The brand new 2020 Toyota Supra, if you know about BMW z4, then you’ll notice something they look almost identical. That’s because it’s built on a variation of BMWs architecture, a rear-wheel-drive puzzle piece that they convert into multiple vehicles like the 3-series, the 5 Series, the x5, they take that.
They can build multiple vehicles of that, but the problem was BMW no longer had a dedicated platform for a specific sports car.
They take 4-door sedans and turn them into sports cars that so they wanted to have something more of a driver’s vehicle, and that’s where Toyota came in they said hey we want to build a super or we want to make a sports car can we work together to do that.
So that’s where this development started now the thing is Toyota is not able to tell me how much correctly they did or did not do.
But what we do know is pretty much everything on here is BMW. Then the complete car was outsourced to an automotive supplier, one of the only automotive suppliers in the world that will build vehicles for you, Magna International in Austria.
So you have two customers BMW and Toyota that said we want to create a car and then you have a 3rd party that handles all the manufacturing for them so it’s a fascinating process with this and a lot of it is.
Is the 2020 Toyota Supra Exterior Make It Affordable?
Toyota claims this is one of the only ways they could have got this car made to be affordable and to make any sense from a business perspective.
But let’s take a look at the suspension, it might be a dedicated platform; it’s still a shared architecture, which means BMW can plug-in components from other cars; in this case, it has the m2 front suspension.
The aluminum subframe carrier, control arms, the aluminum knuckle, and upright leads to an electronic damper. All the dampers in this car are electric, and it has two driver-selectable modes normal, and sport and the way Toyota does it its normals for the street for track or you know flatter surfaces at high speed.
These dampers can adjust themselves on their own about a hundred times a second. So based on all the car sensors, it can go softer or firmer as need be, and, in the higher speeds, it goes to a higher profile. The difference between the modes is the aggressiveness of those profiles.
So sport will tend to be on the firmer side. But this car rides impressive for what it is when you look at the underbelly, much like the z4. The amount of body adhesives, the coverings, all of this makes for a more quiet experience than you would expect. It is incredibly isolated.
But let’s take a look at the rear suspension in the back of the Supra. There are two subtle differences from the z4 and this, and one is the deletion of the support brace on the Supra that connected this panel to the subframe carrier.
That’s likely because the z4 is a convertible the body structure slightly less rigid, so they added a brace on that the z4 also was a four-cylinder.
It did not split off into the dual exhaust, which is not technically a true dual exhaust. It only had one outlet to the muffler, and this has two, now the only other structural reinforcement on the z4 that’s noticeable is the strut tower brace that this does not have as well because Toyota claims it doesn’t need it.
The back is all identical, and the control arm covers all the stamped steel parts in the suspension. The sealed steel subframe carrier has had an aluminum knuckle the only other thing to talk about is with the premium and the launch edition.
The brake rotors in the rear are more substantial, which is strange. But the front’s are the same across all the models, and you get Brembo well they’re not well they are made by Brembo. Still, they don’t have Brembo branding on them.
They have a BMW stamp you get four-piston calipers in the front, but other than that, the only thing else you’ll notice is how much undercoating is all over. The over, the bottom of this, you don’t see a bare piece of metal anywhere. I think that’s part that contributes to the overall quietness and low road noise of the car.
New Toyota Supra Engine
Let’s take a look under the hood, Toyota b-58 twin-turbo direct-injected 3-liter, inline-six designed, manufactured and developed by BMW connected to a ZF auto trans, eight-speed torque inverted. I’ll talk about the transmission for a second.
ZF has now become one of the best automatic torque inverted trans on the market. It shifts fast when you’re driving aggressively up and downshifts at Rev matches. It holds gears based on, of course, the programming of the ECU.
It’s smooth around town, something that dual clutches still struggle. So that’s a highlight. But it is missing a manual transmission option, which is something that for an enthusiast car of this day and age at this price point is it needs it now let’s talk about the engine design.
Based on Tata Sun, the chief engineer from Toyota and I said, why would you buy a Toyota sports car with BMW reliability. What we were worried about here at Toyota. Hence, they took this engine, not this one specifically.
