2022 Toyota GR Supra GT on test

The Japanese marque is quickly developing a reputation for producing cars with excellent performance and this one has a BMW secret weapon.

Toyota’s Gazoo Racing (GR) has sent the brand’s street credo into hyperspace with its chic GR Yaris, Gen Z favorite coupe GR86 and sports car flagship GR Supra.

Here are five things you need to know about the Toyota GR Supra GT.

Praise the car gods that the Supra exists

As the automotive world moves towards an electric future, we need to cherish real gas toys while we can. Toyota might be chasing easy dollars and only selling SUVs, but instead its performance GR range has breathed new life into the Japanese giant. The Supra sports car, reborn in 2019 after a 17-year absence, bears the burden of the expectation of being a Gran Turismo, Fast and Furious and street racing favorite. Two seats, rear-wheel drive, a 285 kW/500 Nm turbo inline six-cylinder and 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds are fun. All for less than $100,000 on the street.

Some call it a BMW in a Japanese suit

Toyota needed a turbocharged inline-six engine to stay true to the Supra’s heritage. Who makes a decent modern out of it? bmw. A deal was struck and the Supra and BMW Z4 were developed together to share the cost. Purists choke on this Japanese hero who has a German heart, but BMW’s 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder coupled with its eight-speed auto is a masterclass in engineering. It gives the Supra a fierce thump when you stick your right foot, a rorty note in the top revs and happy exhaust bangs. Silky smooth power delivery is a welcome constant.

It’s a great sports car, but something is missing

It’s faster and more logical than Fast and Furious. It’s not a BMW M engine, nor is the gearbox a race-car-fast dual-clutch car. More mongrel wouldn’t hurt. A six-speed manual is coming later this year to boost engagement – real drivers should wait for that. Regardless, it’s a wonderful and easy-to-live-in sports car. Thanks to the adaptive suspension, driving comfort is unexpectedly good – your spine is in safe hands, even on bumpy roads. The torque-converter automatic shifts smoothly through gears without the judder of a dual-clutch car, and the noise-cancellation is such that you never have to yell at your passenger. Find some corners and the balance, grip and steering feedback are hugely rewarding, with a playful, slippery rear end when provoked. It doesn’t quite match its rival Porsche Cayman in terms of mid-engine purity, but there’s plenty of fun to be had.

There is much shock and awe for your dollars

There are body curves for days. A long aluminum hood, a squat and well-rounded fuselage, a double bubble roof and a low stance tick all the boxes of mid-life crisis sports cars. My tester’s Monza Red was added to the theater. The Supra’s cabin has been criticized for looking and feeling like that of a BMW. Like that’s a bad thing? It’s the finest Toyota interior I’ve ever used, with its heated, power and leather sports seats, superb carbon fiber look trim, dual-zone air conditioning, wireless phone charger and BMW’s center dial that selects the 8, 8 inch infotainment screen controls. The gear stick, switches, climate controls and dashboard design have a premium European flair, while the safety package is generous. Cabin storage is terrible, but a supremely handy trunk breaks things up again.

It won’t bleed you dry

You can pay $10,000 more for a Supra GTS version with fancier alloys, optional red leather, better audio, and beefier brakes, but the entry-level GT has everything you need. The Supra looks and feels more expensive than its $94,000 departure price, while the warranty is five years and service is $390 per year for the first five. Porsche’s Cayman warranty is a miserly three years, and you’ll pay an average of $900 a piece annually for maintenance. That also saves fuel. The official number is 7.7 l/100 km and I returned 7.9 l/100 km.

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