The Toyota Supra is back, and on July 22nd, when the 2020 Toyota GR Supra hits the showroom, a Nürburgring-capable sports car will be waiting for fans, not the Tokyo-style street racer they are more accustomed to.
Though Toyota has caught a lot of criticisms for basing the new Supra on a BMW platform, the automaker has reassured customers that the 2020 Toyota GR is still a Supra at heart. However, without the BMW components and engineering, this GR Supra would not exist and neither would the BMW Z4 convertible.
The partnership that birthed the Supra and the Z4, however, brings about an interesting point for comparison. The British motoring show Carwow pitted the Supra and the Z4 against each other to determine which one among the two was the faster one but before we get to the results, let’s take a closer look at the two cars;
Performance and powertrains
The Z4 comes in two versions; a 30i and an M40i. The 30i model is fitted with BMW’s latest turbocharged 2-liter inline-four engine that gives it 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The M40i has a 3-liter turbocharged inline-six that produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. However, the exhaust particulate filter fitted onto the M40i European-spec limits output to 335 hp, making the U.S model the more powerful of the two. The car’s paddle-shifted, eight-speed automatic transmission enables the Z4 to go from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds in the 30i and 4.4 seconds in the M40i.
The Supra has a 3-liter inline-six engine with 335 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Along with the similar paddle-shifted, eight-speed automatic transmission found in the Z4, the car’s engine gives the Supra the ability to go from 0-60 mph in around 4.1 seconds.
Riding and handling
The Z4 has maintained BMW’s signature solidity and sophistication. The combination of an electronically controlled fast-acting limited-slip differential, lenient stability control, and brawny engine gives the car’s handling an oversteer bias. The standard adaptive dampers on the M40i keep the body under tight control.
The Supra has a fixed-ratio electric and variable-assist steering. The Supra’s handling has advanced a trend common in today’s supercars and sports cars; approachable and fun for a first-time driver while not dumbing it down for the seasoned driver. The car also comes with reliable Brembo brakes along with four-piston calipers, and 13.7-inch ventilated rotors located at the front. While Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires give it the right amount of grip without compromising the tread life.
Which Is Faster?
The video above looked to find out which was the faster car by lining up the Z4 and the Supra side-to-side in a drag race.
Both vehicles were fitted with the same inline-six engine, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and were coupled to the same ZF-manufactured transmission, with the difference coming in the vehicles’ weight; the Z4 being 88 pounds heavier than the Supra.
After the start, the Supra pulled away from the Z4, crossing the finish line first and completing the quarter-mile race in 12 seconds with the Z4 taking half a second longer. For consistency purposes, the vehicles were raced a second time. Though the Z4 got a better start on the second run, the Supra pulled away crossing the line first once more. The Supra also did better in the rolling race.
The braking test showed that the Z4 might have better brakes, but in terms of which car is faster, the Supra won, with the host suggesting the Supra makes around 380 hp; more than the documented 335 hp and close to the results of a dyno test earlier done on the European-spec Toyota.
It might still be early on, but it seems like the 2020 Toyota Supra is the faster car, at least in a straight line.
All images provided by the manufacturer unless otherwise noted.