The Toyota Supra is a car from all over the world. Without making any bad references to old music, the Supra is Miss Worldwide. Now in its fifth generation, the Supra is designed by Japanese engineers but shares most of its underpinnings with BMW’s Z4.
Available in two engine configurations, the 2-liter inline-4 and 3-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder. The 2-liter Toyota is less powerful, less feature-packed and obviously less expensive than its 3-liter counterpart, but doesn’t lack the same spirit of the iconic model and still manages to check several boxes.
The Supra has been almost 7 years in the making, and it took 21 years after its last official appearance to show up on the street again. We’ve seen it for the first time as the 2014 FT-1 Concept that stirred the pot constantly and generated a lot of controversy.
Many rumors revolved around what was to become the new Supra. The name still rings well in people’s ears. However, many frowns were seen upon Toyota’s partnership with BMW. So why isn’t the new Supra a purebred Japanese car? Well, it’s complicated.
Z4 underpinnings makes numbers add up
The Supra shares the platform, drivetrain, engine and a few parts from the interior with the BMW Z4. Toyota made this choice to get the economics side of the Supra working and not have its MSRP blow way above the competition.
This is not the first time it happened. The GT86/Subaru BRZ and the Aygo/Peugeot 108/Citroen C1 are other examples of automakers sharing parts to reduce costs. Does it upset fanatics? Yes? Does it keep the price down? Yes.
However, this Toyota/BMW partnership isn’t just about the money. The name Supra matters a lot in the JDM community. This is not just another hatchback added to the lineup. The Supra name comes with a lot of history, setting it deep into the heart of JDM culture, right alongside the likes of Honda NSX or Nissan GT-R. As such, the Supra has to be good!
With power comes great fun
Four cylinders displacing a total of 2-liters compose the power unit of the smaller Supra. The engine plays a high-paced game with Supra’s heritage. The same engine is found in BMW´s smaller cars, from the 1-series to the Mini. It throws out 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and sends them all to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic with cool paddle-shifters.
What does this do for the car? The 0-60mph time is 5.2 seconds and the top speed is electronically limited at 155mph. Technically, the Supra 2.0 is slower than it’s 6-cylinder counterpart, but it is also lighter, both in weight and in price.
For starters, the 4-cylinder comes at almost $7,000 cheaper compared to the 6-cylinder version. There is a $3,485 Safety and Technology Package that would reduce the difference. However, being 220 lbs lighter, the Supra 2.0 is beautifully tuned to handle tight corners when you’re done grocery shopping for the day.
The lighter weight brings along sharper steering and unexpected agility, even from a Supra. The car lets you work it harder, as there is less torque to spin the rear wheels pointlessly when accelerating. It may be smaller in displacement, but the 2-liter shares the same modular-design and high-rev love of its 3-liter sibling. The standard 18” wheels go down an inch from the what the 3-liter comes equipped with, but the $1,300 Fuji Speedway Edition pack brings the 19” back to the 2-liter Supra.
With better focus and lighter weight, the 2.0 GR Supra can fight the likes of Porsche Cayman and Alpine A110 while silently being a rival for the GR86.
You have to climb inside
If you’re on the taller side of the spectrum, getting inside the coupe may prove slightly challenging. The combination of high seat bolsters and low-swooping roof makes for a bit of work to get yourself behind the wheel.
Once inside, it is easy to see the BMW cues taking shape. The steering wheel, paddle shifter positioning and the electronic gear shifter all smell German. The instruments cluster behind the steering wheel, partially digitized, comes from Toyota. No navigation and no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are baked into the electronics. Finally, with just 4 speakers instead of the 12 units available on the 3-liter, music may not sound that good. Good thing there is the plethora of engine notes to listen to.
The GR Supra 2.0 is easy to live with
Yes, it is not a purebred JDM coupe. However, Toyota made sure to respect the legacy of the Supra and not stain the honor with bad design decisions. While there are plenty parts taken from the BMW bin, the Toyota GR Supra 2.0 makes for a fun to drive coupe that comes cheap and easily integrates into your life. It has plenty kick, it’s easy on fuel and doesn’t give sore back and numb thighs after a long drive.