Fans of Japanese sports cars will know that Toyota has a long and honourable history of powerful, front engine, rear-drive coupés stretching right back to the 2000GT of the 1960s. But it has been 16 years since production of the previous Supra A80 ended – can Toyota reignite the flame with the latest one?
The ‘GR’ in the Supra’s model name stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s competition arm, and there’s a lot of track influence in the design of the new Supra. That low, gaping front spoiler is designed to scoop in cooling air as well as keeping the front end planted; the roof features a ‘double bubble’ profile that’s a nod to helmet-wearing race and track drivers; and there’s a meaty rear spoiler that provides downforce on the rear wheels. The long bonnet is dictated by the turbocharged straight six beneath, and its curved rear haunches over the rear wheels proclaim this to be a modern-day sports car in a classic mould.
The Supra is powered by a straight six engine with a single, twin-scroll turbocharger, direct fuel injection and variable valve control. It develops 340 DIN hp between 5,000 and 6,500 rpm, while the torque curve peaks at 500Nm from 1,600 and continues all the way to 4,500, sending its power to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The result is an exhilarating 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds with an electronically limited maximum speed of 155mph. Toyota’s Gazoo Racing engineers spent a lot of time at the Nürburgring honing the GR Supra’s handling characteristics, for a blend of power, agility and precision. The short wheelbase, wide track and low centre of gravity gives the Supra a responsive, sporting feel while the Active Differential helps put the power down through the rear wheels in a progressive, controllable way.
The GR Supra features Toyota’s Supra Safety+ package, which includes a Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Departure Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control with stop and go. Safety in the city is enhanced by pedestrian and cyclist detection. Intelligent parking sensors with automatic braking should help avoid parking dings and scrapes, too.
The GR Supra comes with plenty of high-tech goodies as standard, including an 8.8” infotainment display with navigation and a decent ten-speaker audio system. Active Variable Suspension comes as standard, as do thoughtful features like smart entry, push-button start and memory sports seats. The Pro 3.0l model adds further refinements such as a JBL sound system, head-up display and wireless phone charging.