Toyota Supra coupe review
"The Toyota Supra is an impressive all-round sports car that's sure to put a smile on your face"
- Fun to drive
- 'Supra' badge
- No back seats
- No manual gearbox
- Limited storage space
After a hiatus of 17 years, the Toyota Supra sports car is back. The model became legendary in its previous incarnation thanks to numerous appearances in films and computer games, which propelled the car into the minds of driving enthusiasts the world over.
There were countless rumours of a replacement since the fourth-generation Supra went out of production, and after years of hype and camouflaged spy shots, we finally got to drive this, the fifth-gen model. To help bring down the huge cost of creating a new sports car from scratch, Toyota partnered with BMW; the latest Z4 and Supra were the results.
After deciding on the fixed parameters for the two cars and the use of 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre engines, the two brands apparently worked almost entirely separately, and the cars feel distinctly different as a result. Toyota cites the Porsche 718 Cayman as the Supra's closest rival, and in terms of driving thrills it's right up there with the Porsche and Alpine A110. It also faces competition from the Audi TT RS, Ford Mustang and ballistic BMW M2 Competition.
BMW's smooth 3.0-litre engine certainly works well in the Supra and sounds better than the flat-four in the Cayman S, even if it’s still not as exciting as the highly tuned engine in the M2 Competition. Acceleration is accompanied by a smooth growl and happens almost instantly thanks to a responsive turbocharger. Tuners will inevitably get their hands on the Supra but it’s a quick car from the factory, getting from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds. It's also very balanced, with perfect weight distribution and compact dimensions making it agile and playful on track, and great fun on the road. With a 2.0-litre engine and 254bhp, it may not be as fast, but the more affordable Supra is lighter and feels more agile as a result.
The collaboration between the two brands can also be detected inside the Supra, which feels as luxurious as you'd expect a £50,000 sports car to and features a mix of Toyota and BMW parts. Switchgear and the infotainment system will be familiar to BMW owners, and that's no bad thing, especially as the re-skinned iDrive setup is better than Toyota's own and introduced Apple CarPlay for the first time.
There are no rear seats, but the sports seats in the front are comfortable and supportive, and the lack of a rear bench means the boot is a decent 290 litres - plenty for a weekend away. And you shouldn't have a headache or sore back on arrival, because the Supra's suspension is actually quite good at smothering bumps, while the eight-speed automatic blurs shifts in its most relaxed mode.
So, was the Supra worth the wait? Initial impressions are certainly positive, because the fastest Toyota is a really enjoyable car to drive quickly, without being too compromised on the road - you could easily drive it every day.