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Toyota GR Supra

If you are thinking the Toyota GR Supra looks a lot like the BMW Z4 then you wouldn’t be mistaken because the two carmakers have joined forces to help cut development and engineering costs on certain models.

Toyota GR Supra
By Maxine Ashford
Sep 24, 2021
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Pros:
  • Performance and handling are guaranteed to make you smile
  • Deceptively comfortable to drive
  • Stands out from the crowd
Cons:
  • Does the 2.0-litre with four cylinders match the straight-six 3.0-litre model?
  • Interior is very BMW-like with infotainment control dial
  • No manual gearbox
Regit rating:
“ 7 / 10 ”
Starting price:
From £45,995

Introduction

Toyota GR Supra

The Toyota GR Supra is the fifth generation of the company’s legendary sports car and the first global GR model from Toyota Gazoo Racing – the umbrella organisation for Toyota’s motorsport programme.

Initially the GR Supra introduced as a 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged model with rear wheel drive, but the latest version features a 2.0-litre engine and that was added to the mix in early 2021.

It’s lighter but doesn’t lose any of its appeal by ditching a couple of cylinders. In fact, the performance could be viewed as even more appealing as the car boasts sharper steering and greater agility.

But there will be those who still hanker for that 3.0-litre six-cylinder sports car, so at least they now have a choice.

On The Road

Toyota GR Supra

Performance

The Toyota GR Supra was launched in 3.0-litre V6 guise and stayed that way until recently when the Japanese manufacturer introduced the 2.0-litre version. And it was that car that we tested on a lengthy road route.

With 254bhp and 400Nm the car that weighs in at just under 1.4 tonnes can complete the 0-62mph sprint in 5.2 seconds and tops out at a limited 155mph.

The acceleration through the eight-speed automatic gearbox is smooth and rapid, plus there are steering wheel-mounted paddles for added driver engagement with a Sport mode that adds a little extra edge to the handling with sharper steering and livelier gear changes.

It’s a car that can easily cruise at 70mph on motorways although you will feel a tad vulnerable alongside heavy lorries and trucks. But it’s most willing when faced with the open road – the quieter the better.

With rear-wheel drive, the grip is good through tight bends, but can get a little twitchy if pushed too hard. 

There is oodles of power on tap at all times to make light work of overtaking and there is a hearty roar from the engine that is guaranteed to make you smile when you fire it up.

In busier town centres, the GR Supra is agile enough although the all-round visibility is not that great, which is the case with all two-door coupe models due to their design.

Toyota GR Supra

Ride Handling

The weight loss of almost 100kgs from the 3.0-litre models has certainly proved beneficial to the steering which feel perfectly weighted and delivers instant responses. Factor in the superb body control and agility into corners and the GR Supra is a true driver’s car.

Switch across to Sport mode and the suspension firms up a little so expect to feel the full force of any bumps and dips, while the Normal driving mode calms things down a little – but not too much.

Toyota claims that a car’s wheelbase and track dimensions are one of the first things that are considered when designing a car from a clean canvas. And where the GR Supra is concerned, these were defined to prioritise the car’s agility and handling. 

There was extensive mileage clocked up on a wide variety of roads along with extensive testing at the famous Nurburgring circuit. Engineers needed to find a perfect centre of gravity too and that meant moving the more compact four-cylinder engine further back for added balance and an ideal 50:50 front to rear weight balance.

All this attention to the finest details has resulted in a car that is poised, agile, dynamic to drive and offers a sporty performance without compromising comfort along the way.   

In addition, the vehicle is surprisingly refined inside with good levels of insulation. That means you don’t need to scream at your passenger to be heard above the engine note.

Toyota GR Supra

Styling

First impressions count when it comes to styling and the GR Supra has it all with clear design references to Toyota’s sports car heritage. There is particular influence from the landmark 2000GT with its long bonnet, compact body and double-bubble roof.

There are muscular rear wings, an integrated spoiler, 18-inch black and silver five double-spoke alloy wheels, red brake calipers with the Supra logo, LED lights, piano black door mirror housings and dual exhaust pipes with chrome finishers.

The joint venture between Toyota and BMW sees lots of similarities between the GR Supra and Z4 with plenty of shared underpinnings. But Toyota has certainly put its unique stamp on the car with its very own styling traits and, unlike the Z4 roadster, it is only available as a hard-top coupe.

The interior has been designed to put the driver at the centre of the action with the interior layout influenced by those found in single-seat racing cars. There is a low, narrow dashboard that helps to maximise the view through the front windscreen without any distractions and all the instrumentation has been developed for ease of use.