But probably a ringer engine that was entirely made. Back to a Toyota secret lab. Where they disassembled it, every nut bolt fastener hose-head blocks Pistons, everything to determine if it met Toyota stringent quality standards. What they found was it did end a story, so you should know that this is going to be just as reliable as any Toyota product.
Still, the problem is if you’re a real consumer, it’s going to take you a couple of years to figure that out on your own, but luckily these things are getting beat. They’re being tracked tuned modified, you have all the lovely bloggers in a race, trying to change the hell out of this.
Put there’s too much horsepower in it, and the good thing they become the early adopters they’re going to figure out for you if you should buy this and keep it long-term or if you should modify it now other than that.
I think there’s not much else to say with this other than check out others’ racing blog. They are few guys on the Internet that building this motor up for race purposes. So you’re going to see an image of it coming up going back in taking the heads blocks the disassembly process, putting it all back together.
It is fantastic, and they make it look so easy. I want to try it, but I won’t because it will never go back together, and I’ll wind up towing this through the junkyard.
Toyota Supra Interior
Let’s take this on the road and see if it’s magical on the interior of the brand-new super I talked about a lot of this at launch everybody’s beat it to death and this is mostly BMW in terms of design ergonomics, knobs buttons, and switches.
Right down to the last generation, but you do get this lovely little thing on the top here that warns you that BMW is collecting your data.
So I immediately turn that off. If so, it blocks them from obtaining your GPS location supposedly. Now let’s talk about the good and the bad of this interior. I drove in this car and compared it to the Lexus or Toyota infotainment.
I drive it is dramatically better than what you find in. Say even the LS the current generation, however, just like in my mother’s x5 Carplay. Never works correctly on this is a disaster the audio system which we had tested by our professional mainly due to how tight this cabin end doesn’t check particularly well.
Some thought the speakers themselves are necessarily poor; it’s just a tight space, does not lend to the best dynamic range or frequency response. Speaker placement as well it’s questionable, namely where the tweeters are located? They’re a little bit too low.
There’s a lot of reflections in here, and as you said, it’s just the indicative of a smaller cab. There’s so much you can do at this price point. But speaking of the price point, I think you know everything works the head unit design. I feel it is pretty slow, and I feel like they might have used a slower processor in here.
You do notice a lot more lag than typical iDrive setup. Again this is the last generation Toyota’s. The hot getting the newer version, which I think is a lot more simple and easy to figure out the HVAC controls are prominent, everything is simple and just so basically laid out that you can get in here and understand what you’re doing.
There are two complaints I have from a Toyota perspective one they made zero effort to try to personalize this to make it feel like a Toyota from the BMW chimes when you get in. I mean, these are like little things that the product planning team can be like okay we just wanted a little bit more customized.
Hence, you feel like you’re more in a Toyota than a BMW, and that’s just no cost things in terms of programming. The other thing I don’t like is just how generically an afterthought that this screen stuck on, and I know I complain about this a lot. Still, it just looks horrible, and I know that they had to have it here like where are we going to put it.
I feel like they should have integrated into the dash. Because if you look at the center stack area that this whole area is just a wasted space of like 1 through 8 presets when they could have built it in the center part and move the vents aside, clutters this upper – part. It makes it feel a lot busier than it needs to be.
But other than that, there are some complaints from the interior, from a headroom. I’m a little taller than you, 6 foot 4 doesn’t fit this car. You will continually hit your head getting in and out of this car. The Beltline is so low, and this I don’t want to call it the roofline is so aggressive that I continually bump my head.
These are a lot of things that you deal with sports cars. They’re trying to make this a more fitted cabin taught us on the chief engineer of this car for Toyota said.
You know they compromised the interior space for having a thicker sill design for structural rigidity. Toyota wasn’t trying to do what they did with the upper us and BRZ, where they widened everything out to make it feel like a more ordinary car.
They wanted it to have the rigidity in more of a sports car feel. So some of this is a gun depending on the body type you have to get in here. You’re buying this to figure out if this is going to work for you, but because I feel this is a perfect car.
Even though it’s only a two-seater that is going to limit most people’s accessibility to it, you know to have two seats heard not having a back seat but the hatch because it is a hatchback. You do fit a lot of stuff back there like really usable. It’s not just a tiny space. So I mean we could talk about this I think it’s been discussed to death.
