As we’ve established, the case for building a contemporary Supra hinged on the availability of a six-cylinder engine, and once you’re driving the new car, it doesn’t take long to understand why.
BMW’s single-turbo 3.0-litre B58 unit has neither the soul nor the top-end savagery of the twin-turbo S55 M-division masterpiece in the BMW M2 Competition, but it is a superbly tractable engine which spins in sweet, linear style, both effortlessly and powerfully. There exists only a 500rpm window between 1600rpm and 6500rpm when your right foot cannot unlock peaks of either 369lb ft or 335bhp, and while it’s quite plainly electronically augmented, the soundtrack of the engine is also rich and enlivening.
Against the stopwatch, the Supra’s straight-line speed duly proves strong, if a little undramatic. With a launch control system that holds the engine only at 2000rpm, it’s prone to stuttering slightly off the line and never quite feels as though it puts all of that torque to work to move the car’s mass as smoothly and rapidly as it might. As a side note, it will, however, execute magnificent and easily controllable burnouts with all the stability aids switched off.
Once up and running, so linear is the power delivery and so steadfast are the wide rear Michelins that traction is never an issue, so the recorded times of 4.4sec to 60mph and 10.7sec to 100mph are respectably rapid.
They’re roughly what you’d expect of the original Porsche Cayman GT4, in fact, and pretty competitive (if not outstanding) for the current £50k sports car class, although the engine’s enthusiasm and energy fade away a fraction as it approaches the 6950rpm rev limiter, while the best in this class become even more ravenous. Throttle response is nevertheless excellent, and at higher engine speeds turbo lag is all but non-existent.
The engine isn’t the only reason why the Supra feels more like a sporting GT than a racer on the road. Upshifts from ZF’s eight-speed automatic gearbox are more languid than you might prefer, and while they’re supremely smooth on the way up, more eager drivers will miss the speed and precision of a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The paddle-shift action is also a touch ordinary for a purpose-built sports car – frankly, we’d rather Toyota gave us the control and involvement of a manual option and, sitting on a shelf in Munich, such a gearbox does indeed exist.