By Malusi Msomi (Dbn Spotter)
My fondest memory of a Toyota Supra was back in 2001 when the first The Fast and The Furious movie was released. The orange Mk4 Supra was loved by many – it’s the car that got the ball rolling in the tuner scene. Another memory of the Supra was in 2005 in the video game Need for Speed: Most Wanted. One got to go ape modifying the heck out of it. As much as it was discontinued in 2003, the Mk4 Supra is still the most iconic Supra of all. Which only meant that the fifth-generation model had very big shoes to fill.
The BMW in the room…
Before I talk about the fifth generation Supra, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. This Supra is built alongside the new BMW Z4, which means it shares the same underpinnings – same engine, suspension and gearbox. For the enthusiast it sounds like a bad thing – or is it? I think the Supra is a completely different car. The look for one is truly Japanese. The front looks aggressive, borrowing the look from the previous generation Supra. The side profile is reminiscent of the beautiful 1967 Toyota 2000GT. The rear is curvaceous. Overall the car looks stunning.
A Supra for everyone
The GR Supra comes in three trims, the GR Supra Tack, GR Supra, and GR Supra Matte Grey. The latter two gain added features such as:
- Heads Up Display;
- Electrically-adjustable and heated Alcantara-upholstered seats;
- 12-speaker JBL infotainment system with satnav;
- Wireless charging;
- Park Distance Control and Lane Keeping System; and
- Adaptive Variable Suspension with adaptive damping.
The base model (GR Supra Track) comes with cruise control, regular cloth seats, dual-zone climate control, touch screen, a 10-speaker sound system and reverse camera. Weirdly enough you can only buy it red.
The GR Supra can be ordered in 7 different colours: Prime Silver Metallic, White Metallic, Ice Grey Metallic, Prominent Red, Striking Yellow, Grand Blue Metallic, and Luminous Black Metallic. As the name suggests itself the GR Supra Metallic can only be ordered in that colour.
Driving the iconic Supra
During the launch, we got to visit Somerset East Airfield for a drag race on the runway and a gymkhana. The very next day saw us visit Aldo Scribante Circuit where we performed a 0 -100 km/h tests and some track driving. On the gymkhana the car handled very well, thanks to its short wheelbase (shorter than the Toyota 86). The car feels very agile and pointy. I love the steering which feels nice and weighty in Sport mode. In a straight line, it’s quick! Off the line it just squats and goes. During track driving we were co-piloted by legendary race car driver Phillip Kekana. We’re not expert racing drivers, but next time we’re going to be posting quicker lap times thanks to him.
We think the car performed very well on the track. One of the reasons being that it was developed in the Nurburgring. The whole car seems to work just right. The Michelin Pilot Super Sports tyres offer plenty of grip. It stops well thanks to its Brembo brakes. It’s a well-balanced car thanks to its chassis (which it shares with the also very well balanced new BMW Z4). Powering the new Toyota Supra is the same 3.0 L B58 turbocharged 6-cylinder engine found in the BMW Z4 M40i which Toyota claims will allow it to sprint from 0 – 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds.
We were also in for a treat as we got to be piloted around Aldo Scribante Circuit by the Legendary South African racing and rally car driver Giniel de Villiers. Wherever he pointed the car, it was going in that direction, he was one with the car, and it was art in motion.
After driving the new Supra on road for more than 160km, I can report as much as it’s agile around a gymkhana and very quick in a straight line it’s also comfortable to drive. It does everything right in my book. Many enthusiasts are grumbling over the fact that Toyota collaborated with BMW. Yet many others are delighted that the Supra name has been brought to life. My only gripe with the new Toyota Supra is that a lot of the interior elements are similar to BMW. That’s not entirely a bad thing – with the upside being it will probably last a very long time. Maybe if the bits were a least Toyotarised (that’s a word right?) it would have made the car that much more special.
- CGR Supra Track From R953 000
- GR Supra From R1,082,300
- GR Supra Matte Grey From R1,092,300
The vehicle comes with a four-services/80,000km Service Plan and three-year/100,000km warranty.
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