After what seems like forever, the Supra moniker has returned to Toyota’s inventory list after a 17-year hiatus and while most may have mixed reviews/feelings about it, the fifth generation A90 Toyota Supra offers much to be excited about – the driving part at least.
Conversations will ensue, especially on how the Supra seems to have received the less attractive end of the deal with an interior that looks similar but different (and less premium) from it’s cousin, the BMW Z4.
But first, powertrain options and there’s plenty to choose from. There’s a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six (RZ variant) making 340 hp and 500 Nm while the 2.0-litre turbocharged in-line four offers two different outputs – 258 hp/400 Nm (SZ-R) and 197 hp/320Nm (SZ).
The Americans will only be offered the 3.0-litre engine option while the Japanese will get the 2.0-litre powertrains on top of that. Egos will trip and debates will be sparked on who has the more powerful and more importantly, the real Supra.
It seems like Toyota has not only shared BMW’s engine and transmission rule book but also their sales guide – offering something for everyone, as seen with the BMW 1-7 series and X1 to X7 line up.
At least they’ve preserved the drive layout – thank goodness – a front-engined, rear wheel drive setup with an 8-speed “automatic only” ZF transmission. The RZ will do 0 to 100 km/h in around 4.3 seconds, the SZ-R in 5.2 seconds and the SZ in 6.5 seconds.
Imagine having a Supra that will struggle to pull away from a Golf GTI. I wouldn’t want that, would you?
With a mix of aluminium and steel in its skeletal structure, Toyota says the Supra’s rigidity is up to 2.5 times higher than the 86 and even more so compared to the V10 Lexus LFA. In comparison with the modern day “Hachiroku”, its wheelbase is also 100 mm shorter. Couple that with a 50/50 weight distribution, it’s fair to expect a nimble and composed drive.
Styling wise, aside from inheriting the proportions of the FT-1 concept car, the new Supra also draws inspiration from the legendary Toyota 2000GT from the late 1960s with its “double bubble” roof design.
Three different wheel sizes are offered to occupy the wheel arches – 19-inch with 255/35 (F) and 275/35 (R) for the RZ, 18-inch with 255/40 (F) and 275/40 (R) for the SZ-R and 17-inch with 225/50 (F) and 255/45 (R) for the SZ.
Brembo 4-pot calipers are offered in the front with single pot calipers at the back, although expect this to be available only in the higher end models. Also offered in the top end of the Supra food chain is the adaptive suspension and an active limited slip differential.
It’s hard to not shout “OMG BMW!” when looking at this interior. While it may inherit a similar switchgear, rotary dial, radio controls and even a familiar interface on the 8.8-inch infotainment display, the instrument cluster does stand out as Toyota’s very own.
You wouldn’t be completely inaccurate to likened the air con vents to those in a Mazda as well.
Prices for the Austrian-built Toyota Supra begins at USD 49,990, with deliveries expected to take place beginning from mid this year.