Well guys. All I can say is I must’ve been REALLY good this year. Because Santa drove his sled to my house the other day -- and left it in my driveway! His sled being a bright, sizzling red-hot 2020 Toyota GR Supra! As an automotive journalist, I knew it wasn’t there to stay permanently, (Santa does have a job to do), but believe me when I say just driving the Supra even a few days is an early Christmas present indeed! BECAUSE. WHAT. A. VEHICLE!
The Supra returns to the road after a two-decades long hiatus and it does so as one of the hottest looking sports cars on the road today, garnering looks from passersby everywhere I went (try filming a review in this thing without being interrupted!) It’s not just a story about looks but incredibly balanced design resulting in heart-pounding driving dynamics, suspension and tight handling, all supported by a turbo engine that sports a glorious exhaust note.
For a little history, the fourth-generation Supra, known as the MKIV (A80) left us in 1998. It went on to become a post-production legend, winning the hearts of car tuners, its place in history cemented by its starring role in the 2001 movie Fast and Furious. The 1993 stunt car, one of several built for the movie, sold for $185,000 at auction in 2015.
The key thing to know about the 2020 Supra, is that we have both Toyota and BMW to thank for it. The automakers co-developed it together. Toyota wanted BMW’s turbo inline 6-cylinder, so what you have is a shared BMW powertrain (albeit with different power outputs), chassis and interior bits packaged up by a stunning exterior heavily influenced by Toyota’s FT-1 concept. Toyota branched off for final tuning to give it a driving dynamics feel all of its own. And from where I’m sitting, it’s a match made in heaven.
The BMW-sourced 3.0-liter turbo inline-six sitting under the Supra’s hood delivers 335-horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, whereas the powertrain in the Z4 M40i makes 382-horses (and 368 lb-ft.) A quick-shifting ZF 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is outstanding (sorry, no manual in the lineup.) Acceleration feels amazing in the Supra, it’s a thrill ride to say the least, especially when you take it out of Normal and into Sport Mode (that’s also when you’ll hear more engine revs that really amplify the “snap crackle pop” exhaust notes.) Toyota clocks the 0 to 60 time at 4.1 seconds with a top track speed of 155 mph. Stop/Start is noticeable in the Supra, but you can turn it off.
With its 50/50 weight distribution and low center of gravity thanks to the Supra’s wide platform and powerplant placement,you feel incredibly planted to the ground and the handling is superb, as it deftly handles corners, with amazing sport bolstered seats that keep you in place at every turn. Braking is very, very confident thanks to the super strong four-piston Brembos. The Supra also crosses off all the right boxes with its double-joint McPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, along with adaptive variable suspension that smooths out bumps. This is a sportster that just feels great on the road.
The Supra’s FT-1 concept-inspired exterior with its long hood sizzles in Renaissance Red 2.0 hue. In front, a well-designed two-level six lens LED headlights integrate daytime running lights. But note there are no fog lights. Another thing that’s certainly interesting is that the air vents on the Supra are fake, as in blocked-off and not functional. That seems to be a purposeful move made by Toyota, so if someone wants to modify the engine for more horsepower, they can open them up for more flow and cooling. The Supra’s double-bubble roof, for aerodynamics and interior head room, harkens back to the 2000 GT. In back, a sleek rear end design features thin LED tail lights and rear combination lights, a built in spoiler and dual exhaust with stainless steel tips. Also, gotta love the old-school 90’s era Supra badging. Another cool feature is the racing-inspired reverse light cluster. 19-inch forged-aluminum twin-spoke wheels with dual-tone finish look great and house high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires with red brake calipers.
If the Supra is all Toyota on the outside, the inside says BMW. From the design, steering wheel, switchgear, gear shift knob and infotainment system, BMW’s influence is unmistakable.
The sporty interior is driver-centric, well laid out and designed. It’s full of soft touch materials and the Premium trim features carbon fiber accents and sport pedals. Black leather-trimmed sports seats with high grip material, bolstering and knee cushioning do an excellent job of keeping you comfortable and snugly in place around corners. The driver’s seat is 14-way power and 4-way lumbar adjustable and both seats are heated on this trim.
A uniquely Supra high-res digital tachometer features a large gear selector in the center along with a speedometer, flanked by digital gauges on both sides for fuel and temp. Everything is bright and easy to see and read.
As for the infotainment system, the 8.8-inch touchscreen houses not Toyota Entune, but Supra Connect with touchpad control with navigation, based on BMW’s infotainment system and touchpad control with navigation, and I’m a big fan of the graphics quality, responsiveness and ease of use. The rearview camera with gridlines offers fantastic resolution.
The center stack houses radio and dual zone climate controls, and on the console you’ll find the gear shift, and buttons for the automatic stop/start, parking sensors, parking brake and safety system. You’ll get a USB and one 12-volt up front.
You’ll have to live without a center console bin on the Supra, but you do get two cup holders, and a small storage net on the passenger side along with a locking glove box. I do love the accessibility of the trunk space. From the front seat, you can reach through to the narrow cargo area which can accommodate long items. There’s no trunk release from the outside. You unlock the trunk with a button from inside as well as on the keyfob.
The Premium grade includes the following upgrades over the base model: heated seats, carbon fiber trim, navigation, wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay, a head up display, and 12-speaker JBL sound system.
Safety on the Supra is outstanding. Standard driver assist features include lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, pre-collision pedestrian detection and speed limit information. I would wish for standard blind spot monitoring, but it’s part of a driver assist package that also includes dynamic radar cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and parking sensors with emergency braking functions.
Not that I particularly care about fuel economy in a vehicle that wants to play, but at 24 city, 31 highway and 26 combined, I have no complaints.
Now let’s talk numbers. This is a sports car that can be had in the mid-$50s. The base price tag starts from $53,990 and as equipped, with an optional driver assist package, wheel locks and carpet cargo mat, this one MSRPs for $56,260. That’s a pretty amazing price for everything that this car delivers (and less money than the Z4) and worth every penny in my book.
Thank you Toyota for bringing back the Supra and please alert Santa he can drop it off again as soon as his yearly duties are done.
2020 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium Review
- What I liked most: Its performance and superb driving dynamics; exhaust notes, exterior looks, sporty interior and cabin technology.
- What I would change: Make Blind Spot Monitoring standard on the base model.
- MSRP: Premium 3.0 base price $53,990; total MSRP as equipped with transportation: $56,260.
- Fuel Economy: 24 city/31 highway/26 combined.
- Official Color: Renaissance Red 2.0.
- Odometer reading when tested: 585 miles.
- Weight: 3,397 pounds.
- Final Assembly Location: Graz, Austria.
- Spare Tire: Repair Kit included.
- Length-Width-Height: 172.5” long/ 73” wide/ 50.9” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 13.7 gallons with the filler on the passenger’s side.
- Towing Capacity: N/A.
- 2020 Toyota Supra in a few words: A thrilling rocket to ride and drive with looks that sizzle!
- Warranty: 36 months/36,000 miles Basic Warranty; 60 months/60,000 miles Powertrain; 60 months/unlimited miles Corrosion
- Manufacturer’s website: Toyota