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2020 Toyota Supra review: Hands-on with the GT

Posted: 8 April 2020 4:46 pm
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2020 Toyota Supra Review

The iconic Toyota Supra returns.

Very few cars are ingrained in car culture as much as the Supra, being one of the main features of the original Fast and the Furious movie. The car is also coveted by enthusiasts the world over for its legendary 2JZ engine – a modifier's dream.

This time around though, the Supra has stirred debate among ardent fans. When Toyota teamed up with BMW to manufacture the car, die-hard purists felt it lost its essence, essentially that it isn't a Toyota, nor a Supra, just a BMW Z4 with different clothing. Voicing your opinion on the 2020 Supra is one way to cause contention for sure.

We got behind the wheel of this opinion-splitting, ding-dong starting GR Supra. Ours is the GT spec, which comes with a price tag of $85,400. It is a head-turner.

Note:

We've been able to test some incredible looking cars, like the Lexus LC 500 and the Alpine A110, but no car, and I mean NO CAR has got more attention than the Supra. We saw people taking photos, waving, giving us "shaka" signs and even speeding up so their passengers could film it.

Looks

Some people will love it, others will hate it, but the design of the Supra is certainly individual. There are plenty of bulges, curves and "vents" which you have to agree give the Supra an assertive look, whether you like it or not.

From my personal perspective, the side profile and rear look unreal. Consider me a big fan. However, I'm not so sure about the front. It sort of harks back to Supras of old, but with a really pointed snout and a slim and modern take on the distinctive headlights. I appreciate those two aspects of the car and they kind of won me around, there is one aspect that I can say with surety I found disappointing. That was the number of fake vents around the car. On a vehicle like this, they should really have been functional. It would have added purposefulness to the styling.

With that out of the way, you do receive a well-specced exterior. The Supra rides on 18-inch machined alloy wheels. The headlights, tail lights and daytime running lights are all LED. The headlights also feature automatic high beam, illuminating those fast-approaching corners.

Dual exhausts at the back round out the muscular look, with the caris hunkered down to the ground. In total, the vehicle is just 1.29m tall with 119mm of ground clearance. We'll get to the pros and cons of those digits later.

Our tester in Fuji White looked immaculate, though you can pick from a palette of eight colours, all named after iconic race tracks from around the world, including Australia's own Bathurst Black. The other six are Suzuka Silver, Goodwood Grey, Monza Red, Silverstone Yellow, Le Mans Blue and Nurburg Matte Grey (only available on the GTS).

2020 Toyota Supra body styling

What's it like inside?

Have you ever been sitting in a Toyota and thought to yourself "I wish I was sitting in a BMW"?

Inside the Supra GT we reviewed, everything had a premium feel to it, perhaps more so than you would assume from Toyota, not that it does a bad job with interiors.

There are leather seats and a dash, both accented by carbon fiber look trim. Everything is well laid out. On top of the familiar BMW climate control buttons, you get BMW's infotainment system, accessed through an 8.8-inch screen. You can also interact with the car via a rotary dial located down near the gear shifter.

The infotainment system is hooked up to a 10-speaker sound system, with 2 large speakers sitting atop a cross member separating the cabin and the boot. It looks akin to the subwoofers some of us may or may not have had in our first Corollas.

We noticed that the infotainment and climate control systems are in sync too. The air conditioner will lower the fan speed when you are on a phone call, making it easier to communicate. It will then return to its defined setting once you have hung up. A great touch.

After you squeeze down low and clip your head while sliding in to the GT Supra, you will find yourself in those leather seats feeling quite cosy as they are really well-bolstered chairs. They're eight-way adjustable, so it is easy to get comfortable, but we did find if you move the seat too far back, you will notice a squeaking noise from the seatback rubbing on the tray behind it.

As you would expect from a two-door sports car, things are quite snug inside. The double-bubble roof does give plenty of headspace, though the "lip" on the doorframe means taller people can hit their head while clambering in and out of the vehicle.

That's a small price to pay once you get this on the road.

Again, as you'd imagine with the small performance car territory, there isn't all that much storage space in the cabin itself. You get two door bins, which are on the smaller side and a net down the side of the footwell. Conveniently, the boot isn't totally closed off from the cabin though, so you can throw things in the boot from the cabin relatively easily.

