May I Have Your Attention Please
The 2020 Toyota GR Supra
It’s a Z4 No, It’s a Toyota, No, it’s a BMW,
No, it Really is a Toyota
When the word came out that the iconic sports car from Toyota was going to be made along with BMW as a partner, you would have thought the most horrible thing could have ever happened in the world of autos.
The Elephant in the Garage is that YES. Indeed, The Japanese and the Germans teamed up to bring America a couple of sports cars. For me, after driving the new 2020 GR Supra, is really a great sports car, with great design, super handling and all at a reasonable price. I have since driven the BMW Z4, and it too is a nice. As a droptop, BMW is very different from Toyota’s hardtop iteration. It is not Toyota has never teamed up with other car companies in the past. Corolla and Prism, joint venture, yep that one built in Freemont California, where electric cars are now, made. BRZ and FRS/86 with Subaru, as well as one coming up with Mazda. Supra, a small batch production, so making it with BMW, using the Magna Steyr plant in Austria, makes sense from a business point of view. Personally, I think we are going to be better for collaboration between the two companies.
Luckily, I found myself on the international media launch in May after Toyota selected group of Washington DC area auto journalists for an up close, and a personal sneak peek of the 2020 Supra in March. Though the GR Supra was on display at various auto shows, no one had the chance to get behind the wheel of it until the May media event. My verdict is, no matter where it is made, or who collaborated with whom, drivers around the world will love this new 2020 Supra sports car from Toyota.
Do you want another four-door sedan?
Toyota has a history of making cars for everyday people, the brand has not been thought of as a producer of exciting cars, let alone sports cars, though it does have a history of producing outstanding ones. The European inspired Toyota 2000 car in the 1960s, the 2-door Celica in the ’70s, a throwback to the first Ford Mustang. The upper tier Supra of the 1980s and last produced in 1993 that sold for a $50K price tag when new.
While Trucks, SUV’s, crossovers, minivans, and sedans are the mainstay of the Toyota brand. The word exciting is not often used in the same sentence as Toyota. Akio Toyoda has publicly stated “No more boring cars” at the launch of the recent generation Camry, the company is moving forward with that mantra, across their entire platform of products, which for drivers, is going to be worth something.
What’s the new Supra Got?
A winning combination of a well-engineered and expertly designed vehicle that drives and handles like a sports car. One that will be as good as a weekend racer as it will be as a daily driver. And one that will not rattle your bones on those long-distance drives. While getting in and out of it may take some yoga lessons, but this 60-plus found it easy, once inside the car feels right. Seats are extremely comfortable with 14-way adjustability. GR Supra has all the technology and safety that you find in many Toyota products as well as more expensive cars on the road. And with the power and performance that will provide all the fun that only a GT car can. This car took me back to a time when I did not need four seats or four doors.
Three Trim Levels
The 2020 Supra comes in three trim levels, the Base 3.0, the better equipped 3.0 Premium, and what Toyota kept calling the Track Edition, a limited run of 1500 units, the 3.0 Launch Edition. There are only a few options available like $1,495 matte finish paint on the nitrous yellow and phantom, a silver. Driver Assist Package is a $1195 option including full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and parking sonar, $2460 upgraded JBL entertainment and navigation on the 3.0 grade: 8.8-inch wide-format touchscreen display with Navigation, Supra Connect telematics services, wireless Apple CarPlay, premium 12-speaker, 500 Watt JBL audio system.
Why those options? Toyota sees this as a weekend racer for many of its buyers, and items like upgraded nav | stereo, and driver assistance package may not be that useful on the track or autocross.
My take is most buyers will want to put all the tech and safety into the 3.0 premium package, especially since it adds a lot of value for the money.
2020 Supra Pricing
Pricing is based on equipment, with the base 3.0 – 49,990 – 3.0 Premium – $53,990 – Launch Edition (track edition) $55,250 (only 1500 available) – Does not include a $920, DPH Fee (delivery, process, and handling) nor any dealer charges. Toyota sees the base model as a weekend track car, so it comes without much of what equipment that the Premium and Launch Editions have, as they are seen more as on road daily drivers.
