Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • One six-cylinder engine option from launch
  • Deep-chested soundtrack gives real sports car feel
  • Near-supercar performance is highly entertaining

Although Toyota has made tweaks to the 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged engine, it is still unmistakably a BMW unit. Purists of the Supra heritage may bemoan the lack of a purpose-built powertrain, but for those simply interested in a capable performer, it does the job convincingly, and largely sounds and feels just right for the buyers it's aimed at.

Producing 340hp and 500Nm of torque, it hauls the 1,495kg GR Supra from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds and tops out at electronically limited 155mph. There’s plenty of low-down pulling power with maximum torque available from just 1,600rpm, but this leaves little incentive to venture far beyond 5,500rpm – especially as the engine sound itself is a little neutered.

2019 Toyota GR Supra engine

The standard-fit eight-speed automatic transmission is smooth and the shifts well timed, yet in manual mode it’s not quite as crisp or quick-to-respond as Porsche’s PDK equivalent you'll find in a 718 Cayman. Some enthusiasts will mourn at the lack of a six-speed manual option, but these are becoming rarer with each passing year, such is the progress in technology used in two-pedal cars.

How does the GR Supra drive?

  • Hard-edged suspension and incisive handling
  • Not quite sporting enough for a sports car, not soft enough for a GT
  • Balanced handling, if a little detached

Toyota’s combined a short wheelbase (the measurement between the front and rear wheels) and two-seat layout to achieve a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. No wonder the Supra is – even by the exceptionally high standards set by the 718 Cayman and Alpine A110 – a nicely-balanced sports car. Out on the road, this translates into a predictable, approachable handling manner that drivers of all abilities can exploit.

Turn in to a low- or medium-speed bend and bodyroll (where the car leans out of corners) is kept well in-check, allowing the driver to place the car with confidence on their chosen line. Outright traction from the front wheels is exceptional, with understeer (where the front of the car pushes wide of the intended line) only occurring – on the road at least – through serious provocation.

Like many modern sports cars, feedback through the steering wheel could be improved (although it weighs up nicely – especially in Sport mode) although we’ve no problem with how direct or quick it feels. What’s more, the stiffness of the suspension set-up and well-judged damping mean that what the steering lacks in overall communication, the chassis makes up for – giving the driver a strong sense of what’s going on underneath them.

Should a suitable environment present itself, confident drivers may also wish to exploit the Track setting of the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system – this allowing reasonable amounts of oversteer (where the rear of the car breaks traction and pushes wide of the intended line). An active differential (shuffles power between the two rear wheels depending on the conditions) helps achieve this, yet can contribute to faster overall cornering speeds.

2019 Toyota GR Supra driving

Setting-up the Toyota GR Supra for the track

For trackday heroics, the stability control can be switched in a similar 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.

Two drive modes are offered, which adapt 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 absorption as well as grip; it's entirely reasonable to use the Supra as a long-distance tourer, despite the hard-edged ambition and uncompromising rivals Toyota has in its 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 has captured the essence and talent of the GT86 and scaled it up to giant-killing proportions is inescapable.