The seats have a racing-influenced design that ensures comfort at all times with excellent support and body-holding side bolsters, plus integrated headrests.

In The Car

Toyota GR Supra

Behind the Wheel

Getting a comfortable driving position inside the GR Supra is a quick and easy process with ample seat and steering wheel adjustment on offer. Then it’s just a case of taking in all the on-board tech which has a somewhat different appearance to other Toyotas.

That’s because of the BMW influence and it’s not a bad thing at all as you get a very efficient infotainment set-up with features accessed by the iDrive dial which will be very familiar to anyone who has driven a Beamer in recent years.

Features include an 8.8-inch colour touchscreen with navigation and 3D mapping, a DAB radio and a USB port to connect a smartphone for Apple CarPlay. There is Bluetooth, a four-speaker sound system, automatic dual-zone air conditioning and a tft display behind the wheel for vital performance readouts as well as hinting when to change gear for maximum fuel efficiency.

The black Alcantara sports seats can be heated and there are sporty aluminium pedals and scuff plates. 

The higher-trimmed 3.0-litre model and 3.0-litre Pro gain a superior 10 or 12-speaker sound system, smart carbon fibre trimmings, a head-up display, a wireless charger, powered seats with leather upholstery and bigger 19-inch wheels compared to 18-inch ones on the 2.0-litre car. But that comes at a cost with that model priced at about £8k extra.

Toyota GR Supra

Space & Practicality

Clearly one glance in the direction of the GR Supra will make you realise it’s not the most practical car on the planet. It’s a two-seater so storage options are limited. 

The boot can swallow 290 litres of kit and there is a glovebox, seatback pockets and a net on the passenger’s side to store away bits and pieces. There are a couple of cup holders if you are brave enough to carry a hot coffee in this car and that really is about it.

And although the cabin is quite snug, there is ample room for a couple of adults – of the taller variety – to sit comfortably.

The vehicle measures 4,379mm in length, is 1,854mm wide and 1,292mm high so it’s not the easiest car to get in and out of in a graceful fashion!

Ownership

Toyota GR Supra

Running Costs

The Toyota GR Supra 2.0-litre Pro costs £45,995 but the test car also featured premium solid paint in Prominence Red and that added an extra £620 to final price.

According to official WLTP figures, it can deliver a combined 38.7mpg with carbon emissions of 167g/km.

These CO2 figures would result in a first year Vehicle Excise Duty charge of £555 dropping to the standard fee of £155 after 12 months.

But there are additional costs to factor in because vehicles costing more than £40k incur an additional Government levy of £335 for five years starting from the second year of ownership. This applies to all cars apart from zero-emission models which are exempt and alternative fuel vehicles that have a rate of £145 per year.

The GR Supra sits in insurance group 34.

Toyota GR Supra

Quality & Reliability

Toyota is a company that has an enviably reputation throughout the industry for developing reliable cars that offer years of trouble-free motoring.

Taking on board lots of BMW kit has resulted in a high-end cockpit with plenty of sturdy, well-built fixtures and fittings. There are some practical plastic surfaces that will be hard wearing and easy to clean and the BMW iDrive infotainment system is also tried and tested.

The engine has also been borrowed from the BMW stable so the car has plenty of built-in expertise and should deliver the goods without any issues.

Toyota also offers one of the best warranty packages in the industry of five years or 100,000-miles. It includes one year of full AA cover too.

Toyota GR Supra

Safety & Security

Although the Toyota GR Supra has not been tested for a Euro NCAP safety rating, the BMW Z4 which is closely related, secured a maximum five stars.

There is a comprehensive list of safety kit and driver assistance aids to help protect occupants and other road users alike.

Features include Toyota Supra Safety+ which is a pre-collision system with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure alert with steering control, automatic high beam and road sign assist. The 3.0-litre models gain intelligent adaptive cruise control in their safety pack.

There is also a reversing camera with guidelines, sport braking system, emergency brake light signal, active sports differential and adaptive variable suspension.

There are seven airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, vehicle stability control, eCall for emergencies and lots more besides.

To protect the vehicle from any uninvited attention, the GR Supra features an alarm with tilt and intrusion sensors, locking wheel nuts, power remote door locking and an immobiliser.

Summary

Toyota GR Supra

In a day and age when carmakers are under pressure to develop clean, green vehicles for the sake of the planet, it’s still nice to see the occasional car that bucks that trend a little to bring back the fun factor. The GR Supra is just that.

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By Maxine Ashford
Sep 24, 2021