When the very last Toyota Supra rolled off a showroom floor in 2002, it was the end of an era not just for the Japanese motoring juggernaut, but for car enthusiasts the world over. While the popular model was a favourite amongst boy-racers, it was also one of the most practical options for people who just loved to drive. It was an affordable coupe that gave drivers plenty of power to the rear wheels, a super responsive gearbox, agile handling, and all for a reasonable price, with resale values that to this day have stood their ground.
While the Supra has been absent from the market, many other companies have offered up myriad sports cars with varying successes, as technology has become more and more advanced, and developments in motorsports have seen a huge number of improvements in high-performance vehicles on the road.
Though we’ve been teased for years by Toyota about the Supra’s triumphant return (in collaboration with BMW), a date had–up until now–not been set, and everybody had been left wondering exactly how similar the new model would be to the original, which captured so many hearts in its initial 24-year production run.
At Detroit’s North American Internation Motor Show yesterday, however, Toyota finally laid down their hand, and from what we can see so far, it looks like pocket aces for the marque.
Available from the end of this year (in the US–Australian delivery dates have not yet been announced), the all-new 2020 Supra looks to be a slightly modernised, slightly better-educated version of its younger brother. Plenty of modern adornments fill out the spec sheet, though there’s a sense that Toyota’s engineers have still put the notion that a sports car should be a joy to drive first (as they did with the much loved but oft-misunderstood 86).
All models receive a 3.0 litre inline 6-cylinder powerhouse under the hood, which is tipped to produce a hefty 335 horses of power, and 543 kilos per metre of torque. This is controlled by an 8-speed paddle-shift transmission, which the manufacturer is saying will thrust the machine to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds.
The lack of a manual offering is a little disappointing–plenty of purists will recall how fun the manual gearbox was in the older model, but it’s 2019, and they are sadly becoming rarer and rarer as an option for higher performance rides.
Starting at USD$49,999, premium options are available, though these seem to be more related to trim and sound system options rather than anything performance enhancing.
The new Supra, as mentioned earlier, was developed in collaboration with BMW, in an effort to reduce the often crippling costs of bringing a new sports car to market. They previously did this with Subaru, who released the BRZ on the back of Toyota’s 86, though these cars were almost identical to look at–BMW’s version of the “Supra”, the also-highly-anticipated Z4, is a very different beast to what Toyota has put forward, with a significantly smaller engine, and a significantly bigger price tag.
The Supra is full of fun, too, with adjustments made by Toyota’s motorsport division, Gazoo Racing, who tightened everything up in the chassis and suspension, as well as added an active rear diff and, to the delight of supercar fanciers, launch control. There’s also adaptive suspension–once again they’ve given this car modern technology found on the race track, but only the stuff that makes sitting in the driver’s seat more of a good time.
While we’ll be waiting with bated breath to see just how much one of these bad boys will cost down under, not to mention when we’ll be able to test drive one, it’s safe to say that the return of the almighty Supra is one that will be welcomed with open arms, and eager right feet.