Motoring

The Supra returns

With many automotive manufacturers reviving iconic models in recent years, the pressure has been on Toyota to not only revive the Supra name but to do so in a way that honours the four generations of Supra that came before it.

I recently travelled down to Port Elizabeth to drive the fifth-generation GR Supra, a car that has been the topic of conversation for petrolhead across the globe for well over a year now.

Styling

The aesthetics of a vehicle is an incredibly subjective topic, but in my opinion, the latest Supra is a fantastic blend of retro design cues and Toyota’s current design language which is of course influenced by legislation. The LED headlamps pay homage to the iconic fourth-generation while the front grille is split into three pieces by the front spoiler, however, the effectiveness of the front end is somewhat spoiled by the addition of a number plate. The side profile is beautiful, with flowing lines that extend to wide rear arches, topped-off by 19-inch alloy wheels. The rear is characterised by slim LED taillights and as a very interesting LED rear fog lamp set-up that is reminiscent of a Formula 1 car.

Interior

The elephant in the room has been addressed many, many times when it comes to the latest Supra sharing its engine, gearbox, infotainment system, some interior bits and a platform with the new BMW Z4. To my mind, this is not a bad thing because the components being shared are of high quality; the iDrive-based 8.8-inch infotainment system, for example, is one of the best in the business. There are also Alcantara covered sports seats which provide great support and look good too. The interior feels snug, you do get the impression that you’re in something quite sporty.

Some of the plastics, the trim on the dashboard, the instrument cluster design and the steering wheel I feel could have been better, especially considering that this is now an R1-million vehicle. The toggle switch for the infotainment system, many of the buttons, the gear lever and indeed, the key are all straight from BMW, which means they’re good quality.

Driving Supra 

The new car has an automatic gearbox, a slick ZF-sourced eight-speed torque converter and BMW’s 250 kW and 500 N.m B58 turbocharged straight-six, although the car felt as if it was quite a bit more potent than its claimed figures. Some VBox figures at the event revealed a 0-100km/h time of around 4.5 seconds and a 400m sprint time of 12.5 seconds thanks to a launch control system while Toyota claims a top speed of 250km/h

Being rear-wheel drive and having a 50-50 weight distribution makes the Supra a very well balanced machine while that superb engine makes the performance feel rather effortless thanks to a broad spread of torque. The car feels well-built and well-rounded as far as performance cars go. On the open road, it is refined, and through the mountain passes it is composed and sure-footed. We also had a chance to drive it at Aldo Scribante Race Circuit. The handling, braking performance and repeatability of its performance around the track is impressive.

Specification

There are technically only two specification levels for the new car. The Track model does without the Alcantara seats, JBL sound system, several semi-autonomous driving systems, adaptive LED headlamps, a head-up display, wireless charger, adaptive suspension and several other niceties that the other three models benefit from. Of the four models priced, the three most expensive are specified identically, with the price difference coming as a result of your choice of colour.

Verdict

The latest Supra is a product that the company can be proud of. It is refined, fast, good looking and well specified. Some will never get over the fact that it has so many BMW components under its skin, but for those who can look past that, there’s a great sports car for enthusiasts, tuners and petrolheads in general.

Service and warranty

All Supra models come with a four-service/80 000km service plan and a three-year/100 000km warranty.

Pricing

GR Supra Track                                             R953 000

GR Supra(Prominent Red)                         R1 072 300

GR Supra( Metallic)                                     R1 082 300

GR Supra (Matte Storm Grey)                   R1 092 300

 

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