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View all Toyota GR Supra reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Usable but fun – an excellent all-round sports car

Toyota GR Supra Coupe Review Video
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PROS

  • Superb chassis balance and confidence-inspiring handling
  • Genuinely fast
  • Striking styling that won't be confused with anything else
  • Impressive comfort, practicality and cabin mean you could use it every day

CONS

  • Engine could – and perhaps should – be more exciting
  • Not everyone will appreciate the BMW influence
  • Drive modes could be more defined

PROS

  • Superb chassis balance and confidence-inspiring handling
  • Genuinely fast
  • Striking styling that won't be confused with anything else
  • Impressive comfort, practicality and cabin mean you could use it every day

CONS

  • Engine could – and perhaps should – be more exciting
  • Not everyone will appreciate the BMW influence
  • Drive modes could be more defined

Toyota GR Supra Coupe rivals

A two-seat, rear-wheel drive coupe, the fifth-generation Toyota GR Supra marks the revival of an iconic sports car name last seen over 25 years ago. Much has changed in the intervening quarter century, with today’s car built in tandem with BMW and its Z4 Roadster. As such, the Supra’s platform, engine and cabin are all very similar to the two-seat BMW soft-top.

Built to rival the likes of BMW’s M2 Coupe, the Alpine A110 and Porsche’s benchmark 718 Cayman, the Supra relies on an old-school front engine, rear wheel drive layout. Toyota’s goal while building the car was to create a sports car that – above all – is entertaining to drive, yet still useable enough for owners (who don’t need more than two seats) to enjoy every day. Was it successful? Read on to find out.

BMW and Toyota - shared platform technology

It's fair to say that the GR Supra - and the BMW Z4 it is closely related to - are a shared platform, albeit one that is dominated by BMW technology thanks to the 3.0-litre straight-six engine, much of the suspension and a substantial amount of the electronics and driver environment. Given how many cars are a collection of technlogies from third-party suppliers, this shouldn't dissuade serious Toyota fans.

The differences are rather significant, too - the Toyota GR Supra is a fixed-roof coupe, with a short wheelbase and sharp, responsive steering. It follows the styling direction of the GT86, in that it has a double-bubble roof, with all cars getting the distinctive ducktail wing on the rear. Of more importance, the body has improved rigidity over its BMW counterpart, surpassing the figures for even the carbonfibre Lexus LF-A.

How does the 2019 Toyota GR Supra drive?

Are you expecting something akin to a Toyota GT86, but faster? In classic terms, the Supra began as a luxury Celica with a larger engine, after all. It didn't end as that, though - and although Toyota have resurrected a name, they've left the past well alone otherwise, making the 2019 Supra both revolutionary and evolutionary in approach.

Toyota GR Supra interior

Revolutionary, because the technology underneath is science fiction compared to the last Supra; evolutionary, because the famous A80 of 1993-1996 (in the UK, at least, though it was on sale until 2002 in Japan, with many later cars shipped over as grey imports) had already moved from luxurious GT to a harder-edged, high-performance ethos thanks to countless enthusiasts modifying their cars for more power.

Supra fans will at least raise a smile at the 3.0-litre straight-six - twin-turbocharged, 24 valves, it's as true to the Supra's DNA as you could wish for; it's actually a BMW unit found in the M240i. The rest of the drivetrain follows suit, with a variable-ratio active differential, eight-speed gearbox and adaptive suspension. Toyota's setup is bespoke, and the front anti-roll bar geometry, suspension tuning and crucially, steering, are all developed specifically for the Supra.

Toyota has retained many of the GT86's most appealing elements in the Supra. Set well back in the wheelbase, the front-engine layout doesn't result in a nose heavy attitude; rather, the Supra responds eagerly, turning on its axis at the driver's command. Flick through the gears with the (BMW-sourced) paddleshifters, and the impressive torque available ensures there's little that the Toyota will be unable to overtake - or challenge on the track.

Setting-up the Toyota GR Supra for the track

For trackday heroics, the stability control can be switched in a smilar manner to the GT86, too - a short press for less intrusive intervention, or a long press to disable entirely. Left to pure physics, the Supra's chassis is well-balanced and controllable, and promises a rewarding experience for skilled drivers - though we'd recommend keeping it switched on for wet tracks.

Behind the wheel, low-slung and supportive seats fit within a sophisticated interior that meets the expectations set by its £50k-plus asking price. Headroom and visibility are particularly good, while refinement is a notch above that of the GT86 too.

Two drive modes are offered, which adept throttle response and damping. On the road the Supra proves impressively competent, in part due to the comparatively small (in this market) 19-inch wheels that allow the standard Michelins to play a part in absorbtion as well as grip; it's entirely resonable to use the Supra as a long-distance tourer, despite the hard-edged ambition and uncompromising rivals Toyota has in their sites. As with the previous Supra, the rear wheels are slightly wider than the fronts.

On the track, the Supra is simply devastatingly good - engaging, sharp and minutely adjustable with constant feedback, the impression that Toyota have captured the essence and talent of the GT86 and scaled it up to giant-killing proportions is inescapable.

Production examples of the Toyota GR Supra will be available in 2019, and we'll be among the first to drive it. If you can't wait until then, though - this pre-production drive is a convincing argument to at least wait before ordering that Porsche Cayman or Alpine A110.

Toyota GR Supra Coupe rivals