Let’s get it on the road and talk about the pros and cons of driving. Wow, is that fake engine noise? Is it does sound entirely synthetic? That’s a downer I didn’t notice it as much in the driver seat as I did in the passenger seat.
But you know what people don’t care about that do they no I think this car as we talked about earlier for its I know 49,000 US dollars is not cheap. But when looking at this as a touring car at GT car, which, in my opinion, it’s excellent, it is perfect, and the first time I had it out was on track.
I could tell right away that the way that they set this car up was something that you could drive every day and be comfortable. It has it does do an excellent job in that dual personality role. It’s just soft enough for the street and just firm enough for aggressive driving.
Of course, making that compromise, you know it may not be great the greatest for the hardcore track people in it, but it is skewed towards the street in the right way, which is what I like in a car like this car.
What are Toyota Supra Rivals?
I think when compared to its specific rivals, in my mind, the c7 stingray bass is e51, maybe a Mustang, and let’s say m2, this does highway cruising better than all of them. I think there’s a lot of cars in this price range and then this is kind of the argument the most prominent case about the Supra is at $50,000 you have a lot of options.
You know what’s the best car in this category. I think this is the most unique because it is a throwback to that two-seater sports car that doesn’t exist except from maybe Porsche, trying American cars like the Mustang and the Camaro, they don’t have the kind of straightforwardness or the directness of this car.
But the Vette definitely and the Cayman does. I feel like those are the two closest comparisons I can make. But this to me is someone who owns that is a much more comfortable daily. The limits are sweet and low that you can have fun with it on the street.
You know, and that’s the thing we talk about how do you blend the emotional side of a sports car. Make it great, still make it sensitive, and make it comfortable on the street. I think that’s why the Supra is so good at what it does. I would put this at the top of the list of the cars that I would own.
Now objectively, though, is it better than those other cars as a performance car. If you’re looking at this and buying this as a weekend warrior, the vets are going to take through this car’s lunch money pretty much any day stock just out of the box that beats the right dealership.
You bought like a regular c7 or c7 Grand Sport in your case or even a Camaro SS. one week, there are faster cars on this and arguably more engaging as a streetcar though I think this is better than the Corvette. I would have to agree, and I guess it depends on the type of buyer you are, and we had this discussion.
If you’re an American car person, if you are of that person or a Mustang or a Camaro person, there’s no way you’re going to consider the Supra. There’s just no way that you would buy this over those cars. So I think that’s where a lot of this car buying thing is an emotional, subjective purchase.
But I don’t know that if you’re going to convert those people that like love those other cars. It’s just a shame to me because objectively, I mean Pass Toyota legacy what a super all that others are nonsense for most people.
What matters is highway driving long-distance cruising at least for booing most people to fire their sports cars, and this at 80-90 goes to jail speeds is extremely quiet. You always have enough power to pass, and it’s very comfortable.
Let’s talk about the power real quick when you launch it. I mean, you have the exhaust pops, you have the sound, you have the speed, and this thing is a fast way. Faster than I expected. So when we head this out, I don’t want to focus on track.
But that’s where you can get a good sense of speed. This car was every bit as fast as the atom was when you got a higher rate, and the Corvette is speedy, and it’s going to be more than most people can handle.
I found it’s edgier, and it has better driver characteristics on the m2 competition regardless of speed, whatever’s faster, and this would be the ideal driver’s car version of that. I think the personality of the m2 suits me better than the character of this car, where this is more balanced, and this is more your type of vehicle.
The trail brakes well on the track, and It rides way better than the m2 does. But I think because the m2 is so hairy it really as a driver’s car as we’ve talked about in our review. It’s just it’s too much your fighting. They were around all the time.
The m2 wants to do is a slide, and because of that, I think it does fun better than the Supra does. You can get a pebble, I mean you brought up one of the most significant points and most of that is subjective. What do you prefer more and a lot of people don’t like the look of this car.
We’ve been showing you the visuals of the Supra this entire image. You know some people like it’s impressive, especially the back end, some people think the front is hideous. That’s the side effects of trying to turn that concept car into a reality.
