Opinion: where does the Supra go from here?

Toyota Supra Toyota’s hotly anticipated fifth-gen Supra has been revealed after a 17-year absence. So what next?

The GR Supra has a name extension we weren’t totally expecting, then, but the numbers are right where we thought: around 340bhp and 1500kg. Plus there’s confirmation of the even weight distribution and high torsional rigidity which we already knew about. 

The looks aren’t a shock, either, thanks to what must be one of the most drawn out gestation and launch periods of all time. But finally seen without disguise, it’s interesting to note how prominent the integrated central bootlip spoiler is, and how reminiscent of similar ones seen on the Aston Martin Vantage and Lamborghini Huracan facelifts. Seen in profile, too, the overhangs and bonnet length go to show how it ends up with a shorter wheelbase than a GT86/Subaru BRZ, which have rear seats that are absent on the Supra.

All of the tech details finally revealed, though, go to make the Supra – as we found in our advance drive of a prototype – a nicely balanced car with a pleasing level of performance. 

Powered by a 3.0-litre turbo straight six, and the automatic gearbox that most buyers will want, I think the GR Supra is where it needs to be at launch. But what intrigues me is where it goes from here.

Chances are the wick will be turned up – but perhaps turned down, too, from what Toyota’s engineers hint. They say the Supra has no engine sound augementation “at the moment”, becuase a six cylinder doesn’t need it. But a four cylinder could and the BMW Z4, with which the Supra shares most of its components, gets one. There’s a 2.0 BMW Z4 ‘20i’ engine with 194bhp, but fitted to a Supra this strikes me as a more expensive, less interesting, GT86. So BMW’s 30i engine, the same fourpot but with 255bhp, could work, meaning there would be a broad choice of Toyota sports coupés, from £25k for an ’86 to £50k-plus for a six-cylinder Supra. 

Toyota makes noises about wanting a manual ’box, but it would have to convince BMW that it’s worth it. With a manual ‘box and a light four-cylinder unit, though, I suspect it could be a Supra that excites Tetsuya Tada, the Supra (and GT86) chief engineer, and could be the driver’s Supra of choice. Until a GRMN turns up, anyway.

Read more

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Toyota Supra 2019 prototype review​

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