The Toyota GR Supra

Ok, how do I begin to describe my 10 days with the new Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Pro? For one it’s a head turner – I’ve never had so many people look, holla and/or want to talk to me about a car I’m driving. Granted, I did chose the Supra in Lightening Yellow – but the curves on that thing command attention all on their own. So, it’s a looker – I mean there’s nothing like it on the road. Wherever I parked it, I turned back at least once to look at it – and we all know if you don’t look back at your car, you’re driving the wrong one.

There are some sublime styling points on the body, for one the double bubble roof – giving you extra head room for race helmets with minimum impact on the aerodynamic profile of the car. Then there’s the rear end, it’s like a kamikaze water slide, a defined ducktail on top of some fierce contours – the overall vision is heroic. In some places lines echo elements of the MK4 Supra but in an evolutionary way, Toyota haven’t tried to emulate anything, instead they’ve given the past a nod then progressed, advanced and revolutionised. Toyota know their market too, well they know me at least, with contrasting front splitter, skirts and rear diffuser – almost preempting that the customisers among us are going to want that sort of thing. From factory the GR Supra is distinctive enough but this car also wears a kit well – I’ve seen a number of customs already and me being me I’d love to customise one. As a well as a kit I’d switch the splitter etc for carbon fibre parts, but that’s just my own preference and personally, I would make the intakes/vents at the front real – it’s a shame that they’re fake. I really like the wheels but I’d switch them to all black and with a kit they’d need to be wider and probably slightly bigger. As I said this is all personal preference though.

The interior is an entirely different place, the cockpit is incredibly understated and comfortable and once you’re in, it’s somewhere you want to stay. I really like the fact it’s a proper two seater sports car as well – who needs passengers? I’ve heard the interior is where it’s obvious that BMW are involved – I haven’t spent much time in new Bimmers (only classic ones) so I wouldn’t know – but according to my sources, the controls, instruments, column stalks and infotainment suite are all straight from the BMW parts collection. I don’t have a problem with any of that – I like the interior, however there are a few details I would introduce as an option on the Pro. Being creative I like to reimagine and I think the addition of coloured contrast stitching to match the paint, carbon fibre on the door cards and “Supra” stitched into the headrests would add to the appeal of this car. They’re just small details but the Supra looks so good on the outside I think it could do with a bit of pimping inside. The head-up display and JBL audio system were bang on, I love listening to music when I drive so that’s always an important part for me. The last car review I did I assigned the model a song, so I designate Slaves Why Would You? to the GR Supra, just because it seemed right. Banging tune by the way, check it out.

Then there’s the all important matter of performance. First of all let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way, because everyone is obsessed with it. Toyota shared the development costs of the GR Supra with BMW; one – because they were already working with them and two – because profit margins on sports cars are so minimal. There’s a distinct possibility that this car would not have been made if it wasn’t for their partnership on this project and I for one am glad it exists. The Supra shares the same 3.0 litre turbocharged straight six engine, gearbox, basic suspension set-up and differential as the Z4 M40i. The Supra actually has adaptive dampers however. So it’s not Toyota through and through but BMW make excellent driving machines and lots of manufacturers team up on models – it’s how the majority of the industry works now – so what’s the problem. There isn’t one in my book, hence the lack of a question mark. So let’s move on.

The GR Supra has an eight-speed automatic gearbox with standard paddle shifters, personally I like a manual but this does make things easy and it’s the first time I’ve tried paddle shifters (shock horror) which are Supra fun! Sorry, couldn’t resist. Apparently Toyota are testing a manual version of this model – which is very interesting and I think that would be a smart move. The speedy banana can do 0-60mph in 4.4sec with 335 bhp and 368lb ft of torque. Combining this with 50/50 weight distribution and a low centre of gravity the car feels planted and secure but above all else it’s fun. In fact the GR Supra is the perfect daily because it can be relatively civil but a touch more on that exhilarator and you’re quickly in toon town. It’s just mental enough, without having to buy a timeshare in a race track to be able to enjoy it. But don’t get me wrong – it’s not tame, drive it right and it’s delightfully twitchy. 

So in conclusion, I love the GR Supra. I haven’t had the opportunity to drive any of the previous MKs but maybe that’s a good thing in this instance because I have no frame of reference to influence my experience. I would proudly drive this around as a daily, stare at it at regular intervals and enjoy it on the road and on the track. The Supra is something special, something different and something to enjoy. With so many vehicles on the road blending into a sea of soulless blobs this car is a refreshing vision that’s hoonable, loveable and happiness inducing. The trouble is, I now need a Supra in my life so I’d better work a bit harder…

GR-Supra

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One Comment

  1. Great writing of a stunning car Helen! I probably will never own one (the cheapest one is something of 83.000 Euro in the Netherlands), but hey… never stop dreaming i guess.

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