2021 Toyota Supra 3.Zero evaluate: Punchier pint-sizer

There is no subtlety with this sort of paint job… or physique panels, for that matter.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

In case you purchased a 2020 Toyota Supra, I am sorry, however you bought the shaft. Toyota has rolled out an entire host of updates to its halo sports activities automobile only one yr after its debut, and having pushed each, I can guarantee you, the 2021 Supra is demonstrably higher, though some previous flaws stay.

LikeMore available powerConcept-car looksBMW tech onboard

Do not LikeWindow-down wind buffetingAggressive lane-keep assistUgly steering wheel

The 2020 Supra was an absolute hoot on the street, however its output figures lagged behind the sprightlier variant of the BMW Z4 with which this Toyota shares a chassis. That is been remedied for 2021, with the three.0-liter turbocharged I6 underneath the hood now producing 382 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque, enhancements of 47 and three, respectively. The 2020 Supra was nonetheless a lot fast, however now, it feels much more worthy of the badge, as torque piles up faster, making it simpler than earlier than to shoot gaps on the freeway or energy out of a flip. And sure, it nonetheless sounds as candy as earlier than.

Talking of backroad antics, there are different upgrades hidden underneath the physique, too. For 2021, Toyota has added new aluminum strut tower braces, revised the adaptive suspension tuning and swapped out the bump stops, plus they’ve additional tweaked programming for the rear differential, stability management and energy steering. Once more, the outcomes are fairly apparent from the primary nook entry. Whether or not in Regular or Sport mode, the 2021 Supra has much less physique roll than earlier than. Do not get me improper, the Supra’s diminutive wheelbase means there’s nonetheless loads of twitch available, particularly when rolling onto the accelerator when exiting turns, however it is a bit extra manageable. If the steadiness management must intervene, it does so in a clean method that does not upset the automobile’s stability or the motive force’s consideration. Including extra velocity feels much less dramatic than it used to.

Given the enhancements in efficiency, I discover fewer causes to push the enormous Sport button on the Supra’s heart console in spirited driving. It acts like each different Sport mode button, tightening up the suspension, steering and throttle response, but it surely’s not likely vital. There’s nonetheless loads of gas-pedal punch in Regular mode, and the suspension’s barely softer tuning means my mediocre Michigan street expertise is not overly harsh. The Supra’s eight-speed computerized transmission is unchanged, which is ok, as a result of it is nice. Shifts are clean at any velocity, in any mode, and the paddles behind the wheel provide cog-swaps on the fast. There may be nonetheless no guide transmission out there.

Tough pavement nonetheless creates an entire host of tire noise, however on the freeway, the clamor makes manner for some considerable peace and quiet (for a purpose-built sports activities automobile). Wind buffeting continues to be atrocious with the home windows at any place apart from absolutely closed, but it surely’ll take a redesign to iron out that kink.

The only draw back to including energy is dropping gasoline financial system, however the Supra would not take too huge of a success in that division. The 2020 mannequin was rated at 24 miles per gallon metropolis and 31 mpg freeway, and the 2021 now earns scores of 22 and 30, respectively. I can often creep north to 32 or 33 on the freeway with a lightweight foot, however yeah, metropolis financial system is… not nice.

Then once more, it’s extremely clear that the Supra is a devoted device and fewer of an on a regular basis household machine. There is no again seat and the hatchback affords up a just-okay quantity of area, 10.2 cubic ft to be exact, sufficient for groceries or weekender baggage for 2 and that is about it. There’s additionally a paltry quantity of cabin storage, with microscopic door-panel pockets and an uncovered armrest cubby large enough for a whopping two units of keys and a face masks. Glove compartment? Hopefully they don’t seem to be additional massive.

The remainder of the 2021 Supra’s inside is unchanged. The steering wheel continues to be oddly bulbous and ugly, just like the 964-generation Porsche 911’s, and anybody who’s owned a BMW throughout the final 5 to 10 years will instantly acknowledge the entire switchgear. However that is not essentially a foul factor. The inside feels applicable for the value, with loads of smooth contact factors and the correct amount of bodily switchgear. Actually, it is most likely good that Toyota determined to not take its personal route, switch-wise, as a result of BMW’s are undoubtedly extra satisfying to make use of. The seats are the correct amount of supportive, with ample aspect bolstering that is not too constrictive. Visibility stays restricted, with somewhat-large blind spots over the haunches.

Curves, curves, curves.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The phrase “haunches” will echo by your head as a Supra proprietor as a result of the rear three-quarter angle is well the automobile’s finest. From there, my eyes get a heapin’ helpin’ of bulbous rear fender, which results in a smattering of fascinating creases and one severely pronounced duckbill spoiler. It is extra fascinating than the BMW Z4, and it would not stray too removed from Toyota’s FT-1 idea of yore, which doubtless explains why everybody gawks on the Supra. The entrance’s a bit of funky, but it surely nonetheless works, as a result of it is in contrast to anything on the street. Particularly if it is painted in my tester’s $425 cornea-scorching Nitro Yellow.

One BMW carryover I will be glad to reward all day is the Supra’s in-car expertise. For a straight-up sports activities automobile, there is a good quantity of creature comforts tucked away within the wiring. Toyota’s Entune is nowhere to be seen; as a substitute, the 8.8-inch display on the dashboard (now normal throughout the lineup) runs BMW’s iDrive infotainment. I believe it is a good system, with an easy menu construction and easy entry by each the dial on the middle console and the touchscreen itself. Wi-fi Apple CarPlay is accessible, however Android Auto will not make its approach to the 2021 Supra, which is a letdown. Charging occurs by means of the wi-fi pad underneath the local weather management, or the close by USB port, which means there is a approach to juice up gadgets for every passenger concurrently.

Counting on BMW’s infotainment tech is not a foul factor in any respect.

Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Some sports activities vehicles are content material to eschew lively security techniques virtually totally, however that is not likely Toyota’s modus operandi. All Supras come normal with computerized emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep help, whereas an non-obligatory $1,195 package deal on Premium and A91 trims opens up adaptive cruise management, blind spot monitoring and parking sensors. All the things works effectively collectively — aside from the lane-keep help, which is manner too aggressive and may disrupt freeway cruising greater than help it.

The 2021 Toyota Supra’s acquired some respectable competitors within the compact premium sports activities automobile phase, but it surely’s aggressively priced, beginning at $55,485 for my 3.0-liter tester’s Premium trim and touchdown at $57,145 with the motive force help package deal. Its stablemate, the BMW Z4 M40i, carries a bit extra model cachet however can also be extra anonymously styled, and the 2 at the moment are evenly matched on energy. The Porsche 718 Cayman S is extra refined, however its engine is much less thrilling to hearken to and, like all Porsches, it may get totally too costly in a rush. Nonetheless, it’s also possible to get it with a guide transmission. If you need a Supra at a lower cost, its 2.0-liter variant brings that window sticker all the way down to $43,985.

Toyota’s Supra got here out of the gates swinging, however there’s all the time room for enchancment. Throwing quite a lot of underbody upgrades on the automobile, along with a dollop of additional energy, provides this 2021 Toyota Supra an much more compelling character that’s instantly felt and appreciated.

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