Other inclusions inside the cabin are a wireless phone charger, electrochromic dimming rearview mirror and a solitary USB power socket.

2020 Toyota Supra Interior

How is the GT Supra to drive?

Driving the 2020 Supra really is an experience, for a number of reasons.

First, there is the engine. It may not be a 2JZ, but the inline 6-cylinder engine in the 2020 Supra is a properly good unit. With a 3.0-litre displacement and a twin-scroll turbo, it is able to get off the mark with little-to-no turbo lag and just keep climbing at a smile-inducing rate of knots.

Second, it sounds exciting too. There is a deep burble on start-up and idle, then as you shift through the eight gears in the automatic gearbox, you get those crackles that everyone looks forward too.

On paper, Toyota claims that the car will produce 250kW and 500Nm of torque, but there is plenty of chatter online suggesting that this number may be a little understated. We tend to agree and look forward to seeing what comes out of these whispers. Anyone got a dyno?

Another claim the company makes is that the Supra will achieve 7.7L/100kms on a combined cycle. During our time with the vehicle, we saw 8.8L/100kms, but we admit that we may have got ahead of ourselves with this thing and also freely confess it spent a significant amount of its time with us in sport mode. What can I say? It is a car that brings out the inner child in you.

When tested on longer runs, those numbers did fall quickly, so we have no reason to disregard the official numbers.

Third is the driving dynamics. As you get a bit more spirited with the Supra, it feels more like the earth is shifting below you, as opposed to the vehicle pitching and moving based on the surface. This can be put down to a number of engineering efforts including the 2020 Supra's low centre of gravity, its near perfect 50:50 weight distribution and what Toyota has coined as the "golden ratio".

This magic ratio refers to the chassis' dimensions. The wheel base is 2,470mm while the rear track measures 1,594mm and the front 1,589mm.

What do all of these numbers mean? The relationship between all of these numbers provides the Toyota Supra with an incredibly responsive, agile and stable dynamic. It feels really well planted.

And despite all this performance focus, you can still use it as a daily driver, as long as your knees (and head) can handle it. At low and high speeds, the ride is quite forgiving. It retains a stiffness to it, as all good sports cars should, though the suspension absorbs enough to be comfortable around town and on highway trips.

Toyota GR Supra Boot

Is the 2020 Toyota Supra practical?

In terms of practicality, it really depends on how you are using the vehicle, as with all cars. If it is a weekend cruiser or track-day car you have everything you need.

If you do intend to use this as a daily driver, it is worth noting that you get 290 litres of storage space. If you need to fit some overnight bags or a suitcase or two in the boot, you can pop the tailgate automatically via your key.

There's even a voice assistant in the infotainment suite, which makes life easier as you are putting the pedal to the metal, as they say.

Is the 2020 Toyota Supra safe?

In terms of safety, the new Supra comes well equipped with a range of safety systems and driver assistance technologies, as standard.

As well as seven airbags and autonomous emergency braking (with daytime pedestrian and cyclist detection), you get autonomous cruise control that can operate at all speeds, lane departure alerts with steering assistance, blind-spot monitors and an SLI system (speed limit info), which detects certain speed signs and displays the information.

There's more though. Other key safety features include:

  • Front and rear parking and clearance sonars with rear-end collision warning
  • Speed limiter
  • ABS with brake assist, vehicle stability control, traction control, active cornering assist and brake standby, fade and drying functions
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Hill-start assist
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • Pop-up bonnet system
  • Reversing camera

Servicing schedule

12 months or 15,000 kms$385.00
24 months or 30,000 kms$385.00
36 months or 45,000 kms$385.00
48 months or 60,000 kms$385.00

Toyota Supra warranty

Good news for track-day drivers. Not only is the Supra covered by Toyota's five-year warranty, you won't void it by taking the Supra to the track, as long as it isn't a competition.

The verdict

Who cares that it uses BMW running gear and for the most part a BMW interior?

This is a fair-dinkum weapon that delivers everything that car enthusiasts wanted out of it. It may not be a "pure" Supra, but it certainly lives up to the name. Just think of it as if Toyota gave a Supra to some well-renowned and skillful German car modifiers called Bavarian Motor Works.

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