This week I am privileged to have the upcoming 2021 Toyota GR Supra, the second year of celebrating the comeback of the iconic Supra that we saw for 2020 after a 22-year hiatus.
One of the most exciting things about the 2021 Supra is a big bump in horsepower from 335-horses to a lightning-fast 382-horses, enough to please all sports car enthusiasts.
The increased horsepower results from upgrades throughout the engine for 2021. The new dual-branch exhaust manifold, with six ports instead of two, improves heat management. A new piston design reduces the engine’s compression ratio from 11:1 to 10.2:1.
This greatly revised engine produces higher torque at higher rpm and retains the ability to rev with turbine-like smoothness. Toyota projects that this new engine will enable the Supra 3.0 model’s 0-60 acceleration time to 3.9 seconds.
Just to give you a bit of history, this fourth generation Supra left us in 1998. It was 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.
So what does GR stand for in the name? GR stands for Gazoo Racing, with the Gazoo part of the name meaning "garage." It is a performance offshoot from Toyota, and it's even cooler than you might have imagined. The GR sub-brand began as a project started by Akio Toyoda before he became the company's current president; it eventually became the company's dedicated motorsports arm and has grown to include the development of performance street cars for Toyota. The GR brand races in the World Endurance Championship, the World Rally Championship, among other series.
The key thing to know about this new generation Supra is that we have Toyota and BMW both 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, chassis and interior bits packaged up by a stunning exterior heavily influenced by Toyota’s FT-1 concept. If you are familiar with BMWs, you are immediately at home the minute you sit inside the Supra.
Under the hood, you find a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that is in an inline configuration. It is hooked to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission that comes with shift paddles on the steering column. The 8-speed shifts fast and smooth by itself, but the paddles give you a real sense of control especially when downshifting into curves. Supra does have start/stop technology, but it can be turned off or it will be disabled when you hit the Sport Mode button on the console. Trust me, you’ll hit the Sport Mode button instinctively every time you start the Supra. The exhaust sound is amazing.
The Supra is a head-turner for sure, and one of those cars people want to video when you are driving down the road. In front, six lens LED headlights integrate with daytime running lights. The Supra’s double-bubble roof, for aerodynamics and interior head room gives the car a sleek look. In back, the rear end design features thin LED taillights and rear combination lights, a built-in spoiler on the liftgate and dual exhaust with stainless steel exhaust tips. Another cool feature is the racing-inspired reverse light cluster. 19-inch wheels with dual-tone finish look great. You can’t miss the Brembo Brakes with red brake calipers that sport Toyota Supra on them.
The Supra interior is well done and grabs your attention the minute you open one of the doors. Getting in and out of the Supra takes some practice, but once seated, you feel like you are in the cockpit of a Lear jet. The bolstered 14-way power seat (4-way on the passenger side) is extremely comfortable and keeps you in place in the hardest of turns. Gauges are easy to read and colorful and the gauges change in Sport Mode. A digital speedometer sits to the left while the tachometer consumes the center.
Center dash is the 8.8-inch touchscreen that houses Supra Connect with navigation, based on BMW’s infotainment system and touchpad control. The graphics quality, responsiveness and ease of use are exceptional with just a slight learning curve. The rearview camera with gridlines offers great resolution. Carbon fiber adorns the center console and surrounding areas.
The JBL sound system is terrific, and you get wireless Apple CarPlay as well as Sirius XM and all the HD radio channels.
The center stack is home to radio and dual zone climate controls, and on the console you’ll find the electronic gear shift, and buttons for the automatic stop/start, parking sensors, parking brake and safety system, and the most used button that engages Sport Mode. You’ll get a USB and one 12-volt power source, along with two cupholders that are just a little out of reach. You will learn to be a minimalist if you are used to storage areas or cubby holes, Supra does not offer an abundance of these.
On the safety front, Standard driver assist features include lane departure warning with steering assist, automatic high beams, pre-collision pedestrian detection and speed limit information. Last year, the Driver Assist Package was optional and offered blind spot monitoring, dynamic radar cruise control, rear cross traffic alert and parking sensors with emergency braking functions.
Fuel economy dropped slightly with the extra horsepower, but it still quite good at 22 in town, 30 on the highway, and an overall combined rating of 25 miles per gallon.
Pricing is not yet available for the 2021 GR Supra, so we will await that information. At this early stage, I am not allowed to give you driving impressions of the car, I will come back at a later date and give you those. In the meantime, let’s just say the 2021 Toyota GR Supra gave me a lot of smiles this week.
2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium
- What I liked most: The overall looks of this beauty.
- What I would change: As with all coupes, blind spot monitoring should be standard equipment.
- MSRP: Unavailable.
- Official color: Nitro Yellow.
- Fuel economy: 22 city/30 highway/25 overall.
- Odometer reading when tested: 600 miles.
- Spare tire: N/A
- Weight: Estimated at 3500 pounds based on 2020 data.
- 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 Supra in a few words: Two great car companies come together for an outstanding sports performance coupe.
- Warranty: 36 months/36,000 miles Basic Warranty; 60 months/60,000 miles Powertrain; 60 months/unlimited miles Corrosion.
- Final assembly location: Graz, Austria.
- Manufacturer’s website: www.Toyota.com
- Up next: 2020 Lexus LX570 SUV