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The Toyota GR Supra and Nissan Z are athletic, stylish sports cars. Both models have a storied history, with multiple generations appearing over the years. The newest versions are better than ever, with modern powerplants, track-ready dynamics, and racy sheet metal.

The GR Supra and Z are prime competitors in the sports car segment. However, when comparing the two, there’s only one area where the Toyota has a clear advantage. Yet, it’s not something driving enthusiasts typically care about.

Let’s take a closer look at the new Toyota GR Supra and Nissan Z.

A comparison of the Toyota GR Supra and Nissan Z sports cars

Some cars — like the Dodge Challenger — focus on old-school muscle. Others — like the Mazda MX-5 Miata — concentrate on agile handling. With the mixture of both, the Toyota GR Supra and Nissan Z offer balanced performance on the track and street. Here are the specs.

The Toyota GR Supra 2.0 starts at $45,540 (plus destination). A 2.0-liter turbo four produces 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and an eight-speed paddle-shifted auto routes power through the rear wheels. According to Edmunds, 60 mph arrives in only 5.0 seconds.

However, the Supra isn’t all about straight-line speed. Front MacPherson struts and rear multilink suspension combine with sport-calibrated electric power steering for sharp turn-in and powerful road holding. Ventilated rotors keep things cool during spirited drives. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires also offer enhanced off-the-line traction and high-G cornering. Additionally, the Supra features sculptural, swoopy bodywork. Flared rear fenders give it a strong stance, and the nose is reminiscent of an open-wheel racecar.

The Nissan Z follows a similar formula. Edmunds lists the new Z’s base price at a reasonable $40,990 (plus destination). Under the hood, a powerful twin-turbo 4.0-liter V6 pumps out 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, sent to the rear wheels via a nine-speed sport automatic or six-speed manual. During testing, MotorTrend recorded a 0-60 mph time of 4.3 seconds.

The next-gen Z uses the old 370Z platform but with revisions for improved refinement and everyday comfort. Monotube shocks, lightweight suspension hardware, revised rear suspension tuning, and revised front suspension geometry enhances cornering and comfort.

The Nissan Z’s styling is an appealing blend of retro and modern, with elements of past generations and taut surfaces. The nose looks like an updated 1970 240Z, and the taillights hearken back to the 300ZX of the 1990s.

As for drivers looking for the ultimate in track-ready performance, the 2024 Nissan Z NISMO adds race-derived hardware. Highlights include an enhanced turbo V6 with 420 hp, downforce-producing bodywork, and Dunlop SP Sport MAXX GT600 tires.

The Toyota GR Supra’s only on-paper advantage over the Nissan Z

The Toyota GR Supra has one clear advantage over the Nissan Z: fuel economy. However, that isn’t something sports car buyers typically emphasize.

The Toyota’s smaller turbo 2.0-liter four obtains 25/31/27 city/highway/combined mpg. Those are solid stats, if not exceptional for its class. On the other hand, the Nissan Z’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 gets 19/28/22 city/highway/combined mpg. That’s slightly behind the Toyota, but considering the Z’s power advantage, it seems like an acceptable difference.

Considering the Z’s pricing and performance, the GR Supra 2.0’s superior gas mileage isn’t much of a benefit. Still, for those who regularly make long trips or want to reduce carbon emissions, a more efficient ride could be just the thing.

Most sports car shoppers aren’t after fuel economy

Sports cars concentrate on acceleration and cornering without too much emphasis on gas mileage. After all, performance driving is about speed and G-forces, not saving fuel.

The Car and Driver list of Best Performance Sports Cars demonstrates that.

Here are the rankings:

  1. Chevrolet Corvette
  2. Porsche 718 Cayman
  3. Porsche 718 Boxster
  4. Toyota GR Supra
  5. BMW Z4
  6. Lotus Emira
  7. Jaguar F-Type
  8. Audi TT/TTS
  9. Nissan Z

Of those vehicles, only the BMW Z4 gets better fuel economy than the Toyota GR Supra. Reading the reviews of each car, it’s easy to understand why.

When describing the vehicles on this list, Car and Driver notes their engine performance, driving thrills, and chassis tuning. While they do make note of fuel economy, it’s secondary to driving dynamics and sports car style.

When testing the Nissan Z, the site praised its ample horsepower and unique design. With the GR Supra, the site liked the model’s acceleration, comfortable ride, and communicative steering.

The Toyota Supra GR and Nissan Z offer classic sports car attributes like grippy cornering and quick acceleration. And the former adds sedan-like gas mileage to the equation. However, with sports cars focusing on driving dynamics — not sipping fuel — the Supra’s mpg ratings aren’t much of an advantage. Still, for the driving enthusiast, both cars are a solid pick.

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