Car Reviews

2020 Toyota GR Supra GTS quick spin review

Review of the 2020 Toyota Supra GTS in Australia, including price, specs, interior, ride and handling, safety and score.

THE SUPRA has been Toyota’s performance flagship since the 1978 A40 with a 92kW engine, originally based on the Celica coupe but lengthened to accept a 6-cylinder engine instead of a 4-cylinder. The line continued with the A60, A70 and the A80 which was made famous in the Fast and Furious films, before being discontinued in 2002, beginning a long period where Toyota produced no sports car until the Toyota 86 of 2012.

Here we have the Toyota GR Supra A90 GTS – the GR stands for Gazoo Racing, Toyota’s competition arm, the A90 is the model sequence, and there’s two trim levels, GT and our tester, the GTS. We drove the car for a week, and due to COVID-19 restrictions we didn’t do our full test, just around-town errands we’d have to do anyway. 

IN A NUTSHELL: A true sports car that’s also a usable daily driver, but perhaps trading a little hard on the heritage.
 
THE GOOD: A versatile athlete delivering power, handling, liveability and grand tourer ability.
 
THE BAD: Tacky steering wheel, value, no manual, less than ideal track practicality.

What is the 2020 Toyota Supra?

The A90 follows the traditional Supra layout of an in-line six-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive and a coupe body, but loses the rear two seats and a manual transmission option.

The car has been developed with BMW, which developed the same platform into the Z4 convertible. The 6-cylinder twin-scroll turbo engine is good for 250kW, with a promised upgrade to 285kW later in 2020, and 500Nm of torque delivered by an 8-speed automatic transmission via an electronically controlled limited-slip clutch-pack differential to the rear wheels, all of which results in a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of 4.3 seconds.

The suspension is adjustable to normal and sport settings, and dynamically changes according to what the car’s doing. 

What does the Toyota Supra cost and what do you get?

The two models are:
  • Toyota GR Supra GT – $84,900 plus on-roads
  • Toyota GR Supra GT – $94,900 plus on-roads
For the extra $10,000 you pay for the GTS you get 19-inch wheels, red-painted brake calipers and a rear rotor diameter of 345mm instead of 330mm for the GT, sports accelerator and brakes (which means fake-ish metal coverings), a heads-up display and a JBL sound system. Warranty is the standard Toyota five-year and 160,000km, whichever comes first.

What’s the Toyota Supra interior like?

Naturally, it’s rather BMW-esque, with the long row of radio station presets and BMW’s iDrive controller/touchscreen. That’s not a criticism though, as BMW does pretty decent interiors and the infotainment system is quick to respond, easy to read, and clear to understand.

Some of the car’s controls are masked by the steering wheel, notably the lighting buttons, and the trip odo reset button is a tiny black-on-black item on the dash display. The dash itself is mostly rev counter with a digital speedo. The big disappointment is the steering wheel which is a little too large and far too plasticky. If I owned one, I’d get it covered in Alcantra straight away.

The glovebox is small, there’s no centre console, just two drinks holders, and the door pockets are tin. They certainly can’t fit a water bottle, so in-cabin storage is poor. The boot is a liftback and opens up to reveal a relatively small access hatch into a slightly larger boot. At least there are four very solid tie-down points. 

What’s the Toyota Supra like to drive?

The Supra is a true sports car. The acceleration is rapid, with the 8-speed auto always selecting the right gear and plenty of torque on tap so no silly rev-hunting here. The engine note is throatily purposeful – especially in Sports mode – and you sit low and feel enclosed in the cockpit. The brakes are powerful, the steering is direct, albeit not particularly feelsome, and corner entry, apex and exit can be achieved at surprising speeds thanks to the tyres and suspension, but also the rear diff makes a big difference as it helps rotate the car in and out of bends. I’m bitterly disappointed my test wasn’t able to include any track time at Winton as originally planned, but I have heard of one owner who has run a 1.34 albeit with slightly better tyres – the equivalent Toyota 86 time would be 1.43-1.45.

Rear visibility is terrible, thanks to the small rear window and massive B-pillars. However, the rearview camera is large and clear, and the wing mirrors are also reasonably sized so slow-speed manoeuvring isn’t too bad, although the 10.4m turning circle is large for the car’s size. The steering is a mere 2.1 turns lock-to-lock.

