2020 Toyota Supra Reviewed in Macquarie Pass

See PART 2 for MORE

We set out to test the versatility of Toyota’s new flagship car, sensational Supra. They wanted to make a “halo” sports car, but we think it is a true GT car, and here’s why.

It harkens back to halcyon pre-mobile days captured in many a much-shaken Polaroid pic.

Flummoxed by fiscal figures Toyota found friends to share the burdensome costs. The latest model was designed with BMW as BFF, and isn’t it pretty.

The 2020 Toyota Supra is sister to BMW’s zippy Z4.

There are a few subtle changes here and there, of course. The front and rear are unique, and Supra has a roof, whereas Z4 is a convertible. They share the same lusty 3.0 twin-scroll turbo engine, but Z4 also comes in a couple of puny 4 cylinder models. God only knows why. They certainly have no place in a Supra.

Z4 M40i weighs 1610kg, a full 115kg more than her fix-roofed friend. The substantial heft that bracing brings, is something all convertibles need if they are not to flop about like a ribbless brolly. Supra shaves 0.1 seconds off Z4’s 0-100 time, at a mere 4.4 seconds. The Toyota will wind on to 250kph, a bit of a waste in Australia for sure.

Then there is the price, Supra is $85,900 for the base model and $94,900 (before on-roads). Z4 costs $124,900, almost 40 grand over the starting price of Supra.

The prices I mention in the video, include on-road costs. Even so, the top Supra costs $20,000 less than her similarly powered Bavarian sister. In fact, Supra is made in Graz, Austria, on the same assembly line as Z4.

The BMW comes with more stuff, right?

Yes, of course. There are tons of badges.

Seriously though, the Beemer has a slightly more lush cabin, and a few extra bits and bobs, but 40-thou buys a lot of enchiladas. Don’t forget, the fastest Z4 is way, way, slower than Supra. Well, OK, point 1 of a second. But, the entire universe was born in much less time than that!

BMW has the newer infotainment system too. It has a wider screen, and CarPlay. As it is, Supra manages just fine. Toyota promised me CarPlay is on the way, but stopped short of an expected delivery date. Will it follow BMW’s wireless CarPlay model?

I love Z4, in fact, all convertibles. They make life better, they just do. Supra doesn’t even have a sunroof, so that make it bad, doesn’t it?

Does it bollocks!

We love Supra’s looks.

Supra is deeply sculptured, front and back. Side profiles show deep wide haunches. They bulge over stupidly wide 275/40 ZR18 99Y tyres on the base model, with 19 inchers on the top model.

Smart LED lights bristle with techy goodness. They come on at dusk, then monitor surroundings for street lighting and cars. When the moment is right, they fire up the high beams. Cells turn on and off to keep things brightly lit without blinding the on-comers.

Both head and tail lights have a sci-fi look about them.

A hatch gives access to relatively capacious 296L boot, but has no external unlocking. Only the key fob button, or button on driver’s door, allow entry. A double-pull of the bonnet release in the driver’s footwell allows the wrap-over bonnet to swing up with a rather theatrical flourish. A casual glance at the engine bay elicits no end of loud and proud BMW stickers.

Some don’t care for the looks. I suspect few of dissenters have driven Supra, and even fewer will ever own one, so pooh to them.

Other sports car tests:

Is the cabin any good?

Oh my wordy-lordy yes Jenelle. (imagine Chenille, from the Instootoot de Boatay and House of hair Removal, pouting approvingly).

The low coupe is just 1,292mm tall, so getting in requires a certain amount of dexterity. Once ensconced in the driver’s pew, you’ll caress any number of buttons to get the feel just right. There is even a button the side bolsters. It makes them grip you tighter than a vice. You need that firm hug when tackling those fabulous bends.

I was positively bereft to see the HUD only comes in the GTS variant. I had to make do with a large LCD where driver’s instruments would normally live. My GR still managed an impressive array of goodies.

There are only two pedals, as all Supras have an 8-speed ZF.

You might expect that to leave a pout, but it does a first class job so why fiddle with perfection. 4.4 seconds to a hundred is enough to be going on with.

The centre console is trimmed with carbon fibre, and the centre bin in Z4 is replaced with a couple of cup holders. Like most sports cars, best you buy your coffee in a shortish cup. Tall things will bang against your elbow. It isn’t as much of a worry in an automatic, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate.

Sound is better in the GTS, but the GR still manages tunes just fine.

The boot has a huge bulkhead behind the seats. Apart from bits of suspension, it wrangles a couple of subwoofers, housed within inches of the backs of passengers. I like that, a lot.

Touch sensitive push buttons run along under the tablet screen on top of the dash. You can memorise almost any function you want. It doesn’t have to be radio stations. It could be an address for the navigation, or the sports screen that tells you how many torques you’re using.

Safety comes in airbags and a rigid cabin. There is active safety like Active Cruise Control, Active Lane Control, AEB, and Active Blind Spot Monitor. For a full list, see Toyota’s website.

How easy is Supra to drive?

What an absolute peach.

Without overstating things, Supra is splendid. Steering is sharp without being too urgent. Brakes pull you up quick-smart, and sophisticated suspension soaks up bumps while keeping dead flat in corners. Supra switches direction with ferocious grip. Sophisticated double-strut MacPhersons at the front, and multi-links in the back, keep Supra flat and stable regardless of driver skill or enthusiasm. Although it is incredibly forgiving, all cars have a limit. The rear-wheel-drive Toyota never got close.

You can fill the 52L tank with 91ron juice if you wish, but I used the good stuff. It seems only right.

Once you press the starter button, the raspy straight cackles in to life. As you pull back on the selector while pressing the button at the side, the electric brake is released.

You can then drive like Miss Daisy is glaring at you. Even in normal mode, Miss Daisy would get an instant face-lift if you mash you loafer into the carpet. Sports mode is even better.

You change directions like a cat on carpet, with that urgent bark from the engine cackling madly between shifts. You can make it sound even angrier by suddenly backing off the gas.

We rolled the windows down to get that bit of fresh country air, but the buffeting was horrific. You can manage it by experimenting with the windows at differing heights if you have nothing better to do with your time. Personally, I’d rather just drive.

Macquarie Pass is one of Australia’s prettiest, and most dangerous ribbons of black.

One moment you’re drifting through the gorgeous green pastureland of the Southern Highlands, and the next, you’re plummeting headlong down sandstone escarpments. Hairpin bends, dips, gentle curves, and gracious sweeps, combine to reward.

Apart from a hint of lively tail, Supra sat up, back straight, arms in.

Is Supra suited to city driving?

City driving is a trial, and it’s getting worse. Cars dart all over the place as if road rules were more of a suggestion than law.

We’re doing a compilation of hapless nongs caught on cam, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, visibility has to be good if you are not going to rip lumps of hair out by the roots. Low slung coupes are notoriously hard to use in tight car parks. Supra’s sensors and a clear reversing camera make parking a doddle.

What’s my verdict?

High expectations usually lead to a bunch of pouty-faced curse words. I was so eager to experience this Toyota that I feared it was going to be a pale pastiche, a mere shadow of the former models. After a week, I’d fallen deeply and madly in love.

I’ve no doubt Z4’s topless temptations would lead to tremendous treks, Supra seems cheap by comparison. Though, it’s all relative.

On the road, the GR is still 92 grand, way more than most people will ever spend on wheels. Supra isn’t aimed at “most people”. It’s intended for someone treating themselves as a reward for a life well lived.

We’ve been on the receiving of many adores, and much mad waving. People took pics, and loud comments could be heard during the endless dreariness of the traffic-light-tango.

You try and not notice, but the blushing is a dead give-away.

I love Supra, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong, that’s an end to it. This Toyota induces deep and enduring lust, and girds the loins of many a sweaty-palmed teen. Your mum will stand, purse-lipped, at the top of the stairs. Her disapproving look will prove, absolutely, that your choice was the right one.

2020 Toyota Supra

  • Engine: 3.0L 6cyl twin scroll) turbo
  • Power: 250kw/1500Nm
  • Econ: 9.2 L/100km on our trip
  • Transmission: 8-speed ZF Automatic
  • Warranty: 5 years/unlimited km
  • Safety: Not Rated
  • Origin: Graz, Austria (alongside BMW Z4)
  • Price: $85,900 (GTS $94,900) PLUS onroads

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