Supra

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2020 Toyota Supra Overview

If you were a fan of Japanese motorsports during the '80s and '90s, you'll likely remember the Toyota Supra. It took the world by storm with its expressive styling, perfect handling, and gobs of power. Unfortunately, its saga ended after 1998 in the United States and worldwide after 2002. For 2020, the Supra makes a dramatic return.

Toyota turned to German automaker BMW when developing the Supra, and so the sports car owes its basic platform and electronics architecture to the related BMW Z4. But that allowed Toyota to create a Supra that’s a dutiful continuation of the previous and beloved “A90” version, from a styling standpoint. The long curved hood, wide inset headlights, short cabin, and muscular rear haunches were all inspired by the Supra’s predecessor. Large front intakes, blade-like skirting, and an integrated rear spoiler add visual appeal and also keep the Supra glued to the road. And, lest you make any mistake about this car’s mission in life, its color palette includes properly bold shades of red, yellow, and blue, along with a matte gray option.

The interior, on the other hand, is a major departure from previous Supras. While the old model included an occasional-use pair of rear bucket seats, this new one includes just a pair of racing-inspired front seats. In general, the Supra’s interior is less wild than that of its predecessor, but that comes with the benefit of being more ergonomic. Toyota created a cockpit that blends traditional GT-car elements with plenty of functionality. To that end, a high-definition color LCD makes up most of the instrument panel, designed to display mission-critical information to the driver at all times. All the controls are close at hand and grouped logically. You’ll find everything wrapped in high-quality padded materials that coddle occupants without smothering the desire to drive spiritedly or competitively.

You also have BMW to thank for preserving the Supra’s traditional attributes of an inline engine and a rear-drive layout. The former consists of a BMW-sourced turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder unit making an impressive 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque. It’s tuned to produce torque very low in its rev range and includes responsive enhancements like variable valve lift and direct fuel injection. At this time, there are no plans for a manual transmission, so your sole interface is an 8-speed automatic. Using the standard launch control function, the Supra reaches 60 miles per hour in about 4.1 seconds on the way to a top track speed of 155 miles per hour. But it’s not just about speed; it’s about efficiency in getting there, and the Supra is a well-suited track tool. Toyota made sure to maintain a perfect 50:50 weight ratio across the car’s 3,397 pounds and larger rear wheels for maximum control and grip. There’s also an active differential that can send as much as 100 percent of the power to either rear wheel, reducing both oversteer and understeer, while beefy 13.7-inch brake rotors bring the Supra to a stop in a hurry. Finally, the adaptive variable suspension responds instantly to road and track conditions in both Normal and Sport modes.

For the time being, Toyota plans to offer the Supra in two grades: 3.0 and 3.0 Premium. The 3.0 trim includes standard content like LED exterior lighting, 19-inch alloy wheels, a 6.5-inch infotainment system, keyless access and start, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors, a garage-door opener, power-folding mirrors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 3.0 Premium grade gets an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, a rotary touch controller, Apple CarPlay, and a 12-speaker JBL audio system. A limited Launch Edition is based around the 3.0 Premium level.

Times have changed since the '90s, and the modern expectations of any car include plenty of safety equipment. The Supra embraces that with a competent suite of standard features, including a reversing camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering assist, automatic high-beam lighting, and traffic-sign recognition. To these you can add full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, and rear-collision warning.

The new 2020 Toyota Supra reignites the brand’s nearly 50-year history of performance GT coupes. It preserves all the attributes everyone loved about the old models and presents them in a modern and capable package. Toyota plans to release the Supra to dealerships in the summer of 2019.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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