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SMALL PACKAGE, HUGE REWARD: 2021 TOYOTA SUPRA GR 2.0t

It’s a strange feeling when we find ourselves favoring the lesser, performing option of a sports car. I mean, it is all about horsepower, torque and feeling an intimate connection with speed and performance when were behind the wheel, right? In the case of the Toyota Supra however, we found ourselves arguing the contrary.

The Supra has been under quite the development since it was released not more than a year ago. With Toyota and BMW partnering up to bring both of their exhilarating youthful lifestyles back, BMW kept most of the thrill to themselves on their 3.0-liter straight-six engine when both were release to the public back in 2019. Leaving Toyota with a slightly less of a go-go getting performer, it sort of made sense why BMW was charging nearly $20,000 more for their Z4. Now a year into their partnership, BMW released the software update to Toyota that puts the Supra on par to its premium step sister.

Now Toyota didn’t just leave it at that, while the updated straight-six engine may have 40-more horsepower than its first-year model, there is an oh-so sweetness nestled behind its new, standard four-cylinder turbo. The 2.0-turbo that is now seen as the entry-level step into the Supra comes with an $8000 advantage with it starting just under $43,000 – the Supra 3.0 starts south of $51,000.

With no significant details announcing to the automotive world that the Supra 2.0t is, after all, the base model, the only difference will be is if a Supra 3.0 pulls up to the light and dares a drag race. The Supra 2.0t isn’t slow by any means, getting to 60-mph takes less than 5.0-seconds and collaborates harmoniously well with its eight-speed automatic gearbox. But with the Supra 3.0 taking roughly 3.7-second (that’s an old number from 2019), that drag race at the light will show the true nature of what you’re working with.

But again, that’s not a bad thing. In fact the 2.0-ltier engine is quite peachy. Developing 255-horsepower with 295-horsepower, it has a sassy snap to its rear-wheel drive system. Left to the simple devices of two drives modes, normal and sport, sport brings out so much lively character to its turbocharged life. The turbo is always awake; the engine feels alive, constantly speaking to the dual-clutch transmission with energetic pulls behind each point of acceleration.

Because the Supra 2.0 uses a smaller engine, it also makes it much lighter than the straight-six. The Supra starts to feel like a go-kart with charismatic responsiveness from the steering and we can feel the chassis working to keep composure. There is a sense of disobedient behavior as the rear tires constantly want to break loose and be set free of its sticky rubber, like our body trying to escape the spandex it’s constantly trapped behind.

For the most part, not all of the Supra’s premium quality is lost by going into this entry-level variant. Sacrificing power adjustable, heated, fully leather seats for manual adjusting half suede, half leather isn’t really a sacrifice at all – the seats almost feel more comfortable with more adjustable options. There are no significant changes to the interior and continues to feature the same $3485 Safety and Technology Package as the more expensive Supra 3.0 that encompasses wireless Apple CarPlay, Adaptive Safety Equipment, Blind Spot Monitoring and more.

In the sports car world, go big or go home doesn’t have to be the motto in this case. Going small brings some major rewards, and not just from behind the wheel. A smaller engine also means better fuel economy as we saw over 40-mpg’s from this little rocket when we ran our 200-mile highway mpg run. And they say we can’t have our cake and eat it too.

VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS

Vehicle: 2021 Toyota Supra GR 2.0t
Base Price: $42,990
As-Tested Price: $47,615

PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 2.0-liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
HP | Torque: 255-HP |295 lb-ft of Torque
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Drivetrain: Rear-Wheel Drive
MPG: 25 | 32| 28 (City | Highway | Combined)
As-Tested MPG: 34.7-MPG Combined | 39.5-MPG Highway (200-Miles at 75-mph)
Fuel Range: 428 miles
0-60 MPH: ±5.0 seconds

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