Toyota engineers have been fairly adamant that there would eventually be a manual version of the Supra sports coupe since its formal introduction in 2019. By February of 2020, chief engineer Tetsuya Tada even confirmed that the car has been tested extensively with a clutch and choose-your-own-adventure gearbox. But Toyota explained that the automaker opted against having one at launch due to a desire to lead with the model yielding the best specs on paper. Toyota was also fretting over customers modifying vehicles, claiming the eight-speed automatic could handle far more torque before giving into physics and dismantling itself.
However, the automaker has recently begun teasing the Supra with a three-pedal setup over social media, later stating that an-all new manual transmission was indeed on the way for the coupe. But why now?
In 1970, Toyota introduced the world to a pair of cars based on a new platform: The Carina sedan and the Celica sports coupe. The Carina was sold in the United States for just the 1972-73 model years and disappeared without a trace, but its Mustang-resembling Celica sibling proved to be a big sales hit on this side of the Pacific. With their truck-appropriate four-cylinder R engines, though, those U.S.-market Celicas of the 1970s were slow and tended to sound like a Hilux groaning up a mountain pass in Waziristan with a load of 15 Red Army-battling mujahideen fighters. So, Toyota widened and lengthened the second-generation Celica, yanked out the truck mill, and dropped in a straight-six. Thus was the Celica XX born in 1978, and when it arrived on our shores in the following year, it had a new name: Celica Supra!
Like most automotive journalists — and car enthusiasts in general — I have three ways of goofing off online that involve the cars. One is reading sites like this one. Two is building and pricing cars from mild to wild — from affordable to only if I win the lotto — on manufacturer’s consumer configurators. The third is browsing the auction site Bring a Trailer (BAT) to see what’s for sale that day. Someday, the just-right Fox-body Mustang will be available and within my budget. Someday.
Our friends over at Motor1 have been busy today.
First it’s the rumor about the next-gen Honda Civic Type R getting a big power boost and all-wheel drive, and now they’re reporting that a version of the Toyota Supra might get a big power bump, bigger than what the car got in 2021.
Well, actually, it’s Japanese Web site BestCarWeb.jp, the same site that surfaced the Civic rumors, doing the reporting – Motor1 is just aggregating the info, same as I am right now, after translating it.
Toyota made significant changes to the new-for-2020 Supra just one year into its lifespan, adding a new, cheaper four-cylinder model and bumping the output of the previously solitary inline-six version. That’s not the only hardware change in store for the resurrected sports coupe, either.
For many, whether or not they ever get into a Supra will come down to price, and that’s where the new GR Supra 2.0 enters the fray.
Up until now, the 2020 Toyota Supra has only been available with a 3.0-liter, turbocharged inline-six sourced from BMW. Producing 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, the mill is best suited for those interested in track-day excursions and tempting fate on sweeping backroads. However, there’s a new entry level model coming to Europe that caters to those seeking the Supra experience who find themselves a few grand shy of being able to buy the thing.
On Tuesday, Toyota announced the “first extension of the GR Supra sports car range” will carry a 2.0-liter turbo making 258 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. While the manufacturer calls it a new engine, it’s technically another mill sourced from BMW (the Z4 already uses it). But that shouldn’t keep it from being a welcome addition to the GR Supra party.
Unlike Toyota's Unrealistic Lexus LC Sales Expectations, Toyota Supra Sales Goals Are Downright Sensible
“You only produce one car less than the demand for the vehicle,” the late Sergio Marchionne said of Ferrari’s founding marketplace strategy. Of course, that translates to thousands more cars per year than it did in decades past. But Ferrari remains largely committed to that principle.
Now, in Ferrari-like language, Toyota says, “We’re operating on the basis that it’s better to have one too few than far too many,” when it comes to the new Supra.
Toyota spokesperson Nancy Hubbell revealed to TTAC early sales goals for the fifth-generation Supra that are distinctly tempered compared with the lofty expectations Toyota divulged the last time it launched a high-end coupe.
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.
The howling denizens of the Internet may not be a representative sample of real life, but they are loud nonetheless, and they’ve seemingly had it in for the Toyota Supra since the wraps came off.
It’s too much a BMW, they say. It doesn’t feel like a real Supra, thanks to all those German parts underneath. Others (understandably) whined about teaser fatigue, or complained about the car’s styling.
While subjective complaints about a car’s looks are understandable, and while I understand the complaints about the new Supra not being Toyota enough (I did ask for a percentage breakdown of Toyota/BMW parts content; the company politely declined to comment), all of the noise ignored one thing – what it’s like to actually drive the damn thing.
That’s what will likely matter most to those who will drop over 50 large on this car.
Oh, that “GR” stands for Gazoo Racing, but everyone is just gonna call it Supra.
Now that the hype train has pulled into the station and unloaded the Toyota Supra, we can finally begin to examine what all the fuss was about. Still, Toyota has one more minor announcement left up its sleeve. While we’ve frequently seen the coupe in black, white and red (or camouflage combination of the three), we didn’t actually know what shades the manufacturer would offer for its introductory year.
Launch Edition vehicles will continue to be relegated to the established trio of hues, adding red mirror caps, black 19-inch wheels, unique upholstery, carbon-fiber accenting, and commemorative plaques for $55,250. But other colors are coming — most of them silver.
While the reintroduction of the Supra will undoubtedly result in custom builds, where cars are purchased only to be gutted and rebuilt as a track day vehicle, Toyota is examining the possibility of doing all that itself. The brand just announced the Toyota GR Supra GT4 Concept.
Developed as a “racing study model” based on the GR (Gazoo Racing) Supra, the car is set up to compete in the GT4 European Series. If you’re unfamiliar, the category caters specifically to amateur racing drivers using factory-built race cars available to the public — though custom team builds can be approved by the FIA. While that series is this vehicle’s primary concern, Toyota said the GT4 would also be eligible for the IMSA’s Michelin Pilot Challenge, Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia, Super Endurance Series, and more.
Considering the Toyota Supra was revealed to the world just a few weeks ago, it feels slightly premature for the manufacturer to start releasing special editions of the model. However, we’ve heard it’s important to strike while the iron is hot in business and the Supra is certainly operating well above room temperature. It would be silly to think Toyota would cool its heels after two years of teasing the Supra just because it finally went on sale.
Now that you can buy the coupe, Toyota wants everyone to know that they’ll also be able to purchase snazzy upgrades for it through the performance catalog and released the GR Supra Performance Line Concept TRD over the weekend as a reminder. Like the BMW M Performance Parts Concept that appeared over the summer, the Supra exists to show the world what’s possible when the full force of the TRD catalog is harnessed.
Unfortunately, engine upgrades aren’t currently a part of that equation. Like the M Performance car, the TRD Supra receives no improvements to its powertrain. Instead, Toyota showcased a festival of spoilers and fins aimed at optimizing the coupe’s aerodynamics.
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- Lou_BC The birfield joints on these older units tend to need a rebuild and are very expensive to replace.
- Luke42 I'm only interested in the electric models.I own a 6L GM V8 (in a pickup truck), and it's a big sound and fury for small delta-V.A bunch if E-Vettes which reflect the Porche range would be interesting,.
- SilverHawk Only if they keep it focused on what a corvette represents, in a similar way as to what Porsche has done. Badge engineering using lower tier platforms is not acceptable. Don't even think about it, GM!
- Jeff S E-Vettes are coming to your nearest Chevrolet dealership. I reserve judgement on this I will have to see these and see the pricing. So far Lyriq is about the only GM vehicle I have any interest in.
- Kukala J. Machus GM has an extensive history of bad decisions.....and it continues.