ALL-INCLUSIVE PASS: 2020 TOYOTA GR SUPRA
We were astounded how many times we were asked if this was the new Celica in spite of the Supra badge glued to the trunk. After waiting over a decade, we suppose some hope was lost and to the random lookie lue, a new Toyota sports car could mean something other than a new Supra. Nonetheless, with the gates of hell finally frozen over, the wait has been lifted and a new Supra is among us.
Ignoring the fact that the Supra is composed of BMW DNA running through its coolant veins, Toyota has given it its own personality. I mean, just look at it… there’s a sense of past Supra generations with its long-sculpted snout, wide set six-lamp LED headlights and a rear end so voluptuous, you just want to slap it. Designed to be a convertible, the Toyota formed sports coupe is only available with a set-in-place roof – should you want the feeling of a swift breeze blowing through that toupee, the BMW Z4 tucks it roof in its trunk like a Chihuahua in a handbag.
The sports car life comes with its fair share of sports car drama. The interior, designed for some that hits the gym at least twice a week and is shorter than 5’-10” – anyone bigger than that will soon find out just how cramp the interior cabin can be. Not to mention the headaches of getting in and out. Should a comfortable position be found, the seats are nicely bolstered and is form fitting to our bodies like getting a snug hug from Aunt Suzy.
Influenced by the Germans, the interior carries a BMW presence despite the Z4 having a completely different interior concept. Most of the switch gear and programming of sorts is all BMW. The TFT display cluster as well as the infotainment system is not as simple to use as some other systems. Even with all that digital technology, the TFT display isn’t customizable and while the infotainment system carries a sharp, detailed clear display, its level of difficulty utilized through the rotary dial is just frustrating. At least the wireless Apple CarPlay technology is nifty.
Underneath that elongated hood, there is some pretty hefty business, a turbocharged straight six-cylinder engine with 335-horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. With launch control activated, it can take 3.7-seconds to 60-mph – the time it takes to figure out launch control however is another story. Controlling its power distribution to the rear-wheels, the Supra is only available in an 8-speed automatic – we know, but it is the times we live in and while a manual is preferred, the quick shifting impression of the transmission here makes it faster and slightly more enjoyable, even more so when using the stainless steel paddle shifters.
The thing about the Supra is, its sports car mode is always on – it’s not exactly an ideal daily. Its acceleration responsiveness is hella quick that when manually shifting from first to second, it’s like we have a lift-off sequence. Its steering is so well connected, nicely weighted and accurate that one slight movement has jogging from lane to lane. Its braking is even too impervious that it actually has us stopping too quickly – is that such a thing. Supporting the sports car lifestyle, the chassis isn’t very suburban friendly either, it’s far too stiff that it would feel more comfortable getting a free prostate exam at a community college. And that’s before we engage sport mode which sends it into hyper-sensitive track mode that increases exhaust sounds from its rear like a chimpanzee making fart noises.
The city life regime just doesn’t do the Supra justice, it needs its playground of mountain roads and track asphalt. This is where the life of the Supra opens up, and all the cons that we despised become the pros we admire. Acceleration out of the corners works cohesively with the transmission tuning for spot on gear placement that gains rapid acceleration. The steering feels alive and connected to the driver that every input sends a sensation of controlled balance. The sensitive braking means we can also brake later and prepare a precise attack when coming into a corner – and that stiff chassis pays dividends with nearly zero body lean.
If the Supra is brought into a single car household, the concept behind the sports car doesn’t have to be too costly, apart from maintenance at least. Fuel economy is relativity impressive with over 35-mpg on the highway and 28-mpg’s combined – beating the EPA rating by 4-mpgs. And there is adequate trunk space for, uhhhh, things.
Now that the Launch Edition is officially sold out, there are only two outgoing models starting at $49,990. The GR Supra Premium being the official top spec’d model coming in $4000 more than the entry model. The Premium incorporates upgraded 12-speaker surround sound, an 8.8-inch touch screen infotainment system, heated seats, wireless charging, and painted red brake calipers.
Despite supporting BMW DNA underneath, the Supra is a more bang-for-your-buck sports car when wanting to enjoy the BMW engineering ways of its turbocharged six-cylinder engine. By costing nearly $10,000 less than the BMW Z4, the Supra provides an all-inclusive pass with an array of blissful driving entertainment, just carry an extra bottle of aspirin.
Model: 2020 TOYOTA GR SUPRA
Trim: 3.0 PREMIUM
Base Price: $49,990
Starting Trim Price: $53,990
As Tested: $57,743
Engine: 3.0-LITER TURBOCHARGED INLINE-SIX CYLINDER
Horsepower/Torque: 335-HORSEPOWER / 365 LB-FT TORQUE
Transmission: 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC
Drivetrain: REAR-WHEEL DRIVE WITH ACTIVE REAR SPORT DIFFERENTIAL
Fuel Economy: EPA RATED: 24-CITY / 31-HWY / 26-COMBINED
AS TESTED: 26.5 MPG COMBINED / 35.5 MPG HIGHWAY (200 MILE TEST)
Fuel Range: 375 MILES
0-60 MPH: ±3.7 SECONDS