One of the biggest automotive events last year, was the return of the Toyota Supra. And like everything else these days, controversy ensued. From the BMW Kinship, to adding GR to the name, to no manual transmission. It seemed like everyone tried to stir up something, before they actually got around to talking about how great the car is. It was great enough to be our Drivers’ Choice Award winner for best sports coupe, and we thought a few laps around Roebling Road would show you why.
We completed our normal test regime on this 2020 Toyota GR Supra last fall. But, as we recently named it our Motorweek 2020 Drivers’ Choice Best Sport Coupe, and just happened to have some track time already booked; well, we couldn’t resist taking another swing at Toyota’s reborn sports car. Purely for research sake, of course.
And since our previous test time was relatively short, we feel there is still plenty to learn; a ¼-mile at a time, if we must.
After modulating through some minor wheel spin at takeoff, the car gathers itself up quickly and starts to lay down decent power. The surface of Roebling Road Raceway’s front straight is not the most conducive for getting great acceleration times; but even with that, we got to 60 in 4.4-seconds, and cleared the ¼-mile in 12.8 at 111 miles-per-hour.
As for the rest of the track; well, it does pretty well there too. Despite its relatively heavy 3,400-lbs. BMW chassis; it feels lightweight, tossable, and wildly entertaining. Indeed, over our week of Roebling rounds, “fun” was the word our crew used the most.
This Supra invites you to charge hard into corners and keep your momentum up, taking advantage of the copious amount of grip available. The aluminum-intensive double-joint spring strut front and multi-link rear suspension setup is a BMW design of course, but tuned specifically by Toyota’s Gazoo Racing, thus the GR in the name.
It feels flickable through tight twisties; yet stable and planted through the high speed portions of the track as well.
At the same time, it is very responsive; with a darn neutral setup, so make sure you tell it to do the right things, as it can get away from you.
Through all of this, it never felt harsh or super stiff; as there is actually a noticeable amount of body roll here, but it never hinders you from charging out of corners, and immediately triggering a shift from the 8-speed automatic.
If there’s any shortfall, it’s that it feels like it could be even faster; meaning this chassis can handle a whole lot more horsepower with ease.
Here, BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-6 turbo puts out just 335-horsepower and 365 lb-ft. of torque. And it looks like Toyota agrees with us. They’ve just announced more power will be coming for 2021 when their six gets bumped up to the Z4’s 382-horsepower and 368 lb-ft. of torque.
Great news for you procrastinators out there, letting the Supramania die down before committing.
And, if you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, Toyota has you covered there, as well; with a new entry level GR Supra 2.0 model, powered by, you guessed it, a 2.0-liter I4 turbo. Expect 255-horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque; and less weight to go along with it.
Toyota certainly did a great job with the look of the new Supra; keeping the familiar snoopiness of Supras past intact, while bringing in modern elements like standard 19-inch wheels, LED lighting, and of course aerodynamics.
The BMW influence shows strongest inside, where things from switchgear to the overall layout have much more in common with a 3-series sedan, than anything Toyota.
And while some might look at that as a negative, to us it represents a clear step up, with a precision feel not found in any other Toyota.
You do get a unique steering wheel and shifter; but otherwise, controls, gauges, and the dash top infotainment screen are all BMW.
But everything works very well. And starting next year, the optional 8.8-inch touchscreen display will be standard on all Supras.
Seating for just two, means no back seat drivers, but a decent 10.2 cubic-ft. of cargo space under the rear hatch for plenty of provisions.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for current spec I-6 are 24-City, 31-Highway, and 26-Combined. That makes for an average Energy Impact Score, with 12.7-barrels of annual oil consumption, and 5.5-tons of CO2 emissions.
No matter how you spin it, the Supra is a performance bargain, at $50,945 to start; $54,945 for premium trim.
Now, we’re not one to pat ourselves on the back around here, but our track time with this 2020 Toyota GR Supra proved to us that we made a really great choice as our Drivers’ Choice Best Sport Coupe. And it looks like more good things are still to come from Toyota and the new Supra.
Engine: 3.0 liter / 2.0 liter
Horsepower: 335 / 255
Torque: 365 lb-ft. / 295 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 12.8 seconds @ 111 mph
EPA: 24mpg city / 31 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 12.7 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 5.5 tons/yr