Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week, Toyota updates the Supra and adds a new engine option, Aston Martin finally drops the top on the new Vantage, Kia teases the next Sorento, and Nissan files a lawsuit for damages against Carlos Ghosn.
2021 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 and 3.0
The long-awaited Supra revival may have only come out last year, but Toyota has already found some things to improve on. The GR Supra gets more power, a reworked chassis, a new special edition, and a four-cylinder version that’s also coming to America. Read on for the details, unless you have one of the 2020 models…
The existing six-cylinder Supra, which will now be called the Supra 3.0, will enjoy a healthy power bump from its 3.0-liter straight-six. The BMW-sourced twin-scroll turbo unit now produces 382 horsepower and 368 lb.-ft. of torque, an increase of 47 horsepower and 3 lb.-ft. of torque. Those numbers are more in line with what BMW’s flagship straight-sixes are producing these days. Toyota says they provided a new dual-branch exhaust manifold with six ports instead of two which improves heat management. They also include a new piston design which reduces the engine’s compression ratio from 11:1 to 10.2:1. Toyota says the engine produces higher torque at higher revs and maintains its eagerness to rev. Its 0-60 time is expected to drop from 4.1 seconds to 3.9 seconds as well.
An improvement in the handling department is also on the table. The Supra 3.0 gets lightweight aluminum braces that tie the strut towers to the radiator support to increase lateral rigidity, along with front and rear bump stops and new damper tuning. There’s also revised programming for the electric power steering, Adaptive Variable Suspension, stability control, and the active differential. The net results according to Toyota is more stability through quick transitions, such as compound turns.
There’s also a small update to speak of inside the cabin: the once optional 8″ screen used for the infotainment system is now the standard across all Supra models. Also, those opting for the Supra 3.0 model will get the chance to pick up one of 1,000 A91 Editions exclusive to the 2021 model year. They’re sold as regular GR Supra 3.0 models with everything that was just mentioned but with only two colors to pick from – an exclusive color or a non-exclusive color. It also includes “two exclusive key gloves” and – I shit you not – an ultra-exclusive trunk mat.
About that four-cylinder…
As has been promised since the days of camouflaged prototypes and concept renderings, Toyota is offering a turbocharged four-cylinder version for the first time. This marks the return of the two-tiered performance lineup as the A70 and A80 had. It’ll be the cheaper entry point for the new Supra, but that doesn’t mean it’s just another base model.
Powered by what is certainly another BMW engine, the Supra 2.0 still gets a solid 255 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque available at a wide rev range. Like the other BMW engine they borrow for the Supra 3.0, this 2.0-liter four-banger utilizes a twin-scroll turbo, direct injection, and continuously variable timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts. Paired with the same 8-speed automatic as its bigger brother for quick shifting, Toyota expects a five-second 0-60 time.
While Toyota withholds certain performance goodies like the active differential and active suspension from the 3.0 model, the 2.0 does have a few advantages of its own. It’s more than 200 pounds lighter while maintaining its “near” 50:50 weight distribution. In 2020, a 3,181-pound curb weight is a bragging right. The lack of two cylinders isn’t the only source of that weight loss though. Because it’s technically the base model, it won’t have quite the same level of luxury inside. The standard audio system is a four-speaker unit (as opposed to ten) and the seats are manually adjusted. The front brakes are also slightly smaller to account for the weight loss. Many of the creature comforts available on the Supra 3.0 as options are also available on the Supra 2.0 though. It also gets its own wheel design which appears to be the only way you can tell the models apart.
The new Supras arrive in dealerships this June. Pricing for the updated 3.0 and the new 2.0 have not been announced yet.
Aston Martin Vantage Roadster
It’s almost surprising that it took this long, but Aston Martin’s Vantage Roadster is getting brought into the newest generation. Open-top Astons have always been favorites with their customers, so they likely took the extra two years to make this one right.
All the mechanical goodness that makes the Vantage Coupe such an engaging drive carries over unchanged. That means a totally-not Mercedes-AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with a ZF eight-speed transmission channeling all 503 horsepower to the rear wheels. The only difference is you can hear a lot more of it now. Aston stuck with a fabric top which they call the “tautly tailored fabric hood” (god bless the British) because it’s more compact and lighter. Between the lightness of the top and its z-fold roof mechanism, it’s also the fastest-operating automatic convertible system on the market at 6.7 seconds to lower and 6.8 seconds to raise. The top isn’t just some flimsy thing either because it can withstand speeds up to 190 mph. And there’s minimal impact to the trunk space with the told folded, which allows it to pass the most important performance metric of them all… the golf bag test.
The Vantage Roadster launches during Q2 this year and it’s open for your orders now. Prices start at $161,000.
[Source: Aston Martin]
New Kia Sorento teaser
Kia will be using the Geneva Motor Show, the flashiest and least practical auto show on the circuit, to debut something not flashy but practical. Based on some teaser shots that Autoweek got a hold of, we can expect a new crossover/SUV that will be known as the new Sorento in the US. We can see enough of the design through the shadows to know it’ll be as striking of a design as other recent Kias. This company has been on the rise for several years now but it still feels odd to have works like “striking” and “Kia” in the same sentence. We’ll see if they can keep that streak going when it debuts in March.
[Source: Kia via Autoweek]
Nissan sues Carlos Ghosn for $91 million
This is the only picture we have of him because I’m too lazy to find more
The gift that keeps on giving has delivered once again. According to a Reuters report, Nissan has filed a lawsuit against former CEO and the first name to be scratched off their Christmas card mailing list with the bigger sharpie, Carlos Ghosn. They are seeking $91 million in damages which are related to the charges of financial misconduct that are pending against him. Reuters adds that Nissan “seeks to recover fines it expects to have to pay to regulators due to Ghosn’s alleged misconduct, which prosecutors say includes understating his annual salary and misusing company funds.” They go on to say the damages may increase in the future depending on how things play out in court and there may be another defamation lawsuit in response to Ghosn’s allegations of a Nissan “conspiracy” which forced him out of power.
Will Nissan’s lawsuit hold up in court? Can Japan convince Lebanon to extradite Ghosn? Is Nissan going to sue again? Stay tuned for the next episode of Keeping up with the Ghosns.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.