Ever since the official announcement dropped, the internet has exploded, and everywhere you turn on social media, someone somewhere is talking about it. Quite a bit of misinformation has been spread about it, and we'd like to clear up some of that.
First and foremost, the new Supra is amazing. The base model 6 cylinder turbo version has an MSRP of $50,920
, which comes in at $6,000 less than the Corvette
and $19k less than the Cayman S it was built to compete with! (Motor Trend)
. 0-60 seconds has been quoted at 4.1
, which is over a second quicker than the MkIV TT stock time was! Now that it's a two seater and has these specs, Toyota has created an actual sports car, and not a grand tourer. MkIVs are often used as straight line cars, or highway beast machines. The MkV will be able to road race, auto cross, and really hold it's own!
Weight comes in at just under 3400 lbs, which is a bit lighter than the MkIV was for comparison. Weight distribution however is a perfect 50/50, and after seeing testing videos, we can unequivocally say that this new car will handle far better
in turns than the MkIV does!
Although many are disappointed at the 335 HP, 365 ft lbs power ratings, you also have to keep in mind that the MkIV Supra was only rated at 320 HP for the USDM export model, and that 335 HP number is just a rating. If we are to believe that it only makes 15 HP more than a stock 2JZ-GTE Supra, then we must also believe that only 15 HP extra will drop 0-60 times by around a full second! That is to say, the numbers do not tell the full story. Besides, who drives a stock Supra anymore?!
The Gazoo Racing website offers some helpful insight on these numbers: Gazoo Racing website Meaning it makes the 365 ft lbs of torque starting at 1600 RPM, all the way through to 4500 RPM!
We can expect these numbers to improve, as even Toyota representatives are eager to see what the tuner market will come up with!
Although some have compared the styling to the GT86/FR-S/BRZ/86, the GR Supra is on another level entirely. Wheelbase on the Supra is 100mm shorter, and although the 86 has a boxer engine to keep the center of gravity down, the Supra's center of gravity is even lower, and the chassis is 2.5 times tighter than the 86! In fact, the chassis rigidity is even higher than the near-unlimited budget LF-A, which uses carbon fiber reinforced polymer! Isnt technology and progress amazing?
Of course, the new Supra has made many current MkIV owners upset. In an official interview, Tetsuya Tada (the head designer for the new Supra project, as well as the GT86) offers his "respect for the previous models, but hopes, in time, us older Supra guys and gals will be open enough to see what the new creation is all about, even if it takes us time to fully accept it." Toyota UK blog
He also specifically states that this car is made to be the most fun to drive car in its class. You can compare time slips, dyno numbers, and page views all day, but ultimately, we at Supra Store prefer a car that is more fun to drive!Negativity
Many will note that the new Supra is littered with the BMW roundel throughout the car. Indeed, nearly every part number for the MkV has been leaked, and all of them use the BMW numbering system (XX-XX-X-XXX-XXX). It's important to remember that this was a joint venture between the companies
. It's easy to forget that just because there are lots of BMW emblems on everything, and there are lots of BMW parts interchangeable on this car, that BMW was who approached Toyota in 2012, (which they publicly announced back then)
and both agreed to work together on a future endeavor. This was long before they decided to share Z4 and Supra architecture, and initially wanted to share data and manufacturing notes.
From the parts fiche leak I have combed through, It appears the wheel bearings are the same as the 760Xi AWD V12 7 series. The Supra mechanically uses the X5 head, cams, throttle, intercooler, alternator, steering column, and throttle, though all of those are programmed by Toyota to Toyota's specs in this car. In this new era of electronic control, one could make 2 very different cars using the same physical parts, depending on how the cams are programmed, how the suspension is programmed, and how the steering is programmed.
It's also important to note that the days of independently engineered cars have long passed. Globalization has blurred the line, where over half of the parts content of the top 10 "made in America" vehicles are all Toyotas. USA brand cars from the big three (Ford, GM, Chrysler (now FCA)) have switched production to Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere. I drive a 124 Abarth, which has a Miata chassis, an Abarth engine, and an engine bay full of Mazda and Mopar emblems. The car is overwhelmingly the best driver's car under $50k available today, and yet it had input from 3 entirely different companies. Someone like Toyota would not let their reputation be ruined by another company without thorough testing of their parts.
We know that almost every other car manufacturer has gone to Toyota for help and engineering on their hybrid cars. Ford, Nissan, even Porsche and Tesla have reached out to Toyota for their expertise. We also know that Toyota and Subaru partnered up for the GT86, which Tada was the lead designer of as well. No longer should we expect a car developed in a vacuum (although it's easy to forget Yamaha and Getrag's involvement in a supposedly pure Toyota MkIV chassis), and that means we get help from BMW, arguably the best modern day chassis manufacturer of mass produced cars.
The new Supra itself is being built by Magna Steyr in Austria. This is a third party company responsible for assembling a myriad of other vehicles in the past, such as the unkillable G-wagen, Jaguar I-Pace and E-Pace, and BMW 5 series. In the past, they have also assembled the Aston Martin Rapide and the infamous gullwinged SLS AMG. They have been around for over 100 years, so they certainly have pedigree."It's not as good as the old one!"
