When Toyota and BMW announced some years back they would collaborate on a sports car together many rejoiced. I mean BMW right? What could go wrong? In such this year arrived the all-new 2020 Toyota GR Supra.
Built in Graz, Austria on the same assembly line as the also new for this year BMW Z4, the new 2020 GR Supra arrives with styling very tightly penned to the DNA of the last generation model which was enormously popular in the tuner and enthusiast circles for being bulletproof and having near unlimited potential. The new GR Supra has shoes to fill suffice it to say.
This car though styled on the exterior much like a Toyota sports car is after spending some time with it really just a BMW Z4. It’s chassis, engine, transmission, suspension and much of the interior….all BMW. It feels like one, it sounds like one, and it drives like one.
Sitting behind the wheel you will find a unique cabin in its trims that are kind of Toyota-esque. Look around however and you will soon start to recognize switch panels, infotainment screen and controls, gear lever and most everything is lifted from the BMW parts bin – just arranged with different care. Seats are good and tight as is the luggage compartment in my tester truncated with the JBL sound system.
The takeaway from the interior is that the aftertaste is well….BMW. This includes the annoying shift puck from BMW, the annoying infotainment controls from BMW and a few other things annoying like squeaks and creaks from the trim and interior components…..all from BMW.
In fact, while this is a hard-top car it flexed and twisted, shuddered and shook as a structure just like the convertible on which it’s based – almost as if the hard roof was simply strapped on – a disappointment for a car costing nearly $60,000.
In my tester, the rear hatch warning light flashed and chimed incessantly as it was convinced it was ajar even though it was not – something our press-car rep said they have had fixed three times at the dealership yet it keeps breaking. BMW.
Now don’t get me wrong, BMW is not all bad mind you, but if you have lived with one as I have had several in my life you know the price of admission is the act living with one.
The upshot is its 3.0-liter inline turbocharged six with 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque which kicks you nicely in the back and sounds rip snorting naughty especially when you dial up the drive mode to hot.
Its 8-speed automatic transmission, the only choice I will point out manages the power well and is really not that much a disappointment. What is a disappointment however is the engine’s auto start stop system which in my opinion has no place in a performance car.
Handling was a strong point. It got that from BMW too which means a tight precise chassis with steering sharp as a razor. Brakes are responsive and the car just flat out feels good at speed whether on the highway or blasting around town. Toyota found a good partner for this aspect of the Supra.
In the end the new 2020 GR Supra is a fun car that fills the box for a sports car in the Toyota lineup. It’s got the style that gets more attention than anything I’ve driven in a while and the fun to back it up. The question becomes is it a real Toyota or a BMW with Japanese accent?