There are so many trade-offs of making a car that has to meet regulations on the street. That’s kind of why this looks awkward compared to the m2. But this is a dedicated platform that was designed to be more of a two-seat sports car.
I feel like that’s where it has a lot more focus, but yes, there’s a huge negative to not having a manual transmission. This car is not fast enough, and I’ve been to a lot of vehicles, and this is not fast enough to warrant having an automated manual.
You would have a lot more enjoyment with a manual transmission, and this is the type of car that people would buy. I mean not talking about huge numbers, but people would invest in this. I’ve asked this question already why didn’t they have a manual transmission, and they’re not going to say if they’re going to do it or not.
Because if they said “look, we have a manual transmission on the pipe!” people wouldn’t buy this the first year. They’d be like okay I’m going to wait for the manual. So they’ve been cautious about how they’ve talked about it. But this car definitely would be better for it, at least as an option the ZF in this car.
Toyota did all the tuning for at least they claimed they did in this. They adjusted it. It’s excellent, it’s very, very good it’s not as good as the N dual-clutch, but it’s perfect right, it’s not as good as the dual-clutch. When I talked to the Toyota rep for North America, specifically Canada, I found something.
That every single time Toyota goes and designs a bespoke sports car, whether it be an RC F, the previous-gen Supra the ISF, no one buys that car, right? No one does not until they stopped making them, and then they become incredibly desirable! Then it has this cool factor after they’re gone because people appreciate it after the fact.
But there’s a lot of things that go on with the Supra like a marketing problem. I don’t think that they were prepared for, and I think it’s tarnished people’s interest just because of the badge.
Toyota Supra 2020 Pros and Cons
Let’s get right into final thoughts on the new Supra. During recent years, we’ve been inundated with spy photos rumors concept car leaks you name it. Then you had all the negative press on social media and the internet forums trashing this car because it wasn’t right to it a product once it came out the media was more positive.
Now you have the click baby racing blog to try to get the fastest one or the one with the most horsepower. That is a massive cloud around this.
They decided to use the Supra name on a car that wasn’t designed and manufactured by Toyota, and I think that’s the biggest hang-up.
But when you get overall, that might be a massive step for some people when you drive this. It is one of the best modern drivers car sports cars that you can buy at an affordable price range and yes there’s a lot of competition you have, Mustangs Camaros you have the vets, you have Caymans, and they all add something in a way that this has and doesn’t have.
So I’m going to go over some of the things that this does right and wrong. If you want a Toyota or a Lexus sports car that is purely designed by them you have to go to something like the RC F. Now, that’s as close to the original as you can get yes it has a V8, but it has more of that spirit or the LC 500.
I know these are much more prominent cars and having your cars, but that would be the alternative if you have to have a Toyota product. The next thing that people complain about is all of the fake vents all over this car.
So I asked the product planner what’s the deal with them, and he said it was inspired by the GR super a race car. So all those kind of event locations is they’re just fake.
I think from a product planning perspective, and you need to narrow down the ones that can be usable and not and cover them up or body match them. So they don’t look like fake vents because that’s the biggest complaint from enthusiasts.
It seems very poser the two other negatives is this car has some pretty nasty wind buffeting. When you have both the windows down feels like the air is trapped in the back of this hatch.
It creates high pressure or pressure in the car. It just like and it’s very annoying, I feel like they need to do something to extract the air out of the back of the car better or do some air balancing.
Then, of course, the audio system which we talked about isn’t the most significant thing on the planet. But it’s passable because of this car so quiet and refined.
I feel like they could have done a better job there. Now the last part is track performance, which you know most people don’t take this on the track. I said that in my launch image that with the right tires, with the proper aftermarket support as things evolve, this is going to be a nutty car, and I think you’re going to enjoy it.
Now the question is, “Is it going to have BMW reliability problems?” The engineer said, “I don’t think we will.” He believed it and the Toyotas reputations on the line with this putting this out here like that.
So I hope so far everything looks good, it seems like a reliable car. I hope that it winds up being an excellent vehicle for most people. If you’re considering it, just test drive it versus the other cars and its category and find out the right one for you.