2019 Toyota Supra - the wait is over

2019 Toyota Supra - the wait is over

Ending the most irritating drip-feed since the BMW Z4, the 2019 Toyota Supra is finally, officially, really, truly public. With stuff shared with the Z4 and a striking new look, Toyota has a new halo car and the star of the Detroit Auto Show.

The Toyota Supra is the stuff of legend, as these sorts of things often are. I even know of a person who used the last-gen Supra’s silhouette in the logo for an automotive site. It’s that kind of car.

Toyota set about dismantling its sports car heritage in the late 90s, killing the Supra, hot Corollas and the Celica in the space of a few years. To be fair to the Japanese giant, these sorts of cars are hard to make money from.

With the 86 and BRZ twins, Toyota hit upon a way that one could make money with the – share the costs. So somehow BMW and Toyota talked each other into a relationship spawning a new pair of rear-drive sportsters. And to preview it, the FT-HS concept previewed Toyota’s idea of a new fast car.

I quite like the way it looks. Strong rear haunches to remind you it’s rear drive, a silhouette that nods to the last Supra and even headlights that echo rather than copy.

The surfacing is muscular and while I can see some 86 in it, not everyone can.

The interior is basically a BMW one, which means clean and functional. The digital dash looks more like a Toyotas, but there’s one photo. The press release makes a huge deal about the seats – they even get their own heading – and they do look good. They also look really close to the roof, so I wonder how much headroom there is in the Supra…


Toyota has decided to lead with the BMW-sourced 3.0-litre turbo straight-six, an engine I like very much in the BMW M140i. In the Supra, it’s tuned for 250kW (340PS) and a nice round 500Nm.

As with the Z4 – and unusually for a Toyota – the ZF eight-speed is along to push the power out back. Put it all together and the Supra will flash to 100km/h (62mph) in 4.3 seconds.

No doubt as a result of this combination, there will be stop-start and other fuel-saving measures.

As is now de rigeur, your Supra comes with selectable driving modes which change the behaviour of the transmission, exhaust and throttle. And of course, the chassis.

Japanese buyers will also be able to buy two four-cylinder variants, but neither feature a manual. Which is interesting, given BMW’s adherence to self-shifting…

The base SZ delivers 145kW (197PS) and 320Nm, shifting around 90kg less than the six and arriving at 100km/h in 6.3 seconds. Step up to the SZ-R and the same engine offers 190kW (258PS) and 400Nm. Around 70kg lighter than the turbo six, it will hit the benchmark in 5.2 seconds. I wonder if that car might be the sweet spot…

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The 3.0-litre Supra RZ is bristling with fun tech. The active differential has a “golden” ratio of 1.55:1 when you compare the final drive ratio to the wheelbase, so I guess that means it should be perfectly balanced.

Toyota says the Supra’s torsional rigidity is greater than the Lexus LFA’s (huge if true) and a lower centre of gravity than the nimble little minx that is the 86. Weight distribution is the real deal at a claimed 50:50,

Front suspension is by MacPherson struts and the rear is a five-link system. Various parts of the suspension are weight-saving aluminium, too.

How much and when?

Yeah, the drip-feed isn’t quite over. We don’t really know at all what the car is going to cost, so we’ll let you know.

But the most important thing is that it’s here, Toyota chief Akio Toyoda has lapped the ‘Ring in it and he reckons it’s ready.

Toyota is now run by a car guy, so car people all over the world can rejoice that one of the world’s biggest carmakers is getting its act together.