The Supra, as I told you recently, is now revealed to the public eye. But despite us waiting years for this to happen, Toyota are still dropping bitesize chunks of information to keep us talking about it. It feels like us writers are the mice to Toyota’s cheese which is being dropped a slither at a time and we’re all running around their kitchen eager to bite down on the filling treat.
Well, this cheese is strong. Some may not like it, while others are already helping themselves to a drop of an accompanying red wine. Let us know in our new forum as to which side you’re on.
As the Supra is more or less joined at the hip of the BMW Z5, it carries with it the myriad of BMW engines available. And while it’s been suspected that the Supra will at some point acquire them, it’s now been confirmed that two of BMW’s turbocharged four-cylinder units will soon find themselves behind the Supra badge. The more powerful of the two produces around 80bhp less than the six-cylinder, but will still be attached to the same 8-speed ZF dual clutch and, according to Tada-san, it will be lighter with better weight distribution. 0-62 will come in at 5.2 seconds.
Like the GT86, it will be agile, and have a better turn in than the comparatively heavier nosed original. Spec it with the lower-powered engine, and it will sit right on top of the GT86 with 200bhp over the GT86’s 197. Performance sits slightly higher due to the advantages of the auto ‘box.
So, this leaves us with a difficult question. If the Supra is going to be fighting the same battles as the GT86, why should they bother keeping both cars in their dealers? This base model Supra could indeed kill off Toyota’s entry-level sports car, but Toyota would be stupid to go through with it.
The base model Supra will never be relieving itself of its automatic gearbox – one of the many reasons as to why the Supra will always be more expensive than its older brother which stands at a healthy £25,000. I doubt the Supra will ever fall below £30,000. The GT86 is also wasted when specced with an automatic ‘box. And that’s what separates these cars into completely different markets.
The GT86 has always been a sports car through and through. Fight with it, enjoy the feeling of driving fast with a clutch at your foot and a manual in hand. The Supra however, to me, feels like its previous iterations. Perfectly capable, but in essence a Gran Tourer.
Please Toyota, don’t give up your manual. There is a market and we’re screaming at you. We love the Supra, but don’t take our GT86 away. Maybe try the Celica name instead?