The fourth-generation Supra was a tough act to follow, its legendary status as much due to the immense tunability of its 2JZ-GTE engine as it was its distinctive styling. And while we have yet to see whether this fifth-generation Supra will go on to be quite as revered as its predecessor, our testers all agree that it’s a striking-looking thing.
Toyota claims the new GR Supra was inspired as much by the A80 as it was by the 2000GT sports car. And while it might be a convenient marketing angle for Toyota to refer to what are arguably two of its most iconic models when discussing the new Supra’s looks, you don’t need too vivid an imagination to pick up on the design references to both ancestors in the new car’s bodywork. Its proportions ape those of the 1960s grand tourer, while there’s more than a whiff of A80 around the headlights.
Peel back that distinctive exterior and you’ll find evidence of the relationship with BMW. The GR Supra sits on the same version of BMW’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform as the new ‘G29’ Z4, uses the same 3.0-litre turbocharged straight six and drives its rear wheels through the same eight-speed ZF torque-converter transmission. It has an identical wheelbase and matching axle tracks and overall widths as the like-for-like Z4 M40i, although it’s marginally longer, lower and lighter.
Past these points the two start to diverge in their respective tunes and executions. The Supra’s steering rack, electronically controlled rear differential and steel coil suspension are all tuned to Toyota’s own unique calibration – so much so that Tetsuya Tada, the Supra’s chief engineer, told this magazine the Porsche 718 Cayman, rather than the Z4, is a more suitable subject for comparison.
These aren’t exactly hollow claims. Not only does Toyota say the Supra is more torsionally rigid than the Lexus LFA, but it’s also said to have a lower centre of gravity than the GT86 sports car. The ratio between its wheelbase length and track width (1.55:1) supposedly makes for the perfect balance between stability and agility. Toyota also attests to a perfect 50/50 weight distribution. On our test scales, the Supra weighed in at 1500kg, with that weight divided 51/49 front to rear.
Elsewhere, four-cylinder versions of the Supra currently only available in Japan look set to make their way to Europe soon. BMW M has also told us it would be “possible but unlikely” that its new ‘S58’ twin-turbo, six-cylinder M3 engine could appear in a hotter version of the Supra in future.