Two decades in the making, the new 2020 Toyota Supra makes its triumphant return this month. Can the GR Supra fill the big shoes of the Mark IV and recapture our imaginations?
It’s been 22 years since the last of the Supra Mark IVs were available in the U.S. Despite its automotive superstar status thanks in no small part to the Fast and Furious franchise, it’s taken over two decades for Toyota to bring us a fifth generation of the Supra. But the interminable wait of devotees has finally, mercifully come to an end as 2020 Toyota Supras have begun arriving at dealerships this month.
Toyota’s success over the past two decades has been built largely on reliable, ho-hum vehicles. Though they’ve been largely out of the excitement game for a while now, it’s clear from any interview with Tetsuya Tada, Toyota’s engineers have been itching for a crack at the new Supra for almost as long as we have. Let’s take a look at what’s new for this would-be legend.
The first thing to note about the new GR Supra is the engine. Under the hood you’ll find a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbo inline-six producing 335hp and 365 lb. ft. of torque. Turns out the best inline-sixes in the business are made in Germany, so Toyota teamed up with BMW to jointly develop an engine for both the new Supra and the BMW Z4. The cars still differ in tuning, suspension, and, of course body style.
The new Supra will do 0-60mph in a hair under 4 seconds, a 12.3 second quarter mile, and top speed of 160mph. But by all accounts, the most engaging part of driving the new Supra comes not when it’s aimed in a straight line. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires combine with that meticulously tuned suspension and razor honed steering to allow the Supra to corner at speed with the best of Porsche, Mercedes, and BMW. A 50-50 weight distribution can be credited with achieving this kind of supreme balance.
— Toyota USA (@Toyota) July 23, 2019
Unfortunately for die-hards, the new Supra does not come in a manual. Instead it has the ZF8 8-speed automatic that by all accounts does a fantastic job all on its own. You will have paddle-shifters to play with if you feel the downshifts aren’t perfect and we assume a manual will be not too long in coming. The people have spoken. They got their Supra, they’ll get their manual.Toyota had custom car culture in mind when they designed the 2020 Supra.Click To Tweet
If you’re at all familiar with Fast and Furious you’ll know that the Mark IV featured therein, along with rest of the cars, had plenty of aftermarket modifications. Toyota had custom car culture in mind when they designed the 2020 Supra. Considerations were made for modifying the sealed “venting” on the hood and body to be made functional for added cooling. The rear fenders were also reinforced to accommodate the addition of a wing.
The new Supra is not without its detractors. Some complaints emanate from the Teutonic collaboration, but most of the consternation surrounds the look of the Supra. The long hood and short hindquarters would seem in keeping with modern sports car conventions. But those lines! Curve upon curve are layered across the Supra, all tapering to a neat ducktail spoiler.
These design choices have been quite polarizing. Some see modern flourishes. Other perceive the overabundance of swooping lines to be a clear concession to an ill-considered and likely short-lived fashion. I think it looks fine.
There are pluses and minuses to the well-muscled bantam weight proportions of the Supra. It’s not the easiest to get into for those 6-feet or taller, which is not too much of a surprise there. The interior also isn’t the roomiest even among its cohorts. But the materials are of a high quality befitting the $50,000+ pricing and are mostly borrowed from the Z4.The overall interior design seems clearly intended to lock the driver and car into a sort of human-machine symbiosis.Click To Tweet
The seats are snug and comfy, with the driver’s seat featuring no less than 14-way power adjustments. The overall interior design seems clearly intended to lock the driver and car into a sort of human-machine symbiosis. Responsive handling is one thing but connected is how driving the Supra feels. Road, vehicle, and driver meld together with ease.
The 2020 Supra doesn’t come cheap compared to your average new vehicle, but against its segment competitors you’re actually getting a lot of car for the money. The base 3.0 Supra starts at $50,920, the 3.0 Premium jumps to $54,920, and the Launch Edition runs $56,180. Dealers appear to anticipate high demand as there are already reports of sizable mark ups ranging anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000. Unless you really need to be the first kid in the neighborhood whipping donuts in the new Supra, I suggest waiting a month or two for the market to cool ever so slightly.
The 2020 Toyota Supra GR is all that and the bag of chips we were promised. Even if you think it’s got one too many curves or too much German heritage for a Japanese car, you won’t be able to stop yourself from smiling once you get behind the wheel of the new Supra and start putting it through its paces.