With the proliferation of SUVs these days, it’s sometimes hard to find a car for someone who really enjoys driving. Toyota to the rescue. Despite not having a real performance sports car in a while, Toyota has stepped it up a notch with the 2021 Supra, resurrecting a name, spirit and performance level from its gloried past. Though the second largest car manufacturer in the world, Toyota seems unable to produce a sports car on its own, collaborating with BMW on the Supra. However, if you’re going to team with another company to produce a sports car, at least Toyota has the sense to work with excellent performance car manufacturers.
The first thing you notice about the Supra is that it’s low, with a classic long hood, short deck sports car profile, lots of curves and angles, a “double bubble” top and aggressive air vent slits. Built as a true sports car to challenge the Porsche Cayman, the Supra set its sights high and has emerged as a fun, fast car with nimble handling and communicative steering that checks all the boxes, except a manual transmission. With near perfect front/rear weight balance, and a driving position in the rear half of the car, the pivot point seems to be right at your hips, making for a very natural and communicative turning feel, especially at high speeds. An active rear sport differential, active exhaust and Brembo 4 piston disc brakes in front give the Supra track cred.
It’s also a blast to drive on the streets. The Supra can dart through traffic thanks to its small size, 382 horsepower engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters. The one advantage of the automatic is that it allows for launch control, for as often as you’ll need it or use it. In addition to straight-line acceleration, the Supra also offers very flat, neutral handling in the curves thanks to its tight, sporty suspension. Excellent brakes complete the trifecta of performance. All in all, it succeeds at being what it was built to be: a fun, little and powerful sports car.
Though entry and egress are slightly hampered due to its low profile and seating position, it is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make to drive a sports car. Once inside the two-seater, the interior room is abundant and pretty comfortable. The interior controls are clearly lifted from BMW, but that’s a good thing. The radio has a volume knob and real buttons for presets, though more advanced functions have to be done on the screen with a remote rotary knob based on BMW’s iDrive system, operated through a relatively small screen that looks like an afterthought. The shifter is also right out of the BMW parts bin and works well enough but takes some acclimation.
Safety features include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detect, lane depart warning with steering assist and a heads-up display. The trunk is relatively small but not too bad for a small two-seat sports car. It would probably hold one large suitcase or two carry-ons. There is a tonneau cover to hide things below the hatchback.
A 2.0 litre model is available for about $8,000 less, but it comes with a four-cylinder engine that only has 255 horsepower. It’s nice to see another sports car on the market, and the Supra will fill a performance niche at a very competitive price point.
Model: Toyota GR Supra 3.0 GR
Price: Base $55,500 including delivery; as driven with options $57,700
Gas mileage: 22 city, 30 highway (premium gas)
- Front engine rear-wheel drive
- 3.0 litre twin-scroll turbo inline six cylinder engine
- 382 horsepower
- eight-speed automatic transmission.
Robert Paster (robertpaster.com) is also an attorney in private practice, concentrating in estate planning and probate.