Technology has come a very long way in the 2 decades it has been since the last Supra was engineered. The new car comes with a noticeably smaller price, less weight, better 0-60 time, modern features like keyless entry, LED headlights, a clutch-type differential that is electronically controlled instead of a Torsen type (meaning no need to spend $1300+ for a TRD LSD insert like the old days), has an electronically adjustable suspension, exhaust, variable ratio electric steering, plus variable lift and timing on the cams. It corners much better, and the now missing rear seats were never actually usable anyways. It stays flat in the corners, and doesnt have the chassis flex like we have grown accustomed to with our targa cars. All of this, and it is still lighter than a MkIV Supra. The base 4 cylinder version comes in at a scant 3100 lbs, making it the closest to a MkII Supra we've seen since! No, this is not the old Supra. This is far better. Tuning companies (including ourselves) will be making upgrades for it so quickly that your head will spin. Imagine what BPU numbers will produce! It's easy to forget that the MkIV is so great because of its looks and drivetrain potential, not as much for what it was as it sat on the showroom floor."It's a Z4!"
The platform is shared between the cars, it does not belong solely to one or the other. Also, consider the RX300, Highlander, etc are all built on the Camry platform. Are they the same car as the Camry? The Z4 has always been the closest modern day equivalent to the MkIV, and is also a really great car, as many seem to forget. It's not an unproven platform of uncertainty."It's not made in Japan!"
I'd prefer that too, but the actual assembly is being handled in Austria by people that know what they're doing. That is far more important than where the parts are being put together. After all, our Tundras are made in Texas, and nearly every other Toyota in the USA market today is made here in the USA! Meanwhile, we haven't seen too many people complain in the past 10 years about the infamous Getrag V160 and V161 being German in design. Only in price and difficulty in finding parts. We won't have that problem now, as parts sharing will give greater availability and lower cost!"It's not a 3JZ!"
No, in fact it is better. The B58C is an aluminum, closed deck block. It has variable valve timing on both cams, and variable lift on the intake cam. The ECU is hardly difficult to tune, so we can expect the gains from BPU mods on these cars will be higher than they were even on the MkIV! It might not be able to hold 1000 HP stock, but it will have more usable powerband, and will have plenty of aftermarket accessories and bolt-ons available eventually. If it was designed from scratch for the Supra, Toyota would've had to outsource it anyways, whether it was Yamaha or end up being BMW regardless of the partnership. After all, who makes a better inline 6 in 2019?"But the price!"
By the end of production, the Supra was stickering for well into $40k range. Accounting for inflation, this car is actually less
expensive at $50k, and that's not even counting the 4 cylinder range, whose prices have not yet been released! We can assume that if the Supra was purely a Toyota and only Toyota creation, it would not have turned up as great, would've been far more expensive, and taken far longer to engineer--keep in mind that the LF-A had 2 generations before the third and final release, not to mention a start-from-scratch carbon fiber looming process that had to be invented just for the car. The GR Supra's price comes in well under the prices of anything it competes with, especially the Z4 itself."It has single piston floating rear calipers!
Yes, and so does the M5 Competition. Tesla does on their 6 piston front brake equipped cars as well. It gets the job done for lower cost and weight, so it might not look as cool, but it is more practical."Toyota shouldve used the RC-F or LC500 platform."
That would make sense, if they wanted to build a third heavy highway cruising GT car. The LC500 weighs in at a bulky 4280 lbs. The RC-F is over 550 lbs heavier than the GR Supra, and neither have an inline 6 turbo. This complaint would've been replaced with "it's too heavy!" instead."There's no 6 speed option!"
This is the only complaint I have about the car myself. Everything about this car is shockingly amazing, whether you care to admit it or not. Although we now live in an era where automatic cars are noticeably faster than manuals, many of us still prefer a third pedal and H pattern box. Fortunately, there's good news, as the European Z4 WILL have a manual transmission option. Toyota has publicly stated that they are testing the market to see if there will be enough interest for a manual, so the best thing to do will be to reach out to them however you can and let them know you want one. Worst case scenario, the parts are already engineered and produced, so getting the needed parts from a Z4 might be all it needs mechanically! It will only be a matter of time before we start seeing manual conversion kits as well.“This isn’t a pure Toyota car like the MkIV is!”
It’s easy to forget that the MkIV Supra was also a collaborative effort. All of the best mechanical parts of the MkIV Supra did not exclusively come from Toyota! Let’s take the brakes for example. Anyone who has serviced the TT brakes on these cars, which had the best production brakes until the Carrera GT was released, will have noticed “Sumitomo” cast right into the brake calipers. Before the craze of putting the Brembo brand on everything, Sumitomo lead the way.
We all know of Yamaha’s roll in developing G series engine heads for Toyota. This continues to this day, with their partnership bringing us some killer engines like the 1LR LF-A V10 and the 2UR-GSE found in the IS-F, GS-F, RC-F, and LC500. And let’s not forget to mention the Getrag V160 one more time. I have not been able to find any verifiable information about the 6 speed 220mm diff, but it’s entirely possible this bespoke piece was not 100% Toyota either. Every car on the road for many years now has been a collaborative effort.
And finally, perhaps most importantly of all, the biggest consideration to remember is that this car has little effect on our Mk3s and Mk4s. We will still be heavily supporting and supplying A70 and A80 parts. The 2JZ isnt going anywhere, engines and aftermarket parts are still very readily available. The MkIV will remain a legend, and still be one of the best cars ever made on the road!
- Lonnie B, 1-17/19, updated 4-17/19