Why is our Toyota Supra getting so much attention?
“Here we go again,” I thought as another window cracked open and started to roll down. It’s been the same for the last few weeks: predictable. A bit like when a dog spins around scoping out a landing pad for its latest arse egg. So I knew what was coming next.
“What is it?”
“The new Supra,” I say.
“The new Toyota Supra.”
Being British, they don’t ask any more. Just scan up, down and across the enchanting blue paint, squint at the logo on the rims as the eyebrows concertina with confusion. Occasionally, I get a “Sick car!” to close off the conversation, but not always. It’s normally a slow nod of appreciation. It’d be quite different in America, mind. There, I’d have to rattle off its vital statistics and VIN numbers before being invited around for Thanksgiving dinner. But the fact the Supra can get a reaction out of the general public in the UK says a lot.
Naturally, it’s vilified by salty petrolheads for the collaboration with BMW. But that’s a very small minority. Because you have to remember 98 per cent of the population doesn’t ‘get’ cars. We are the nerdy two per cent. Everyone else is more concerned about which Love Island contestant choked on a Percy Pig this week. But the Supra somehow hits them different. Primarily because people haven’t seen one before. But also because it’s a properly intriguing visual for most to get their head around: bold, shapely and noticeably Japanese. It also means they don’t know what it is. So I have to do a lot of traffic light explaining. Which I’m fine with.
I’m still trying to get my head around the way it drives. So far, it’s proved to be a fantastic cruiser; comfortably assisting myself, a passenger and our luggage up north for a weekend away a while back. The Northerners also fell in love with it. “Reet nice car, that!” they’d shout. But when the roads get twisty and I grab it by the scruff of the neck, I haven’t quite got its trust yet: the rear end has too much roll, and the front can’t communicate its levels of grip articulately. So you never know where you’re at with it. I found this while chasing Ollie and his similarly blue RS6 across the countryside a few weeks back. Where he could flick-flack and change direction rapidly (with the help of 4WD, natch) the Supra was languid and unsettled. I know there is a decent chassis under there, I just need to unlock it. Which is easiest done sideways. I feel a plan brewing…