How safe is the Toyota Supra?

Like most low-volume cars, the Supra hasn’t been ANCAP-tested and probably won’t be. However, you can assume Toyota have done their usual good job on the safety, and they did manage to get a 5-star rating for the 86, unlike Ford’s efforts with the Mustang. There is a decent amount of active safety –  AEB, active cruise, front/rear parking sensors and a high-quality rear parking camera and a tyre pressure monitor.

What are the Toyota Supra alternatives?

There’s quite a few, if we limit ‘alternatives’ to rear-drive sports cars. The closest equivalent would be the Nissan 370Z, also six-cylinder, Japanese and with a long heritage. From Lexus, there is the RC300 and RC350, and Ford offers the 2.3 and 5.0 Mustangs, not to mention Toyota’s own 86 and even Mazda’s MX-5. 

And there’s also the Lotus Elise, Alfa Romeo 4C and Alpine A110, but they’re far more hard-edged than the versatile Supra which can handle long-distance grand touring duties as well as mix it on a racetrack.

What score does Toyota Supra get?

Editor's Rating

How do we rate the interior and practicality?
How do we rate the controls and infotainment?
How do we rate the performance?
How do we rate the ride and handling?
How do we rate the safety?
 
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2020 Toyota Supra pricing and spec

Price From $94,900 plus ORCs Warranty 5 years/160,000km Engine 3.0L petrol 6-cylinder in-line Power 250kW @ 5000-6500rpm Torque 500Nm @ 1600-4500rpm Transmission 8-speed automatic with paddleshifts and Sport drive mode Drive rear-wheel drive Body Length 4379mm, width 1854mm, height 1292mm, wheelbase 2470mm Kerb weight 1495kg SeatsThirst 7.7L/100km Fuel tank 52L (91RON min, 95RON rec.


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Supra Owner
Supra Owner
6 months ago

Nope to many missing points in this article. A little to pitchy for advertising and written by a 5 mins caar tester. The supra is a great car but there are many people who complained about the missing apple carplay in australian GR Supras… it falls on deaf ears and we are stuffed into a toyota phone queue. 45 mins later sorry. We at Toyota will not be adding Apple carplay to australian models…. erm so… as a customer…. you can shove the cute little… ” people are not complaining” comment Mr Ben Haushalter, Toyota’s senior manager of vehicle product planning We are complaining but there is no place to complain to!!! $110,000 car with poverty audio setup… and yes i am talking about the GTS i purchased.
That saying… the Supra is awesome 10+ points.
Audio and support -9 points
( one +1 point because it has a reverse camera ) Terrible infotainment system… just plain terrible for the price upgrade. embarrased to turn it on. The team that designed it probably got fired.

Ben Tate
Ben Tate
5 months ago

250kw from a 3L six doesn’t stack up well against the AMG A45 with circa 300kw from a 2L four.

I’ve been very pro manual gearboxes for decades. I should have bought an auto XR6T because they’re quicker and the torque converter masks driveline shunt etc. With an engine that rapidly revs to redline the auto also reduces the chance of an over-rev with damaged cam chain tensioner and bent valves.

Motor Mag compared an XY GTHO to an FG XR6 NON turbo. 0-100kmh times were similar because the ZF auto changed gears much quicker.

So I am now leaning towards autos for the future. They’re quicker. After the XR6T wears out what’s the logical replacement. Stinger? NO manual. 8 speed auto only. And it does a dang fine job. Stab the accelerator and the auto grabs the perfect ratio much quicker than a driver can swap cogs. And there’s no risk of hitting 2nd instead of 4th.

Ben Tate.

Ben Tate
Ben Tate
5 months ago

Oops. A couple more points.

I think that the Supra would have more appeal with reasonable back seats. Even though that would mean a longer wheelbase.

320 odd kws from the 3L six and the car should be as quick as it is now??

The 370Z is mentioned as an option. Rear seats and factory twin turbos would make it more appealing to a wider audience. Remember the 260Z 2+2? Not good enough in my opinion because its back seats were as snug as those in a current Mustang. OK for VERY drunk passengers. LEGLESS in fact! 😉

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper