It was Toyota who introduced the Japanese sports car to Europe – with the 2000GT. It took your breath away at first glance. Everybody wanted one. Toyota really set the pace for Japanese sports cars. Every fast Toyota from then on was instantly gobbled up by the masses. Even if it was merely a simulacrum of a sports car, like the original Toyota Celica Supra.
But that’s not the Supra we remember. Americans have an alternative understanding of the streets, which Gary Thompson wove into the testosterone-laden media franchise that is The Fast and the Furious. That’s why when someone utters the words “Toyota” and “Supra” in the same sentence, we automatically visualize the A80 model with the 2JZ engine. Produced between 1993 to 2002, the A80 Supra wasn’t just a sports car – it was a GT car. We remember the Supra for its reliability and chuckability, but Toyota has not forgotten its grand touring aspirations.
That’s why the new A90 Supra was famously developed in conjunction with BMW. So it’s the Japanese interpretation of a German roadster. The Miata/MX5 we all love was the Japanese interpretation of a British roadster, so this can’t be a bad thing. And it isn’t. The new Toyota Supra is an awesome way to get from A to B. It has a few things which would have been more delightful if they were made by Toyota and a few things which some people wanted to see but didn’t. But the package we have been given really is something to take seriously. It might not be what the masses wanted, but it is an incredible package.
Looking at the car from a distance, you can see that the design is very unique and a bit Japanese. Like the fake vents. Think of them as skin-deep katana wounds. We like our sporty cars to appear as if they were styled by a butcher, and the Supra looks the better for it. It hugs the ground and looks fast even when parked.
The engine is still a 3.0-litre inline-six with exhaust-driven forced induction. This is not the 2JZ. It is the B58, which is a BMW engine from the M40i cars. It makes an impressive 335 hp and 500 Nm of torque. That’s enough to propel the A90 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. A lot of the criticism for this car has been targeted toward the transmission – an eight-speed ZF torque converter. While not a purists choice, there is no questioning it is a very capable box.
The new Toyota Supra is still a very fast car. The silver lining is that the straight-six-torque-converter combination will make it a smooth ride enabling the car to tick the GT box for those who prefer to get their thrills driving further afield. With the switchgear for the infotainment and air conditioning also coming from the BMW, it does add a nice modern and familair touch to the cockpit as well, although it is a shame it isn’t from their latest offering. All in all though we really enjoyed our time with the car and spending some proper time with it did actually sway some of our teams opinions in favour of it.