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2020 Toyota GR Supra Preview & Buyer's Guide

Toyota unveils the new GR Supra focusing on the model's history with a little help from BMW.

 

Toyota has finally released the specs for the GR Supra, the legendary sports car's long-awaited fifth generation. With radical styling, high-performance details, and a luxurious interior, the Japanese manufacturer hopes to peg their market right on the money.

Exterior Styling

via toyota.com

Fan renderings, leaked images, spy shots, and camouflage have all prepared every Supra enthusiast for the car that Toyota just released at the North American International Auto Show. And yet, the final product is perhaps even more aggressive than even the most futuristic designs that have floated around the internet for approximately the last two decades.

Up front, enormous and angular air intakes sit mere inches above the ground, replacing a grille entirely below a long hood and bold fender flares. The raked windshield swoops back into equally aggressive rear haunches, complemented by a long jawbone slit ahead of the rear wheel wells. At the tail end, an integrated spoiler stands prominently above narrow LED lights, which themselves are integrated into a smooth line connecting more aero details rooted behind the tires. A large, if not particularly slotted rear diffused supports a pair of exhaust tips.

via toyota.com

Overall, the impression the new MkV Supra leaves combines the styling cues of the Subaru BRZ-Scion FRS-Toyota 86 with clear input from BMW's Z4 and a bit of the more futuristic, more potent Lexus LFA and LC. And yet, there's still a hint of the MkIV Supra that shines through, and a slight Gurney bubbling helps solidify the performance aesthetic. (The BMW Z4 will come in convertible form, but don't expect Toyota to deviate that far from the Supra's history as a performance coupe.)

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Drivetrain & Mechanicals

via toyota.com

BMW's influence on the GR Supra can't be ignored. Under the skin, the two cars are twins and share a 3.0-liter inline-six with a twin-scroll turbocharger providing ample boost. Output for the Toyota's B58 engine is set at 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque—or a fair amount below the Z4's 382 hp rating. (Whether Toyota is prepping themselves for a roving horde of modders and tuners could be a serious consideration.)

Meanwhile, the power is routed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission courtesy of long-time BMW partner ZF. So far, Toyota has confirmed that 2020 model year Supras will only be available with the eight-speed, though BMW has hinted that their Z4 will be available with a stick shift for ROW markets. Don't rule out the third pedal, though it may be a few years off.

via toyota.com

Toyota and BMW are both masters of weight distribution and balance (when they want to be) and the Supra's chassis and suspension are set up to allow for a perfect 50:50 weight split, front to rear, and the forthcoming cars benefit from aluminum control arms and a five-link rear suspension layout. Sports car standards like adaptive suspension damping, an active rear differential, and selectable drive modes also fit into the mix—though Normal and Sport are the only options, the latter of which tweaks the exhaust note, steering weight, throttle response, and the automatic gearbox's shifting points.

All that tech combines to bring 60 miles per hour in 4.1 seconds, on the way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 miles per hour. Fuel economy is projected at 21 mpg in town and 30 on the highway.

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Interior & Tech

via toyota.com

At first glance, the new Supra's interior looks decidedly similar to BMW's current products. Plenty of carbon fiber trim, a familiar center console, and even the shape of the automatic transmission's shift lever all hearken to BMW's input. And yet, Nobua Nakamura, the new car's chief designer, claims that he was aiming for a different cabin when compared with the Z4. Apparently, that comes mainly in the form of a special run of Launch Edition cars that feature a Akio Toyoda's signature on the dashboard and a numbered plaque.

The Supra's instrument panel is a high-def, color digital display that projects a three-dimensional meter for an illusion of floating dials between the narrow-gauge steering wheel. The cabin is asymmetrical and biased towards the driver's comfort—including kneepads for cornering stability—while racing seats with shoulder bolsters help keep everyone planted.

Tech-wise, industry standards make their way into the Supra, including a multimedia system complete with optional navigation and a choice between a 6.5 or an 8.8-inch screen with either a rotary controller or touchscreen capabilities. Expect Apple CarPlay, 12-speaker JBL sound, and an available Head-Up Display. Safety features will include emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear-end collision warning.

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via toyota.com

In the rear, Toyota has also focused on keeping daily utility in mind, with a lightweight composite rear hatch that opens to a trunk that will fit enough gear for track days or a two-person weekend getaway.

Pricing & Buying

The GR Supra will start at $50,920 when it launches later this year. After a limited run of Launch Edition specials, average Supras going forward will probably also include a four-cylinder version—and who knows whether a stick shift option might come with a lower price.

Competition

The Supra starts at a higher price than Detroit's Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro yet stays a bit below a Porsche 718 Cayman or a BMW M2.

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