All-new 2020 Toyota Supra Revealed…Details and Specs
The all-new 2020 Toyota Supra has been revealed overnight after a very long wait and a very long tease as well as several leaks. Australia will get 300 cars initially. Has it been worth the wait?
Here, after half a decade’s worth of teasing and concepts and promises, is the all-new Toyota GR Supra. As any right-thinking Supra should be, it’s a low and light coupe, with a powerful straight-six engine driving its rear wheels.
And it looks pretty spectacular. Goes hard too. Toyota is claiming zero to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds.
That engine is a turbo three-litre six making 250kW at 5000-6500rpm. The well-nourished torque curve plateaus at 500Nm from 1600-5000rpm.
You might recognise those numbers, as this is BMW’s ’40i’ engine. And indeed as is well-documented by now, the Supra was a joint project with BMW. It uses a familiar eight-speed autobox, and BMW’s electronic locking diff, and BMW switches and electronics. The Supra is being assembled alongside the Z4 by contract-builder Steyr, in Austria.
But that’s no bad thing. BMW engines and cabin ergonomics are among the very best. Besides, it’s crucial to remember that the previous 1993 Supra was also a three-litre straight six with turbos and rear-drive. It’s actually doubtful Toyota or indeed BMW would have been able to bring a new Supra or Z4 to the market if they had acted alone. The world’s appetite for sports cars is fading as people turn to crossovers.
According to Toyota, it’s GAZOO Racing arm was instrumental in tweaking the joint-vehicle’s performance, testing extensively at Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife and surrounding roads “in order to achieve the most agile, stable and rewarding handling”. Further testing was also carried out on roads around the world, including in Australia with chief engineer Tetsuya Tada.
To be certain that the car delivered on its promise, Toyota president Akio Toyoda drove the new Supra at the Nürburgring before giving it the final green light.
Mr Toyoda said he had developed his craft as a master driver by spending countless hours driving an old Supra at the Nürburgring. “Even though Toyota had no plans to make a new Supra, just like a lot of other diehard Supra fans around the world, I secretly wanted to make it happen,” he said.
“The new GR Supra was born through testing at Nürburgring, and I can honestly say that it is a car that is fun to drive and better than ever.”
In Australia, new Toyota GR Supra will be launched in late 2019 with approximately 300 cars available in the first 12 months.
The Supra is short, wide and relatively light, at under 1500kg without driver. The centre of gravity is actually closer to the ground than in the flat-four GT86, and the wheelbase is shorter than the ‘smaller’ car’s too.
When it came to the look of the new Supra, Toyota reckons, chief designer Nobuo Nakamura developed the concept of “Condensed Extreme”, allowing freedom for him and his team to design a “pure and individual sports car in a truly original design”.
But what does that mean? Toyota claims, “‘Condensed Extreme’ refers directly to the vehicle’s packaging, comprising three principal elements: a short wheelbase, large wheels and wide stance; a taut, two-seat cabin; and a long bonnet with a compact body that reflects the drivetrain combination of in-line six engine and rear-wheel drive”.
In the finished design, the “Condensed” theme is evident in the relationship between the Toyota GR Supra’s large-diameter tyres, short wheelbase and overall length. The wheelbase is shorter than in the 86 coupe, and the tyres are larger.
And a whole lot of lot of aero work is going on, with big cooling intakes at the front and a carefully shaped spoiler behind. Plus lots of apparent intakes and exits along the sides. Mind you we’re not yet entirely sure which of those side ducts is functional. As with the Honda Civic Type-R, some are blank falsehoods.
The body is extremely stiff, stiffer than the amazing V10 Lexus LFA supercar’s, which will help handling precision. So too will the complex multi-link rear suspension, taken wholesale from the BMW. The front suspension comes from the same source, and like the Z4 M40i it uses M2 parts to locate the wheels precisely. Brakes are big Brembos. Rear tyres, at a fat 275/35 ZR 19, are 20mm wider than the fronts.
Adaptive dampers and an electronically controlled limited-slip are optional in some parts of the world, standard in other. We expect all Oz-spec to get the good stuff but we’ll be waiting until late this year before it arrives.
Inside, the seats adjust in every direction electrically. They’ve strong side bolsters to keep your torso clamped against the loads of hard corners, and knee pads on the transmission tunnel do the same for your legs.
Displays consist of a central touchscreen, a driver’s instrument pack (with clearer graphics than the BMW one, we judge) and a head-up projector too. An iDrive controller is of course part of the system.
It’s a two-seater. But the 290-litre boot can be extended into the cab to find space for golf bags. A lot of golfers, we’re always told, buy sports cars. Mind you Toyota says that same space is also handy to take ‘the kit needed for a track day’.
The GR in the Supra’s name stands for Gazoo Racing, the company’s motorsports arm. Last year its teams won both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the World Rally Manufacturers’ championship. Toyota wants to make all its road cars carry more driver appeal. The Supra is the outlier test case.
In many ways the new car is an uncanny replacement for the old. Its power, layout and performance are strikingly close. Its style too. But the world has moved on since 1993. The old one was a shockingly fast machine by the standards of the day, being quicker than the mid-engined V8 two-seater that Ferrari was building at the time. The new one doesn’t have a whole lot more power than the quickest Honda Civic.
But experience tells us that the performance offered by the Supra, or its rivals the Porsche 718S or Alpine A110, is a true sweet spot for road driving. We’re busting to get our hands on one.
It’ll be a wait though. Deliveries don’t begin in RHD until late 2019. After that there will be cheaper four-cylinder versions arriving in 2020. That’s after Toyota first showed a concept, the FT-1, in January 2014. It’s been a long longing.