Toyota GR Supra review – can it rival a Porsche 718 Cayman?
A divisive, but ultimately fascinating sports car that has its flaws, but fights back with charisma
When Toyota launched the GR Supra in 2019, it’s fair to assume that we all took more interest in the historical precedence of the Supra bit of its name than we did GR. But now, three years, two fabulous GR siblings and a new manual transmission later, the Supra’s relevance to its GT-like predecessors has almost completely passed, leaving behind a curious two-seater sports car that we feel is only just now starting to reveal its full potential.
In the three years since its launch, the GR Supra range in the UK has grown to include a four-cylinder variant, and more recently a manual version that will arrive later in 2022. It’s the latter variant that will also bring about some meaningful changes to the set-up on all subsequent Supra models, but for now we’ll focus on the automatic four- and six-cylinder variants, which while still flawed in many respects have settled into an interesting sports car when so many others are biting the dust.
While our four-star rating indicated that the Supra is good, it doesn’t yet offer any truly outstanding characteristics that elevate it beyond that and into the realms of the very best. It doesn't have the sparkling powertrain of the Porsche Cayman GTS 4.0, the agility of an Alpine A110, nor the balance of its smaller GR86 sibling. But there’s still plenty of appeal in this most distinctive of sports cars.
Toyota GR Supra: in detail
- Engine, gearbox and technical specs –Two BMW-sourced engines are available – a four and a six; the latter will have a manual option towards the end of 2022
- Performance and 0-60 time – Does strong work with its modest power figures, but both engines work most effectively in the mid-range
- Ride and handling – Responsive, well balanced and grippy, with good traction in the dry and a decent ride, but on-the-limit handling can get a little tricky
- MPG and running costs – Decent on-paper economy for its performance. Good warranty too.
- Interior and tech – A Toyota recipe with BMW ingredients. The outcome is a comfortable, well-judged environment, but small windows and dark trim leave it a bit gloomy
- Design – Traditional sports car proportions paired with unique design elements.
Prices, specs and rivals
The Supra is available in a single Pro grade as both four- and six-cylinder models. The base 2.0 Pro will set you back £47,505, making it significantly more expensive than the GR86 which cost from £29,995 for the 90 minutes that it wasn’t sold out in the UK. GR Supra 3.0 Pro models cost £55,880, which is £1880 more than when it was initially launched, and puts it right in the thick of rivals such as the Alpine A110, Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and Lotus’s new Emira.
As mentioned above, Toyota is in the process of giving all Supras a gentle set-up change, with a focus on reducing the sometime snappy handling characteristics by firming up the anti-roll bar bushings, recalibrating the adaptive dampers and rear differential, and amending the stability and traction control systems. This will come alongside the new six-speed manual option which will only be available on the 3.0 variant, with new forged 19-inch wheels thrown in for good measure.
All GR Supras get LED headlights, a limited-slip differential, a suite of safety systems, adaptive cruise and an 8.8-inch media screen. The 3.0 model, meanwhile, adds a set of 19-inch wheels, a JBL stereo upgrade, head-up display and wireless phone charging pad on top.
Two solid colours are offered (Lightning Yellow and Prominence Red, the latter for an extra £650), and it’s nice to see a manufacturer offering bright shades. Opting for either White Metallic or Black Metallic adds £740 to the base price. Two new colours will join the colour range alongside the 2022 update, while a new beige interior colour option made from lighter seat fabrics should also give the interior a nice boost.
In terms of rivals, while the Cayman GTS 4.0 and Alpine A110 might have an edge in many areas, it’s worth remembering that both are now on life-support systems as their respective manufacturers have confirmed their successors will swap petrol for a plug in their forthcoming generations.
The new Lotus Emira is an exception to the sports car rule, but Lotus has also confirmed that it’ll be the last petrol-powered Lotus ever which could well leave the Supra as one of the last sports cars standing after BMW pulls the plug on the Z4 and Audi kills off the TT. Of course, Nissan is on track to launch the new 400Z, but it won’t find its way to Europe.