After years and years of teasers and concepts, Toyota has finally unveiled the production-spec version of the all-new Supra sports car. First impression: Pretty cool.
Toyota took the covers off the Mk5 Supra at the North American International Auto Show 2019 in Detroit with sales scheduled to start in Japan and Worldwide later this year. There is a tweak to the moniker for the icon which now has the full title of the “GR Supra” wherein GR stands for Toyota’s motorsport division – Gazoo Racing. But is it worth the 17-year wait?
We’ll get to the final design later on and start at the heart of the new Supra which has stuck to tradition albeit while borrowing tech from the Germans. It is a front-engined, rear-wheel drive two-seater sports coupe powered by an inline six-cylinder engine. The 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged unit in this generation produces 335bhp and 500Nm of torque which is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. According to Toyota, this fast GR Supra weighs around 1,520kg and can accelerate from standstill to a 100kph in just 4.3 seconds.
That’s in the top-spec Supra while two differently tuned 2.0-litre inline-4 cylinder turbo engines will also be offered. The entry spec SZ model will have an output of 194bhp and 320Nm of twist while the next SZ-R model will be tuned to produce 255bhp and 400Nm of torque. They will be capable of doing 0-100kph in 6.5 seconds and 5.2 seconds respectively.
A lot of attention has gone into the build of the new GR Supra with a skeletal structure that uses both aluminium and steel which results in a body more rigid than the Lexus LFA which has a cabin made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastics. Then there are the proportions of the thing which Toyota say took a helluva lot of effort with a focus on handling dynamics and a stable cornering stance. Those attributes depend on three key elements – the wheelbase, tread and centre of gravity.
The A90 Supra is listed to be 4,380mm long with the wheelbase measuring just 2,470mm which is 100mm shorter than the GT86. This shorter wheelbase equates to a wheelbase-to-tread ratio of 1.55 which Toyota claims to be one of the smallest ratios among mass production sports cars and that’s a good thing for turning fast. The front tread is 1,594mm wide while the rear tread is 1,589mm wide while the overall width is 1,865mm which makes the new Supra quite a wide car. It stands 1,295mm tall with 255/35R19 tyres up front and wider 275/35R19 rubber at the back. Toyota also managed to achieve a 50/50 weight distribution with the Mk5.
Suspension. Very important. So, the GR Supra setup uses a double-joint spring strut up front and multi-link at back but the new design helps reduce unsprung weight, increase rigidity and restrict movability. It also offers the Adaptive Variable Suspension system for a more diverse driving setup which can be adjusted for slow city driving as well as spirited track times. Toyota has also equipped it with an active differential that optimises the locking ratio between the rear left and right wheels by way of an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch.
The new GR Supra has quite a style element as well to its appeal while not being universally accepted as a looker. I personally am of the opinion that the FT-1 Concept was better looking and this production model does carry forward some of those design cues. The long bonnet ahead of the short cabin emphasises the aggressive and sporty nature of the Supra while the double-bubble roof adds a touch of flair to the aerodynamic design. Those wide and muscular wheel arches highlight the wide stance of the 2020 GR Supra, particularly the rear end. The integrated boot lid spoiler is quite sleek above the rear bumper which seems a bit crowded with all the lines and edges but the aggressive rear-diffuser ties it all together for a cool, sporty look.
Inside the cabin of the GR Supra, you will notice some BMW elements such as the central console and the floating 8.8-inch touchscreen display for the infotainment and car configuration. There is also the 8.8-inch driver’s instrument display which has a 3D-effect for the rev-meter with the digital needle. Overall, the dash design is quite simple and minimalistic, driver-focused with minimal distractions. The red-black combo on the launch special A90 edition Supras looks good with most of the red trim on the driver’s side of the cabin. The steering wheel is not a flat-bottom design which is a welcome change to older designs but the lack of a manual gear shifter and a handbrake level are hard to ignore.
It’ll be fun to see what various buyers of the new Supra do with it in terms of design and performance. Widebody kits and massive turbos are expected. Even Tim (Shmee150) will be getting one!! The new Toyota GR Supra may not be as perfect as I was hoping it to be but it is still a very good-looking sports car with sufficient power and Japanese technology. I’d get myself one in white.
In case you’re wondering prices, the 3.0L Pro in the UK with all the bells and whistles is available to book at a price of £54,000. Meanwhile, the A90 Edition for the first 90 customers is priced at £56,495.
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