Hooniverse Asks: How do you feel about the new Supra?

It feels like this has been a long time coming. The 2020 Toyota Supra, first teased as an idea in the form of the FT-1 Concept, is finally ready to come out and play. In fact, after all the time spent teasing its arrival, Toyota has to be a bit miffed that the real deal has been revealed a bit early. While the car will be shown at the Detroit Auto Show, it’s gotten early eyeballs thanks to a tweet from Toyota Mexico.

A video has been produced talking about the return of the Supra. In it, Akio Toyoda speaks as the new sports car drives through a setup false nighttime city scene. There are hero shots. There’s lots of angles. You can take in the new Supra any way you’d like. But I’m curious if you still care at all?

Like the new NSX before it, the Toyota Supra feels like it’s been in development purgatory for far too long. Yes, we want the engineers to get it right. But this one still feels like it’s been baking in the oven for a bit longer than necessary. That puts a bit of a dampener on the hype and excitement of the arrival of a new Supra.

Glory days returned?

I do begin daydreaming of the sports car glory days of the 1990s though, and that puts a smile on my face. Remember Supra vs 300ZX vs 3000GT? Throw in the RX-7 as well, and you had a handful of Japanese sports cars ready to take on the world. As those cars got better and more powerful, their price tags rose to insane heights. With a new Supra set to arrive in the modern world, a relatively hefty price tag won’t be quite as shocking. Nearly every new car is a bit too expensive, and this one will be no exception.

But I hope it’s a joy to drive. If the Supra is a damn-fine machine, then perhaps the wait will be worth it.

What do you think?

[Source: YouTube via Jalopnik]

21 Comments

  1. To me this is a big bowl of meh. Isn’t Toyota a huge company with tons of in-house expertise? Why do they need to go to BMW for a sports car?

    1. Shared development costs – Toyota could do it, but I doubt they’d expect to see a return on investment if they designed the whole thing themselves.

  2. I think Toyota– tired of being considered a maker of driving appliances– desperately wanted an attainable halo sports car (sorry, LFA), but no one in the company had the slightest clue how to make one. So, just as they paired up with Subaru for the GT86, they had to rely on someone else for help on the Supra. The result is superficially similar to the last Supra (17 years ago!!) in shape, drive configuration, and engine type, but as others have said, you’re getting BMW headaches without the badge prestige. And forget Toyota reliability.

    I’ll echo others’ comments: Why?

    1. Does it matter? Someones making sports cars and not crossover Tonka toys for status anxiety mammies.

      1. The point is, BMW is making sports cars, and Toyota is re-badging them. The A80 Supra was a great car with an awesome engine, and it was designed and built by Toyota. Akio Toyoda shouldn’t be worried about why his company doesn’t have a sports car– he should be concerned that it can’t create one.

  3. I won’t ever likely buy one, so I’m not bothered by the longevity issue. It’ll be nice to drive, at least it’s got a straight six, I’m happy Toyota made it, but it’s no second coming, it’s just another half-decent sports car.

    1. Toyota is not making these. Toyota is marketing these….just as Chrysler marketed Mitsubishis in the 1980s.

      1. I can’t be bothered to care about such pedantic nitpicking. Toyota is bringing out another sports car. It’s a minor positive even if it’s just a tweaked BMW.

      2. I am with you #6. My buddy in high school had a 1984 version. We had A LOT of fun in that little “Twin Stick” rocket.

        I will never forget our May 1985 trip to the Thursday “Grudge” Night at the Fremont, CA drag strip. Low 14s in the quarter if I remember correctly. It was really funny how the front end on that little thing would hop up and down during burnouts. I too would LOVE to own one today!

        Speaking to the practicality of the car, my buddy also bolted hitch to the back of that thing and on Saturdays we would tow an aluminum 14ft boat to Emeryville with it for some fishing on the Bay.

      3. From what little I’ve seen there are substantial differences between the bmB and Toyota, a long way from being a rebadge job.

        I can’t see why the Supra would be any more “femmy-lala” than any other sports car, it would be less so than most.

        Will it find a market? Who knows, which is why they hedged their bets and shared costs with BMW.

  4. Unfair perhaps, but on first glance, my mind classifies this Supra in the same bucket with the Gen1 Audi TT. Kinda femmy-lala. Great car for an urban gender neutral/metrosexual childless CPA or architect who just got its first decent paying gig. Despite the performance potential, it will be purchased, with an automatic, as a fashion accessory.

