Say hello to Top Gear's new Toyota Supra
Everyone bow and say Konnichiwa to our latest TG Garage recruit. Or should that be Guten Tag? It can only be the new Supra. Wait, did someone say ‘cheap shot’? Well, not compared to what you lot have been spouting in the comments section over the last few months. See, the new Supra is a car that’s been hopelessly consumed by a maelstrom of scrutiny because of its dual citizenship. And one of the main reasons we want to run one long-term.
And it’s been a while. The Supra was teased, hyped and leaked over a near decade-long gestation period. It’s six years since we saw the FT-1 concept. Then we had the crazy Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept in March 2018. We saw the BMW Z4 in summer 2018 and drove it in October. We drove the Supra prototype, in an eye-scrambling patchwork wrap. Then saw photos of the version that’ll race in Japanese Super GT. Then blurry internet leaks of the Supra proper. The wait has been agonising for the hardcore fanbase and that gave you lot time to sharpen your swords to go into battle for when the covers were thrown off it.
Since then it has been peppered with hot takes from internet warriors and media types alike. Why? Because of its engineering tie-up with BMW. In case you didn’t know, the new A90 Supra shares a platform, running gear, engine, gearbox and large chunks of the interior with the BMW Z4. Now, collaboration between companies isn’t anything new, especially for Toyota – which came out the better for the GT86/Subaru BRZ project and went threesies with Peugeot and Citroen for the Aygo/108/C1 – but this one struck a nerve because it’s the Supra, the quintessential Japanese car for a generation weaned on the Fast & Furious franchise.
Being a JDM fanboy I had my reservations when first seeing and driving the car last year. But since the world has gone a bit mad since then, I’ve decided to wind my neck in and approach this Supra with a fresh perspective. Let’s be frank, without the controversial collaboration, this striking RWD, straight-six coupe wouldn’t exist. This dying breed is being replaced with more generic, less characterful ‘mobility solutions’, so bring it on, BMW bits and all.
What is GY20 XCG? A top of the line Pro spec, that’s what. So it’s got BMW’s rorty (and highly tuneable) 335bhp B58 turbocharged inline-six attached to ZF’s ubiquitous eight-speed auto. Being top spec, every option is pretty much pre-ticked. In fact, the only addition is that deep, slightly mesmerising blue paint (£710). I wasn’t too sure how it’d come out in natural light, it’s an intriguing colour that masks some of the Supra’s fussy lines and details to give it a more voluptuous shape. But it looks properly smart in the flesh; fantastically proportioned and wears its jazzy half chrome 19-inch wheels well. Which many cars fail to do nowadays.
Tuning is obviously on my to-do list – after all, the godfather of the new Supra, Tetsuya Tada, left built-in margin for further exploitation, and it’d be rude not to explore its potential. How far can we push it? We’ll have to wait and see.