In-depth reviews

Toyota GR Supra review - engine, gearbox and technical specs

Two BMW-sourced engines are available – a four and a six; the latter with a manual gearbox

Evo rating
from £54,340

Since the GR Supra’s launch, Toyota has diversified the range with an entry-level four-cylinder engine option and more recently a bespoke six-speed manual transmission option for the six. Given that BMW co-developed the GR Supra, and that it’s actually assembled by the European automotive industry’s Austrian fixer Magna Steyr, it comes as no surprise to see both engine options have come from BMW’s engine catalogue.

The four-cylinder is BMW’s well-known B48, a modular turbocharged unit that’s found across the BMW range and a few Morgans. Peak power is a relatively unstressed 254bhp at 5000rpm (the same unit makes 302bhp in some BMW models), but torque is very strong by comparison, with 295lb ft peaking between 1550 and 4400rpm. In that figure we can also see a manifestation of the engine’s character, which isn’t naturally conducive to an application in a sports car. In other words, while having plenty of shove in the lower half of the rev range, it falls away as they rise, leaving the final 2000rpm climb to the 6200rpm red line a largely redundant exercise.

The larger 3-litre in-line six is BMW’s B58 unit used over an even wider range of BMW models, from the Z4 and 3-series right up to the 8-series, and even in the Morgan Plus Six.

In the Supra it makes 335bhp from 5000 to 6500rpm, and 369lb ft from 1600 to 4500rpm. Overseas versions get a more potent variant with 382bhp, though the internet would have you believe the Supra is conservatively quoted in Europe anyway, so who’s really counting? The engine uses variable valve control and variable camshaft timing, a single twin-scroll turbocharger, and direct injection.

The transmission is an eight-speed automatic. Yep, the ubiquitous ZF unit, and controlled via a redesigned lever in the cabin. The manual is a six speed unit, but rather than an off-the-shelf transmission from BMW or another supplier, Toyota has opted for a bespoke gearbox that’s been designed with feel, response and engagement at the centre of its deliverables.

Need to sell your car?
Find your best offer from over 5,000+ dealers. It’s that easy.

Another thing to note is that while the Supra was co-developed with BMW, and with seemingly many of its components, Toyota fundamentally led the development programme that explains why both the Supra and Z4 have such a short wheelbase and wide track – something out of kilter with the BMW’s evolutionary progression.

Toyota also says the two companies went their own way with chassis development once the basics – MacPherson struts up front, five-link rear, electrically assisted rack and pinion – had been decided upon. The Supra runs either 18- or 19-inch wheels front and rear, and the dampers are adaptive on both engine options with a revised calibration following the recent updates.

Despite its small dimensions, the fact it shares so many of its underpinnings with fundamentally larger BMW models means its kerb weight isn’t as light as it might have been. Four-cylinder models weigh in from 1395kg, with the manual-equipped six-cylinder weighing 1502kg; and that's despite a series of minor weight saving measures introduced last year.

Most Popular

Car pictures of the week: evo’s Car of the Year contenders
eCoty – the contenders

Car pictures of the week: evo’s Car of the Year contenders

evo’s Car of the Year issue hits newsstands next week – here's a preview of what you can expect
2 Dec 2023
Best car tyres 2023: evo performance tyre test
Best car tyres 2023

Best car tyres 2023: evo performance tyre test

Which tyre should you choose for your performance car? This year’s evo tyre test puts eight strong contenders through their paces to find the very bes…
1 Dec 2023
The Tesla Cybertruck has finally landed, but it’s more expensive than promised
Tesla Cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck has finally landed, but it’s more expensive than promised

After years of setbacks, Tesla has delivered the first production examples of its controversial Cybertruck pick-up
1 Dec 2023