Have you heard about the reincarnation of Toyota’s most famous sports car, the Supra? Well after a 20 year absence from the US market, it’s back, and I got to see the reveal at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). I, for one, am incredibly excited for this new iteration of my most favorite car. However, with all things on the internet, some people do not agree. If you are one of those people, I’m here to tell you why it’s your fault.
The 1993-1998 Toyota Supra was know as the “Mark 4” (MKIV). It had, and still has, a reputation among car enthusiasts as being able to make legendary power with just a little bit of work. The MKIV Supra in its unmodified form was terrifically slow; weighing nearly 3600 lbs in the turbo Trim. The 2020 Toyota Supra goes by the A90 and was never supposed to be a highway king either. Instead, the goal for the new front-engine, rear-drive coupe is approaching 50/50 weight distribution to obtain the perfect GT car.
That’s not to say you can’t add more power. The new BMW supplied B58 engine is a 3.0 liter inline-6 with a twin-scroll turbocharger that produces 335 horsepower on its own, but there are reported gains of nearly 100 horsepower from a good tune alone. The staple Supra addition of a larger turbocharger with 40 pounds of boost will be on you. In short, the power potential is there.
As far as the interior goes the MKIV Supra was by far and away the most driver oriented of its time. It truly felt like the cockpit of a fighter jet. The new Supra is not quite that focused, which is slightly disappointing, but it has all the creature comforts and luxury materials of a BMW and that’s OK! People keep harping on the fact that the 2020 Supra is a joint venture with BMW, but I fail to see how that is a bad thing. Toyota has not made a sports car by themselves since the early 2000s, and that’s borderline MKIV Supra timeframe. If there was any joint venture that I would want powering the new Supra, it would be BMW. There have been many reports of the straight six turbo motor from BMW making several hundred horsepower over stock for years now. It really could be the new 2JZ.
So if you’re one of the people crying about the Toyota/BMW joint venture, or that the 2020 Supra only makes 355hp, or that it doesn’t have a 3JZ, I say to you: Get real. A stock MKIV Supra was boring. I know, because I owned one. It needed a solid 300 horsepower over its stock form to be any sort of fun. What makes a Supra a Supra is the front engine, rear drive, inline-6 turbo recipe as Tetsuya Tada himself spoke about.
Who’s Tetsuya Tada, you ask? He’s the chief designer on the 2020 Toyota Supra. Why is he relevant? Well, he was assigned to the MKIV Supra in 1993, so you could say he has a deep understanding of the brand’s heritage. The fact that someone who was involved with the MKIV Supra was also in charge of the new one tells me all I need to know. You naysayers will be shown what’s what, and soon. For now, though, here are some of what I can report from my first hand experience with the 2020 Toyota Supra…
You can definitely feel the BMW influence; particularly with the infotainment stack. It’s ripped straight out of your typical BMW. Everything else feels of extreme quality. There’s leather everywhere, carbon here and there, and the fit and finish is spectacular. The amount of room is still snug. One problem I had with the MKIV was it was on the small side. At 6’2 and 250 lbs I fit in the A90, but only just.
In my opinion, the 2020 Toyota Supra is the most aggressive car under $200,000. The rear harkens to GT3 cars donning an incredibly aggressive diffuser, F1 style brake light, and polished exhaust. The proportions really shine with the matte Launch Edition Silver more so than the red of the leaked pictures. There are vents everywhere; some real and some fake, which can be disappointing for a car at this price point.
The engine, drivetrain, and suspension have yet to be experienced, but I have driven a few BMWs. The engine is a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-6 putting out 355 horsepower and it’s paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. There is also an optional adaptable suspension, which BMW have done a supreme job for the past several years. This section will be properly fleshed out with a test drive.