nothing to anything else currently on the road.
Like the outside, inside Supra is a huge move away from what you might expect from Toyota. It’s more along Lexus lines.
There’s only one dial in front of the driver with multiple read outs and some throwback touches like the control panel below Supra’s large central info screen.
Angles dominate inside the car as they do outside no more obvious than on the dash.
It’s a tight cabin that fits you like a glove providing all controls at close quarters.
GTS scores premium JBL audio that challenges your preference over Supra’s wailing exhaust note.
It’s easy to select your drive mode or to de-select some of the more intrusive driver assist functions but of real annoyance is the default on engine stop/start.
Thankfully Supra’s seats are body hugging holding you in place at relatively high `g’ forces when you hook around a corner.
They’re heated too.
Supple leather with suede inserts creates a classy ambience inside and decent side bolsters to rest on.
Have to say the interior is very “cosy” – small for a car this size but there’s a decent load space behind.
Where to start;
- Dual zone climate control
- 12 speaker 425w audio
- Excellent satnav
- Large multimedia screen
- Sports pedals
- Snap, crackle and pop exhaust
- Head up display
- LED headlights
- Aluminium and propylene body panels
- Wireless phone charger
Drive and Engine
This is the good bit because Supra is a quick car by any measure. They say it has 250kW but I reckon that’s about 40 shy of the actual number. It lights up the rears under full acceleration in first and second with sheer brute force.
Apart from Ford’s cheaper Mustang, you’d have to spend a lot more to get near Supra for outright performance.
That 3.0-litre, direct injection, straight six sings sweetly under the influence of a single twin scroll turbo that helps it achieve 500Nm of torque to compliment the kilowatt output.
It all translates into a car that you only have to breathe on to feel the surge under your foot…. very addictive.
Power goes through a slick 8-speed conventional auto transmission which feels more like a DSG in operation. There’s even a throttle blip on the down change.
Of course all this mumbo would be useless without a chassis capable of taming it and that is surely achieved here.
There’s adaptive suspension for a start, huge brakes front and rear, a taut chassis tying it all together, comprehensive aero fixtures and sticky tyres specifically designed for Supra.
Steering is sharp at 2.1 turns lock to lock and sport mode sharpens all Supra‘s reflexes.
Love the launch control.
I saw 8.0-litres/100km in mixed driving using 98 fuel.
Wow, what a package.
No rating for Supra as yet but looks certain to score 5-stars with the primary and secondary safety kit it has on board.
This includes plenty of advanced driver assist tech’ like active cruise control, autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian/cyclist detection, rear end collision alert, lane departure warning and so on.
More air bags than you can point a stick at too. How did they fit ‘em all in.
- Superlative performance
- Superlative dynamics
- Stunning looks
Not So Good Bits
- Cramped interior
- Can be thirsty
- Greasy nose marks on side windows
I could see myself in one of these no problem. It’s a genuine feel good car that has the ability to lift your spirits as soon as you get behind the wheel. Then it gets better from there. You’d need to get something from Porsche or similar to get the equivalent driver’s satisfaction as delivered by Supra and you’ll pay plenty more for the privilege. Wish they had made more of the buggers.
Also Look At
Facts and Figures: 2020 Toyota Supra GTS
- Engine: 3.0L six-cylinder turbo petrol producing 250kW/500Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed sports automatic
- Warranty: 5/ unlimited km
- Safety: Not tested
- Origin: Japan
- Price: from $94,900
Toyota Supra GTS
I could see myself in one of these no problem. It’s a genuine feel good car that has the ability to lift your spirits as soon as you get behind the wheel. Then it gets better from there. You’d need to get something from Porsche or similar to get the equivalent driver’s satisfaction as delivered by Supra and you’ll pay plenty more for the privilege.