Toyota Supra: More Power Than Advertised?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
toyota supra more power than advertised

Not everyone was enthusiastic about Toyota’s decision to co-develop its Supra with BMW. As an icon of the brand, some complained that Bavarian involvement sullied what should have a been a purely Japanese automobile. We wouldn’t go that far (though certain telltale signs of BMW’s hand come off as slightly off-putting). Still, an interior that borrows heavily from the Z4 is hardly a major issue, especially since everyone knew they’d be platform partners going into this.

As well, partnerships can bring advantages. In addition to actually resulting in the car being built, Toyota’s relationship with the Germans means an engine that miraculously makes more power the second you place it on a dynamometer.

Following some on-the-pavement testing of the Toyota Supra, Car and Driver noted that the coupe’s BMW-sourced twin-scroll turbo 3.0-liter inline-six was outperforming vehicles that should have been a little out of its league. Are the A90 Supra’s power specs understated?

Possibly. This is a powerplant from BMW, after all.

Scheduling some time with an all-wheel-drive dyno, the outlet suggests the Supra’s stated 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque are a misnomer. The real numbers should be closer to 339 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque at the wheels.

From Car and Driver:

For our test, we headed to Livernois Motorsports and Engineering in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. We strapped the Supra to the Dynojet all-wheel-drive dynamometer, as the car’s stability systems only play nice when all four wheels are spinning. For this observation, we ran the test in the eight-speed automatic transmission’s fifth-gear ratio of 1.32:1 to achieve a full sweep of the tachometer. We experimented with the 1.00:1 ratio of sixth gear but were unable to reach the engine’s redline. The power output in sixth gear, however, matched our results of those in the higher gear.

All dyno-derived figures, of course, come with a complimentary grain of salt. C&D‘s findings aren’t likely to appease those who bemoan the fact that Toyota’s pride and joy utilizes a German motor, though it could help silence complaints that the new car barely makes more power than a 2JZ-equipped Mk4. We’d recommend a side-by-side showdown to settle things once and for all.

Sadly, there probably aren’t enough unmodified examples of the A80 left to make that a reality.

[Images: Toyota]

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on May 22, 2019

    Meh, this is nothing new. The Gen I Ford Probe advertised "crank" HP and torque were wheel HP and torque.

  • Voyager Voyager on May 23, 2019

    Also uglier than people had expected after having seen the concept 4-5 years ago.

  • Del My father bought GM cars in the 60's, but in 1971 he gave me a used Datsun (as they were called back then), and I'm now in my 70's and am happy to say that GM has been absent from my entire adult life. This article makes me gladder than ever.
  • TheEndlessEnigma That's right GM, just keep adding to that list of reasons why I will never buy your products. This, I think, becomes reason number 69, right after OnStar-Cannot-Be-Disabled-And-It-Comes-Standard-Whether-Or-Not-You-Want-It and Screw-You-American-Car-Buyer-We-Only-Make-Trucks-And-SUVs.
  • 3SpeedAutomatic Does this not sound and feel like the dawn of ICE automobiles in the early 20th century, but at double or triple speed speed!!There were a bunch of independent car markers by the late 1910’s. By the mid 20’s, we were dropping down to 10 or 15 producers as Henry was slashing the price of the Model T. The Great Depression hit, and we are down to the big three and several independents. For EVs, Tesla bolted out of the gate, the small three are in a mad dash to keep up. Europe was caught flat footed due to the VW scandal. Lucid, Lordstown, & Rivian are scrambling to up production to generate cash. Now the EV leader has taken a page from the Model T and is slashing prices putting the rest of the EV market in a tail spin. Deja vu……
  • Michael Eck With those mods, I wonder if it's tuned...
  • Mike-NB2 I'm not a Jeep guy, but I really, really like the 1978 Jeep Cherokee 4xe concept.