2021 Toyota GR Supra: Review

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceWhat Is It?
Toyota’s Supra sports car returned to the automaker’s lineup last year as a 2020 model, following a 22-year absence from the market. It took a partnership with BMW to get it done, but the new Supra GR retains the inline 6-cylinder engine and rear-wheel-drive layout of all previous Supras. The new Supra is the first GAZOO Racing global model — hence the GR — named after Toyota’s global racing program.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
For 2021 Toyota adds the Supra 2.0, a lighter-weight version motivated by a 255-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as an alternative to the Supra 3.0 six cylinder, while also upgrading the Supra 3.0 with more power and a retuned chassis. The new GR Supra 2.0 starts at $42,990, and the GR Supra 3.0 at $50,990.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceTest Vehicle
Toyota provided a 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium finished in Absolute Zero (metallic white) with 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and a black interior. Starting MSRP for Supra 3.0 Premium is $54,490, and our test car was equipped with a Driver Assist Package at $1,195 that includes full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors with an emergency braking function. Final MSRP including a delivery, processing and handling fee is $56,680.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceGR Supra Design
While Toyota engineers retained the front-engine, rear-drive configuration of previous Supra models, GR Supra designers also drew from past models when penning the new Supra. These auto architects were inspired by two iconic Toyota cars: the 1967 2000 GT and the fourth-generation 1993–2002 Supra with its long hood, short wheelbase, low center of gravity and rear-wheel drive. The double-bubble roof design pays tribute to the 2000 GT while reducing drag by lowering the center of the roof without impacting headroom. The front fascia is inspired by the fourth-generation Supra with a prominent center grille flanked by large air intakes.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceUnder the Hood
Without an inline 6-cylinder engine in any of its current models, Toyota partnered with BMW to develop the Supra GR’s shared sports car platform, which gave the automaker access to BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine combined a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission and active differential. For 2021 the engine receives a number of upgrades including a new dual-branch exhaust manifold with six ports to improve airflow and heat management. With these updates the engine produces an additional 47 horsepower for a total output of 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque — dropping the zero to 60 mph time to 3.9 seconds. Even with the power upgrade, GR Supra has U.S. EPA fuel-economy ratings of 22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 25 mpg combined.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceInner Space
As expected in a performance sports car, the 2021 GR Supra 3.0 Premium features a driver-oriented cockpit with heated leather sport seats, 14-way power adjustable seats, carbon fiber trim, a 3-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, paddle shifters and sport pedals. The instrument panel features an 8.8-inch digital TFT LCD gauge cluster with tachometer, speedometer and multi-information display. The infotainment system above the center console features an 8.8-inch touchscreen.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBMW Collaboration
The center console of the 2021 Toyota GR Supra reveals the most obvious evidence of collaboration with BMW: the shifter, infotainment controller and climate control interface are all familiar BMW components. But Toyota designed the interior to give Supra its own flair with an asymmetrical center console containing driving controls that surround the driver while also providing a right-knee bolster.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceChassis and Suspension
The chassis of the GR Supra 2-seat coupe was developed with BMW and has high structural rigidity, a low center of gravity and a 50:50 weight distribution. The GR Supra’s front suspension is a new double-joint MacPherson strut design, and the rear suspension features a multi-link 5-arm design with both aluminum and steel components. For 2021 the suspension has been retuned for increased roll resistance and improved cornering stability. The new Supra also receives aluminum braces between the strut towers and the radiator support to increase lateral rigidity, new front and rear bump stops and revised damper tuning. The electric power steering, adaptive variable suspension, vehicle stability control and active differential all benefit from revised programming.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceWheels, Tires and Brakes
Standard wheels for the 2021 Toyota GR Supra are 19-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels with a two-tone dark and bright design. The front wheels are 9 inches wide while the rears are 10 inches in width, fitted with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires: 255/35R19 on the front and 275/35R19 at the rear. Front brakes feature red Brembo 4-piston calipers with Toyota Supra logos, paired with 13.7-inch ventilated discs; rear rotors are 13.6 inches.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceCargo Area
As a 2-seat hatchback, GR Supra offers a cargo area behind the seats rather than a trunk; it is not large but would be adequate for short road trips. For everyday use, an integrated cargo cover keeps items out of sight. The area is accessible behind the seats, or between the seats when the seatbacks are in their upright positions.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceOn the Road
The GR Supra design has been somewhat polarizing; not all devoted Supra fans appreciate the BMW collaboration. That said, the new Supra appears to be a fresh, modern design that pays tribute to its heritage while standing out from the crowd. The GR Supra will not be mistaken for anything but a pure sports car, and it’s oh-so fun to drive.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceExcellent Drivetrain
The BMW-sourced turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine provides excellent power for the GR Supra. Although a 6-speed manual transmission would be fun, the ZF 8-speed automatic does an excellent job keeping the engine in the right power band with precise shifts and smart programming to match different driving scenarios. The turbo delivers low-end torque when needed so power is always available, yet the car remains comfortable for everyday driving.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRight Sound
The exhaust note of the 2021 model sounds spot-on for a Supra, even though the mechanicals are shared with BMW. Drive mode select offers Normal and Sport, with adjustments to the throttle, transmission, steering, exhaust, dampers and limited-slip differential for more spirited driving.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceSporty Comfort
The interior of the 2021 Toyota GR Supra also evokes the look of a sports car. The standard leather sport seats are comfortable, and the asymmetric console design creates a cockpit feeling with driver focus.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceSupra Fun to Drive
The 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium is incredibly fun to drive. Although the 2020 Supra doesn’t feel particularly underpowered, with the upgraded drivetrain the car is even quicker, more precise and responsive. The 2021 car feels balanced, the steering is nicely weighted and Supra feels ready to tackle a favorite winding backroad. That said, this car would also be comfortable on a long road trip or as everyday transportation between spirited drives.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRating: 8.5
For some Supra purists, Toyota’s collaboration with BMW will always be an issue, but without the partnership the GR Supra would have never happened. It’s a legitimate modern sports car — fun to pilot and comfortable enough for everyday use. If you’re a Toyota fan, or simply seeking a new sports car, the 2020 GR Supra might be the one for you.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2021 Toyota GR Supra
Absolute Zero

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