2020 Toyota GR Supra – Track Tested

by Michael Taylor (@trackworthy),

There are legions of dedicated fans of the first four generations of the Toyota Supra, which were built from 1978 through 2002. Amongst the most famous of those Supra’s was the one driven by the late Paul Walker in the 2001 feature film The Fast and The Furious. That fourth generation 1993 Supra sold at auction in 2015 for $185,000 USD. Discussion around the new fifth generation Toyota GR Supra also runs deep, because, for the first time ever, it is not just a Supra, it is also a BMW Z4.
The new 2020 GR Supra is the result of a collaboration between Toyota and BMW. The GR Supra is based on BMW’s new Z4 2-door roadster. If it wasn’t for this collaboration, the latest generation Supra likely wouldn’t exist. Toyota’s other 2-door sports car, the 86, was the result of a collaboration between Toyota and Subaru.

The 2020 GR Supra and Z4 are both powered by BMW’s silky smooth 3.0 litre twin-scroll turbocharged inline 6 cylinder engine which generates 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. For 2021, entry level GR Supra and BMW Z4 models were added with the addition of an inline 4 cylinder 2.0 litre turbocharged 255 hp engine. Also new for 2021, the 6 cylinder engine gets a horsepower increase from 335 to 382 hp. Torque is up 3 lb-ft to 368. 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) sprints drop from 4.1 seconds to 3.9 seconds with both cars utilizing an 8-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.

2020 base price for the 6 cylinder GR Supra is $64,990 CAD. Base price for the 4 cylinder 2021 GR Supra is $56,390 and $67,690 for the 6 cylinder, plus levies, freight, PDI, air conditioning charge, fees and taxes.

Is It TrackWorthy?
The answer is yes. We were fortunate to be able to drive our Absolute Zero pearl white GR Supra on the road, the track and on an autocross course. From the moment you climb inside this car, it feels like you are behind the wheel of a performance-focused premium sports car. Yes, the all-new Supra started life alongside the 2020 BMW Z4 Roadster, but Toyota and BMW headed in their own directions when it came to defining the respective car’s driving attitudes.

And we are happy to say that this car has plenty of attitude. Press the start/stop button and a suitably robust sounding engine comes to life, with all of the right sounds emanating from the dual stainless steel sport exhaust system. It was music to our ears, and reminiscent of the exhaust note of the playful John Cooper Works Mini, which is also made by BMW.

On the tight, twisty and technical autocross course, we were really impressed by the GR Supra’s turn-in response. The steering response is very impressive. This car handles better than we thought it would, thanks in part the focus on weight reduction. At just under 3,400 pounds, the GR Supra feels nimble and provides responsive acceleration, braking and cornering. We really enjoyed tossing this extremely capable sports car around the autocross course.

Out on the 2.8 km (1.7 mile) Driver Development Track at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park near Bowmanville, Ontario, we could make better use of the GR Supra’s 335 hp and 8-speed automatic transmission. Our overall impression on the race track was that Toyota and the engineers at Gazoo Racing have created a really TrackWorthy performance car that feels like it was designed for track days.

The GR Supra instills more and more confidence with each lap and definitely left us wanting more time behind the wheel.

It handles well and fits like a glove, with plenty of headroom, even for someone who it 6 feet tall. With the addition of the 4 cylinder engine and the reduced entry price, you should see more GR Supra’s at track days in the years to come.

We really enjoyed our time in the 2020 Toyota GR Supra on the road and the track. We hate to say it, but we were really pleasantly surprised at how much fun this car was to drive. There has been a lot of less than positive press and consumer response to the fact that this is also, more or less, a BMW Z4. We really didn’t know what to expect when we drove the GR Supra, but we loved it.

This car delivers a great combination of performance, style, driver comfort and value, especially with the addition of the entry lever 4 cylinder model. The 4 cylinder version would likely be even more fun, and more affordable, if a manual transmission was offered. But sadly, for now, the only available configuration has two pedals and an automatic transmission.

If you are in the market for a front engine, rear wheel drive sports car in this price range, you should definitely test drive the Toyota GR Supra. With two engine options for 2021 and a new lower price of entry, the Gr Supra offers lots of style and performance in a very attractive and well executed package.

 

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