Toyota Supra review
The Toyota Supra is a very capable sports car that uses shared BMW tech to its advantage
The Toyota Supra blends balance, agility, grip and poise with a punchy six-cylinder motor that delivers a hit of performance and (mostly) the stirring engine note we were after. Whether or not Toyota’s collaboration with BMW affects the Supra’s authenticity, we’ll leave up to you. But there’s no doubting that this is a coupe with real talent and welcome character at a time when those traits should be applauded. That it’s pretty much as usable as a family hatchback is an added bonus.
The BMW M2 Competition is a rawer, more raucous rival and the Porsche 718 Cayman offers sweeter handling, but the Supra is a great car in its own right that works very well on British roads.
There are few true automotive icons left, but it’s fair to say the Toyota Supra is one of them. It’s also fair to say, however, that the gestation of this fifth-generation model was, well, fairly drawn out.
Now the Supra is here in production specification, we’ll start with the elephant in the room: Toyota’s collaboration with BMW in the development of this A90-generation Supra sports car.
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Both brands settled early on the characteristics for the shared platform. According to Toyota this meant a short wheelbase and wide track, to the point that the distance between the Supra’s wheels is actually less than a GT86’s, while its centre of gravity is lower, too.
Following the decision on the basic principles, both companies went their separate ways to develop the cars using a tool kit of parts and components. Or so the story goes.
Interestingly, the Supra’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, told Auto Express that the car’s chassis actually uses some components from the next-generation line-up of BMW M cars. This has intentions as a serious, pure sports car then, and the rest of the spec list backs this up.
Of course, with prices starting at £52,695, the Supra has to do more than just drive well. This is a car many will use to commute in, as well as to explore the performance at the odd track day.
There are two trim levels to choose from – the standard GR Supra and the GR Supra Pro. Standard equipment on the standard car is decent enough to mean that you don’t need to splash out on the Pro unless want a head-up display, wireless phone charger, full leather upholstery and other select goodies.
The Supra squares up against the Porsche 718 Cayman S, Alpine A110, Audi TT RS and Jaguar F-Type, as well as its convertible-only BMW Z4 relative to some degree. Perhaps the biggest challenge comes from the excellent BMW M2 Competition – a harder-edged sports car that gets a ‘proper’ BMW M six-cylinder engine, more performance and a chassis that’s pretty spectacular both on the road and at the track. As a softer-edged everyday proposition though, the Supra makes a good case for itself.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Toyota Supra is a very capable sports car that uses shared BMW tech to its advantage
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Toyota is a great sports car that’s fast, fun and pliant on UK roads
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDecent economy for a six-cylinder and lower emissions than most rivals
- 4Interior, design and technologyIt shares much with the BMW Z4, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Supra is relatively comfortable and practical, but some rivals offer more space
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Toyota Supra is largely untested in both areas, but should do well