    My second glance causes me to wonder why Toyota has gone down this road with BMW. The car most certainly looks like a BMW, but has these odd Toyota badges on it. I avoid BMWs specifically, and contemporary German cars generally, due to their less than stellar long-term reliability reputation. Enthusiasts who would consider a Toyota performance car would do so specifically to enjoy the reliability and value associated with the Toyota brand. An enthusiast who is hunting for a sports car will certainly know this Supra is a BMW underneath…so why not get the added prestige of a BMW roundel on the car?…since I won’t be getting Toyota reliability anyway…? In the immortal words of Jeremy Clarkson, “it’s a silly car.”

    1. Unless it magically showed up with a price tag lower than BMW’s in a particular segment there’s not a good reason that I can think of why Toyota would want BMW’s taint on an enthusiast product. People buy new BMW’s to either flip out of them before they go bad or blissfully unaware that they do with an eye on brand image. That is antithetical to anything the Toyota brand stands for.

      1. I’ve kinda been operating under the assumption that it was due in no small part to the fact that BMW is just about the only (actually…are they the only?) manufacturer still making I-6s in large numbers, and Toyota wanted to keep that part of the Supra heritage without going through the additional time and cost of developing a bespoke engine for it. I’m quite curious how big a role that played, because otherwise it does seem to be a case of odd bedfellows (and I agree, the Supra will probably have to undercut the Z4 on price by a decent margin to win the attention of anyone other than the Supra faithful).

        I do remember reading an article at one point (friend showed it to me, and I don’t remember where it was) that talked about how much the BMW and Toyota teams learned from each other and how surprised they were by their differing approaches to car development (I think there were specific examples given, but I’ve forgotten them). I’m sort of hopeful that this project will get to take some of the best bits of both schools, but that could also be at least partially PR-speak for “our engineering teams are constantly butting heads because they have different ideas about what constitutes proper process”.

        1. “you have designed zese bushings such zat zey vill last longer zan ze oil change interfal, vy is zis?”

  5. Where is the room in the market for this thing? We have amazing sport coupes for those who have the means. Audi TT, Ford Mustang GT, Jaguar F-Type. And for those willing to break $100K, we have Porsche and Aston Martin, of course. Plus the Alfa 4C Spyder is a track car that’s still for sale, as is the Lotus Exige. This will not sell unless it is under $50,000, and I am not confident it will be. Otherwise, Mustang GT, folks. Even the automatic is a thrill. I love Toyota and I loved the Supra as a young man. But who, aside from aging Fast and Furious fans asked for this?

  6. The first Supra was a Celica with a six and a bit of restyling. They’re already making the new Celica (they call it the 86 but c’mon we all know better), so why not just follow the same formula? Could stay true to themselves, it’s a bit of a reset of what a Toyota halo sports car would be but that’s fine, they wouldn’t be the first nor the last maker to do that, witness Mustang styling, re-developing it essentially from 1970 after having gone very wrong, nothing wrong with that method is there. The 2GR-FE is already proven to fit in the 86 and works well, make a tuned version of that (doesn’t even have to be turbo – again, the first Supra wasn’t – you’d still get more than half again the 86’s power, and that’s plenty).

    It would have been easy to do, resulted in something that would likely be nearly as quick as this and yet cost far less to buy, and all done in house.

    I’m sure it’ll be fantastic to drive. But even so, as a huge Toyota fan, this “Supra” gets a “meh” from me.

    addendum:

    1. no one that wants a fashion accessory will buy a Toyota.
    2. no one that wants to tune their car in the grand tradition will buy a Toyota with a BMW engine.
    3. no one that wants prestige will buy this instead of a Lexus.
    4. no one that wants a BMW sports car will buy one with a Toyota wrapper.

    1. I really like this idea, though I’m not sure everyone would. Particularly, considering that even though the Supra had humble beginnings, it rose to something much greater over the generations. Some might view this as a major step back, but I think it would be a genuine return to the marque’s roots.

      I’d never thought of the 86 as the “new Celica” so much as the “new AE86”, which was a Corolla. But considering there’s currently still a Corolla and no Celica, I see your point. I also didn’t know the 2GR-FE had been shown to fit in the 86’s bay– and isn’t that the Toyota engine that Lotus uses in the Evora/Exige/etc? Sounds good to me. Perhaps Toyota will learn something valuable from this BMW association and eventually take your approach.

      1. Yes, in fact they could just take all the development from the Evora engine, even easier.

        The 86 (in all its multitudinous names) has always seemed to me far more similar to this:

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a45f01da7c03652d3d47b7d891d192e3d1962772bd94b073765a43cc50cd2ffd.jpg

        than this:

        https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c596962bb814c8954623626df4525ba4711b7c42d519061f6ecb22d53f835215.jpg

        It’s not a hatchback, it’s on it’s own dedicated platform, it doesn’t have an entry level version like the AE85. But, marketing, I get why they would name it as they did.

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