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If you have ever wanted to feel like a celebrity without having to sign autographs everywhere you go, buy a 2021 Toyota Supra. Within three hours of taking delivery of my Supra test car for the week, I received a “thumbs up” from a Subaru WRX driver and a Volkswagen GTI driver and am currently gracing the photo albums of at least five different onlooker’s cell phones.

Normally, I would think it’s annoying. But considering I haven’t had much exposure to the outside world since the pandemic hit, I have to say that I’m enjoying the attention. But I have to remember, it’s not me they’re looking at, it’s the all-new Supra.

The soul of a BMW and the shell of a Toyota Supra

“That’s a beautiful car! Can I take a picture of it?” asked a starry-eyed diner sitting at the table next to me. I had just sat down at a Mexican restaurant to have dinner with my girlfriend when I noticed not just one, but two tables of diners staring out the window at the 2021 Supra I just parked in the lot outside.

A silver 2021 Toyota Supra sitting in front of the curling center
2021 Toyota Supra | Joe Santos

I chuckled at their enthusiasm and wondered if they knew that underneath those sculptured fenders, between those doors, and the bulging hood was a bunch of BMW DNA. My Supra test car came with the turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, which is the same one that you’ll find in the BMW Z4 sDrive30i. I know, it’s blasphemous, considering every car enthusiast from the 90s would rather see a Corolla engine in there than a BMW-sourced mill. But I will say that it’s fun to drive.

The engine puts out 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque and is mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. And although that might sound boring, it’s actually really fun when driving around town. No, you won’t win a drag race against a Corvette, but you can definitely blow the doors off of the Civic sitting next to you at the traffic light when you need to get ahead of the pack and into the lane you want.

a rear three quarter shot of the 2021 Toyota Supra
2021 Toyota Supra | Joe Santos

The interior is all BMW as well

If you were to blindfold me and sit me inside the 2021 Toyota Supra, I would swear that I was sitting inside a BMW Z4. The steering wheel, switchgear, and infotainment screen are all plucked out of the Z4 and it even smells like a new BMW.

If you ever sat in a new BMW, then you’re aware of the cedar-like smell they all exude, but I digress. I’ve driven every Toyota model in the lineup and I can attest that the newest iteration of the automaker’s infotainment system is excellent. It’s a touchscreen that’s easy to use and is accompanied by handy volume and tuning knobs. But nope, the Supra has the standard BMW system, which isn’t bad, but it’s not that great either as there is a learning curve associated with it.

Additionally, the seats are not power-adjustable. You have to upgrade to the 3.0-liter model to get that. It’s disappointing, considering this model costs around $47,000. But if I were to ask the Toyota designers about it, I’m sure they would reply to me with, “Because racecar.” Fair enough.

An interior shot of the 2021 Toyota Supra
2021 Toyota Supra | Joe Santos

Ultimately, the 2021 Toyota Supra is a show-stealer

After getting past all of the BMW bits, I can say that I have enjoyed the 2021 Toyota Supra thus far. It’s surprisingly easy to drive as its precise steering isn’t too darty, its suspension is more comfortable than you would think, and the visibility out of the front of the car is surprisingly good, but the rear quarter visibility is lacking.

Its exhaust note is kind of weak, though, but you can’t expect much from a turbocharged four-cylinder. However, all of that is laid to rest as you simply drive down the street and crack a smile as the curious onlookers crank their necks to see what just drove past them and then handily take out their phones to capture the moment. Sure, the Supra is a BMW underneath, but it’s still a beautiful car that will make you feel special. 

2021 Toyota Supra rear shot
2021 Toyota Supra | Joe Santos

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