The Toyota Supra on test for Changing Lanes!
The Toyota Supra on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline reviews the Toyota Supra!

The Toyota Supra. The legend returns. I’ve waited a long time for this. Then the stars align and the Supra is mine. All mine! For one weekend only.

The A90 edition is spectacular. Just 90 of this limited edition were made for Europe. And here I am with the keys to the one in the car park at Toyota Ireland.

Priced from €86,780, the Supra is a high-end sports car. A car to dream of driving. One I will remember for a very long time.

I grew up in the 1990s, a golden age for Japanese sports cars. Along with the Nissan GT-R and the Honda NSX, the Toyota Supra is one of the icons of Japanese car culture, one that has travelled the globe. It is Toyota’s most famous sports car.

Then it disappeared.

Then it came back. Toyota President Akio Toyoda, explains:

“Back in the day, I spent countless hours driving an old Supra at Nürburgring to become a master driver. Supra is like an old friend that holds a special place in my heart. While other manufacturers were putting their beautiful new prototypes which they were going to introduce through their paces, I was driving an old Supra that was no longer in production. So even though Toyota had no plans to make a new Supra, just like a lot of other die-hard Supra fans around the world, I secretly wanted to make it happen. The new GR Supra was born through testing at Nürburgring, and I can honestly say that it is a car that is fun to drive and better than ever.”

Toyota President Akio Toyoda with the new Supra
Toyota President Akio Toyoda with the new Supra

What’s so special about the Toyota Supra?

The Toyota GR Supra is the first GR model to be produced by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing for the global market, the umbrella organisation for Toyota’s global motorsports programme. The fifth generation of Toyota’s legendary sports car debuted back in summer 2019, arriving in Ireland soon after.

To revive the Supra, Chief Engineer Tetsuya Tada went to enthusiast clubs around the world for input on what format new Supra should take. The response was consistently ‘a straight-six turbo and front engine/rear-wheel drive configuration’. So that’s what they set out to do.

But here’s where it gets a bit tricky. It’s no secret that the new Supra shares much of its underpinnings and engine with the BMW Z4. Toyota did some of their own tuning of the car. The passion to create a ‘supreme fun to drive’ car.

To celebrate the Supra heritage and the introduction of the fifth generation code number (A90), an exclusive Toyota GR Supra A90 Edition model was built for the launch, with production strictly limited to just 90 examples in Europe.

Finished in a dramatic Storm Grey matt paint finish, with 19″ black alloy wheels and exclusive red leather interior, it’s surely a collector’s item.

The Supra A90 special edition - only 90 were made for Europe
The Supra A90 Edition – only 90 were made for Europe

This car looks dramatic from every angle, purposeful and as if it is in motion even when it is parked. It’s classically Japanese by design, with a knod to the 2000GT and even the Supra from the 1990s. The influence of the 2000GT evidenced in the long bonnet, compact body and double-bubble roof, while the distinctive look of the fourth generation Supra is captured in both the front and rear styling, in the muscular rear wings and the arc of the integrated spoiler. And the Supra font only slightly modernised for this generation.

Inside the new Supra A90 Edition
Inside the new Supra A90 Edition

Yet slipping inside is a bit confusing. Because this interior borrows heavily from BMW. Granted I’m a motoring journalist and I drive a lot of cars. I’m very sensitive to these details. The infotainment system is BMW’s iDrive system, the switchgear from BMW too. It’s not a deal breaker but it’s clear this is no longer a grass roots Japanese sports car…maybe I shed a nostalgic tear for the cars I loved in my childhood.

Yet the fit and finish is good, the driving position sporty.

Driving the Toyota Supra

A magnificent car from start-up. The power, performance and sensational handling delivered by dynamic benefits of a classic sports car design – short wheelbase, wide track, lightweight, low centre of gravity and highly rigid body. Under the bonnet is the BMW-sourced 3.0-litre engine, fitted with a single twin-scroll turbocharger. 340 hp and 500 Nm of torque. 0 to 100 kmh in 4.3 seconds. Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission that rockets through the gears with lightening quick responses. All the while, the driver holding on. Eyes wide. Speechless at the mastery of the thing!

The new Supra uses a 3.0-litre straight six engine from BMW
The new Supra uses a 3.0-litre straight six engine from BMW

The performance figures only tell half the story of course. It’s about the way the Supra feels on the road. The way it goes around corners. The thrust of the engine and the noise of it on full throttle. The way this car turns heads. Its inspiring presence. There is a lightness to the way this car carries itself, appealing to the driver’s senses in a way that most cars miss these days. It gently caresses corners and you the driver feeling like some sort of God of Driving when all you did was turn the wheel.

Toyota GR Supras sold in Europe are fitted with an active differential that operates both when accelerating and decelerating and can seamlessly adjust from zero to full, 100% lock, with instant response. A dedicated ECU monitors a wide range of inputs, including steering wheel, throttle and brake pressure, engine and wheel speed and yaw rate, for appropriate triggering of the actuator. The torque difference between the left and right wheels is controlled flexibly and seamlessly depending on the driving situation.

Did you like it?

Yes I was having a whole lot of fun driving this car. But I was comfortable too. The Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) enhances performance with instant response to changes in the road surface, adjusting the shock absorber force at each wheel to maintain a flat vehicle posture, excellent steering response and supple ride comfort. Sensors constantly monitor the way the car is being driven and the road conditions, controlling the damping force accordingly.

Ride comfort is exceptional for a sports car. It feels like a GT car, one you could travel across Europe in if you had deep enough pockets to pay for the fuel. Over a few days of driving my average fuel consumption was 11.8 litres per 100 km. If you want economical buy a Yaris Hybrid!

The Toyota Supra is a legend of a car. I’m so glad to see it back. The tricky part is that it’s not really a Japanese sports car anymore. It has too many German parts for that. I might shed a tear for that.

But then you step back and look at it. And there are a rush of feelings, mixed with some sheer awe at the mastery of the car. Behind the wheel, the Supra’s magnificent engine and beautiful handling take over. Enough said.

Yes I like the new Supra very much
Yes I like the new Supra very much

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Toyota Supra A90 Edition
3.0-litre petrol
Power: 340 hp
Torque: 500 Nm
Top speed: 250 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 4.3 seconds
CO2 emissions:
170 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€750 per year

The Toyota Supra on test for Changing Lanes!