With the initial fifteen hundred of the launch edition already spoken for, there will no doubt be a dealer upcharge to buy one initially. Dealer premiums on cars are something that I personally despise, and customers who want one of these cars will pay to just be able to have the vehicle.
Even the colors show that Toyota is backing the No More Boring Cars statement. Absolute Zero, Tungsten, Turbulence Gray, Nocturnal, Renaissance Red 2.0, Downshift Blue, For an additional charge Nitro Yellow, and Phantom are available. Phantom is a flat finish option that really looks good on the Supra. Interiors have the choice of Interior Black Alcantara & Leather on 3.0 or all Black Leather on Premium and Launch edition (except on the Renaissance Red.
Powertrain and Running Gear
All trim levels of the 2020 GR Supra are powered by a twin-scroll turbocharged 3-liter (2998 cc) 24 valve Double Overhead Cam direct injection gasoline (93 octanes) engine with 8-speed automatic transmission. This performance engine has a chain drive, variable valve timing and lift, producing 335 horsepower and 365 lb of torque and is certified as a ULEV. Fuel mileage is what you would expect for a performance car in the size and a curb weight of 3397: 24 city, 31 highway 26 combined miles per gallon. 13.7-gallon fuel capacity.
Supra’s suspension is double joint type MacPherson strut in front and rear multi-link with five-arm construction with front and rear stabilizer bars. Electric Power Steering and parking brake, which is the norm these days with all the driver assist functions. And Brembo Brakes front and rear are very apparent, with a 4-piston fixed front, single piston floating calipers rear.
Inside the Supra you will find the 8.8-inch color, LCD gauge cluster has a more analog look than a digital one, which is impressive. The 14- way power driver and passenger Sport bucket seats with driver side memory are incredibly comfortable for a sports car and come in Alcantara/Leather or All leather depending on the trim level. Dual automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, and paddle shifters. A very well-done carbon fiber interior trim finishes the interior.
Outside you will find the Supra running on the 9-inch-wide front, 10-inch-wide rear forged aluminum wheels (different finish on different trim levels, though the wheels, are essentially the same design.) running 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires 255/35R19 96W Front 275/35R19 100Y Rear. No Spare you receive a puncture repair kit. Active exhaust which means it has a lot of audible personality with burbles and pops exits through dual brushed stainless steel tips. The exhaust burble will not get old on this car as it does on others. The GR Supra features LED lamps all the way around.
The multi-function smart key a bit light in heft and felt that for a specialty car like this, it could use a little more flash and substance.
All of this is within the Supra’s 172.5 inches in length / 73-inch width and the 50.9 inch height and 4.5 inch ground clearance means it is close to the ground, and with the 50/50 weight balance between the 62.8 inch front and 62.6 inch rear tread width it seats 2 with an interior volume of 50.9 cubic feet. And you don’t need rear seats; it’s a sports car.
Toyota’s GR Supra comes with a standard 3-year/36K-mile comprehensive and a 5-year/6K-mile power train warranty. A 5-year unlimited mileage corrosion perforation warranty is also provided. ToyotaCare – Toyota’s complimentary maintenance plan that comes with every new Toyota provides for two-years or 25K miles, whichever comes first. Every new Toyota will be covered for all standard factory scheduled service as well as 24/7 roadside assistance.
BWM or Toyota
Since driving the GR Supra, an opportunity came up to drive the BMW twin the Z4 sDrive30i, which comes with a 2.0-liter twin turbo inline 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine. A soft top convertible priced at $63,845.
While the dash has a similar look, the exterior does not have the muscular lines the Supra has. More feminine in feel than the Supra, having the smaller engine, while capable did not have the spunk of the Supra’s nor did it sound as audacious as the Supra. While they maybe fraternal twins, the two vehicles are indeed very different, as a hardtop and Cabrio can indeed be.
We thank Toyota for providing me an opportunity to get to know the new Supra over a day at Summit Point Motorsports Park in Summit Point WV, as well as hosting meals and lodging. Toyota did not provide any compensation for this review.
Words and Images by William West Hopper