Toyota Supra GR 2.0L Review
Gnight Rider

Words and Photos by Clifford Chow
6 Aug 2020
 

...manufacturers like Toyota have made a comeback, this time with some Bavarian help, to produce a car quite remarkable, and fit to carry the Supra nameplate.

Just a few years ago, nobody would have expected that Toyota would have collaborated with BMW to build their next generation Supra. Surely Toyota had the means to develop the car on their own. But in a time where companies are looking at ways to run leaner, and car development becoming more costly, due to the added amount of technology and what-nots; lower volume sports cars (like the 86) would have to often make way for more mainstream models which would rake in the profits.

There was a time in the early 90s, perhaps the last golden age of motoring if you may, that the Japanese went all out producing some really fine sports cars. Left-of-field Mazda introduced their third-generation rotary-powered sequential twin-turbocharged RX-7; just as left-of-field was Subaru with is SVX, which housed a 3.3 litre flat-six; Mitsubishi had their 3000GT, powered by a 3.0 twin-turbocharged V6, and attracted attention with their aerodynamic gizmos; Nissan threw a 1-2 combo with their 300ZX, and technologically-advanced Skyline GT-R. Honda, which was on a roll at the time, with their screaming rev-happy VTEC engines, gave us the mid-engined NSX, and Toyota brought us the Supra, with its twin-turbocharged straight-six.

You can imagine the scene then. Japanese sports cars which were somewhat attainable to those with just a little extra cash lying around. While times have changed, manufacturers like Toyota have made a comeback, this time with some Bavarian help, to produce a car quite remarkable, and fit to carry the Supra nameplate.

The Supra’s styling with its quirky bulges, is not far off from the FT-1 prototype car first seen in 2014. Large scoops under the headlights, thick rear haunches, and a “ducktail” rear-end, makes the Supra’s styling unmistakable. A pronounced double-bubble roof also pays homage to the 2000GT of James Bond fame. 

Inside

Slip into the driver’s seat, and you would be able to spot plenty of BMW switchgear, which does in a way feel foreign if you are accustomed to Japanese cars. In-fact, the car which is built upon BMW’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR), does have BMW traits (and shares plenty with the Z4 which it is closely related to), like how the doors and boot close with a solid ‘thunk’, and in the resistance you get from using any of the switches and buttons.

Compared to the 3.0 model we tested a while back, this 2.0 litre variant does lose the electric seats in favour of manually adjustable ones; which I would not complain about, since the Supra is after all, a very personal car. 

The sad-looking 6.5” infotainment screen for the BMW-based system however, sits in a housing which is intended for a larger 8.8” unit, and does look out of place on an otherwise pleasantly built dashboard.

Tiny screen aside, the seats are supportive, and getting the right position behind the wheel is quite easy, despite the manual adjusters.

With a liftback style bootlid, the Supra delivers almost like the practical hatchback that it isn’t, with 290 litres available, and there is also an opening between the passenger cabin and the boot for longer items like golf bags. Strangely, Toyota has left out the external boot release button.

The Drive

The BMW derived B48 turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0 up-front revs freely, and is coupled to a ZF 8HP family 8-speed automatic gearbox, providing the drive to the rear. Performance is punchy, even straight off from the lights.

Flick the Supra into ‘Sport’ mode and the transmission bites hard with each gear change, improving on response. Acceleration with all of the 2.0’s 400Nm on tap and available 255bhp, may not be a s quick as the 3.0 (which clocks this in 4.3 seconds), but is still viscous, registering in at 5.2 seconds. 

Pitch it hard around the bends, and be rewarded with excellent steering feedback, and the sort of driver confidence instilling qualities you will come to expect in a car at this level. But after all, you are in a road car that is built with track purposes in-mind. We like that the Supra feels balanced, and how well that rear end responds so well to any throttle inputs.

In enhancing your driving experience, the exhaust flaps also open in ‘Sport’ allowing for a little more noise to channel through, and for some (muted) exhaust pops. That said, the full-flavoured six-cylinder sounds heaps better.

Perhaps the modern day car insulation and emissions control gizmos also puts a damper on some of that engine noise magic you would expect, which was more evident from a car decades back.

With the BMW-like interior, I could not help myself going “Hey BMW” to see if the BMW-derived infotainment would respond to my voice inputs.

But overall… and also ignoring some of those who may cry foul at its Bavarian relations, the Supra not only checks the right boxes of offering everyday drivability, coupled with some very good driver engagement. It is a very handsome vehicle, and one which Toyota can be proud of to continue the use of the Supra badge.

Our Thoughts

Sure, many of you would say that the 3.0 is the go-to car, and we will agree largely, with its screaming performance and that lovely engine note. But with a $20k difference between the two, and the higher running costs which will follow, the 2.0 is a much easier pill to swallow, and would attract the buyer who would want to get this foot through the door to something which handles this well, and has RWD… unless you are one willing to go even further left-of-field to settle for a mid-engined Alpine A110.

#Toyota #ToyotaGRSupra #Supra #Roadtest #Review #Car #Testdrive #Coupe #CLAR #SG #Singapore #SportsCar #Autos #Automotive #BlackCar #J29 #DB #A90

In Summary

We Like

Superb driving experience and performance. Iconic badge.

We Don't

Tiny infotainment screen does look out of place, and displays less. No external boot release button.

Verdict

If you really want a Supra, buy the 3.0… but if you still really want a Supra and cannot justify/afford the 3.0, buy the 2.0. The Supra’s engaging drive, how the engine and transmission delivers and its unmistakable styling is such a lovely combination.

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Engine

Engine Capacity 1998cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 4
Power 255bhp @ 5000rpm
Torque 400Nm @ 4400rpm
Power to Weight 173.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 5.2s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 185 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 14.9 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR
Steering Electric

Measurements

Body Type Coupe
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4379 x 1854 x 1299) mm
Wheelbase 2470 mm
Turning Circle 11 metres
Kerb Weight 1470 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 52 L

Brakes

Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs