I’ll admit, the melding of the minds between BMW and Toyota to create the second-coming of the Supra seemed ridiculous when I first heard about it, but I’ve had a change of heart after driving it. It’s a unique sports car that’s fun to drive and that’s all it needs to be. To be honest, once you get behind the wheel of a 2021 Toyota Supra, you’ll be surprised when you don’t care that it has BMW parts either.
There’s not much of a difference between the Supra 2.0 and 3.0
I recently had the 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 for a week and reported that its interior looked like it was taken straight out of a BMW Z4. The knobs, buttons, center console area are all BMW-sourced and it even smelled like a new BMW. As you can probably guess, the Supra 3.0 Premium is not much different.
The Alcantara and leather sports seats that you’ll find in the lower Supra trims are replaced with full leather ones and instead of eight ways of adjustment, you get 14. The seats are also heated in the 3.0 Premium and there’s even a head-up display. However, that’s where the more “premium” interior upgrades stop as other parts like the 8.8-inch infotainment screen, wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto capability, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel are all the same.
The Supra feels like a BMW on the inside, but a Toyota on the road
Considering the Supra interior’s pristine fit and finish, I can see why BMW was in charge of it. But it feels a little more Toyota-like when you drive it. According to Toyota, the Supra’s suspension is comprised of parts from both manufacturers and it shows. Spend 20 minutes driving this low-slung coupe and you’ll appreciate its soft-yet-firm suspension that gets the car through the turns with ease but is soft enough to be driven daily.
The Supra’s steering also feels like a mesh between the two brands. There is some resistance in it when driving quickly and it is pretty sharp like a BMW, but it’s also a tiny bit vague like a Toyota. Either way, the Supra is tuned so well from the ground up that you feel connected to the road without feeling like your brain is going to be rattled when driving over road imperfections.
Yes, the engine is from a BMW. But who cares?
As for the turbocharged 3.0-liter engine under the hood, it is built by BMW, which sounds like a terrible idea in theory (reliability-wise). But when driving the car, I didn’t care at all. With 382 horsepower on tap, in addition to 368 lb-ft of torque, the Supra 3.0 comes to life quickly with the stab of the throttle. Its twin-scroll turbo spools quickly and the engine sings happily as it makes its way up the RPM band. Although it’s fake, the piped-in noise that you get through the speakers simply amplifies the exciting experience.
It’s not Nissan GT-R fast, as in it doesn’t push you back in your seat like a rollercoaster. But it sure did put a smile on my face every time. I admit, I still don’t think that you need 382 hp for your daily commute, since you’ll never really use all of that power on the street. But it sure is nice to have.
It might not have the soul of a Supra, but it still makes sense
After a week of driving the Supra 3.0, I realized that it might feel too refined or too manufactured for some enthusiasts, as compared to the original Supra. In fact, some car lovers might even say that this new iteration doesn’t have the same kind of “soul” as the original version. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less special, it’s just different.
If you can look at the new Supra for what it is, whether you want to see it as a BMW or a Toyota, it somehow all makes sense at the end of the day. It’s easy to drive when cruising around town and it can pick up the pace when you need it to while carving turns like a hot knife through butter. As far as a rear-drive, two-seat sports car goes, that’s all you can really ask for.