Words: Calvin Chan
Photography: Calvin Chan
Published: October 26, 2021
This is not our first rodeo in the Toyota GR Supra. In fact, we have driven it multiple times before in different shades of yellow, blue, and white, and we even did a comparison with its genetic twin, the BMW Z4. But like any relationship, a week’s worth of intimacy is hardly enough to get to know someone - at least truly know someone. So having another opportunity to drive the Supra is a plus, and now that the hype has died down and the rose-tinted magic has somewhat worn off, we can begin to peel back the cover and find out what we truly adore and despise about the new Supra.
But for those who haven’t read our previous Supra reviews, we’ll start off with the basics. The GR Supra, or the A91 as its often referred to, is a two-door sports car that shares a platform with the BMW Z4, and is configured in a front-engine and rear-wheel drive setup. There are two engines available, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.0-litre inline-six with 382 hp and 368 lb-ft. Both engines utilize the same 8-speed automatic transmission with no manual available. However, the quick-shifting unit borrowed from BMW complements the four-piston Brembo brakes, 19-inch forged alloy wheels, active exhaust system, and adaptive variable suspension. Toyota already tinkered with the Supra for the 2021 model year, tweaking the chassis, dampers, steering, suspension, differential, and stability control for better performance, so the changes for the 2022 Supra are minimal.
In previous drives, we never quite warmed up to the Supra’s playful rear end, and it never gave us the confidence we needed to push its limits. After all, nearly 400 horsepower is a lot for two wheels to deal with, even with a limited-slip differential and sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. But it’s clear that the more we drive the Supra, the more trust and enjoyment we develop with it.
The engine is fantastic. The inline-six revs in an inherently smooth and linear manner that no V6 configuration could ever quite match. Torque is bountiful down low, and the throttle response is quick and predictable - you know exactly what’s going to happen the moment you feather the gas pedal. We never thought it needed more power either, as 382 horsepower feels just right for this platform. Any more and it will need much more aero and stickier tires to really take advantage of it. The build-up to its grip limits seem to be more gradual and less spiky this time around as we get used to how much power the rear wheels can handle under load. The traction and stability control are well-tuned, erring on the conservative side of the spectrum when keeping you out of trouble, but disabling it lets the Supra’s rear-happy, playful nature really come out.
It’s only then that you realize that the steering just isn’t as crisp or as organic as the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS, but it’s lighter and less rubbery feeling than the BMW M2 CS. Pin-point accurate and incredibly quick, yes, and the moment you rotate the wheel, the nose eagerly follows. Involving and engaging, it definitely gives off a sports car vibe rather than a more nuanced GT feel.
Most Supras we’ve seen on the road are moderately or heavily modified with questionably large spoilers, cambered wheels, and loud exhausts, so seeing one bone stock is a welcome sight, especially in this matte-like Phantom grey paint. It suits the Supra well, accentuating its bulbous curves, double-bubble roof styling, and swooping ducktail spoiler. Initially, we weren’t head over heels with the looks, but the more we stop and stare, the more we seem to enjoy its presence.
And then we get to the interior. We still can’t get used to its poor outward visibility due to those narrow, bunker-slit windows and low roof line. Yes, there is a blind spot monitoring system, a small rear window, and a rear view camera, but my six-foot figure still finds it claustrophobic inside, and I never feel overly confident making quick lane changes or turning into cramped city streets. Ingress and egress is not the easiest either, as we frequently bumped our noggins on the roof - a targa variant might solve this issue, right, Toyota?
We still despise the odd, passenger-centric console design. Usually Toyota aces ergonomics but because they had to build on top of a foreign BMW platform, we think they forgot to flip the blueprints right-side up. They tried to make something different but it doesn’t work. There’s a large wall divide that blocks the driver from reaching into the center stack, making it tricky to access the storage cubby, and exacerbates the cabin’s cramped dimensions. And as expected from a coupe, storage options are limited with two cupholders, a small rectangular cubby behind them, a phone holder above, and tiny door pockets. Though, passengers do have access to the pass-through hatchback-like trunk, so longer items can seep right through the center. Speaking of the trunk, it’s actually quite large and is deep enough to fit large suitcases and travel paraphernalia.
The Supra utilizes last-generation BMW bits, kind of like how Aston Martin uses Mercedes’ outgoing tech. So it’s all familiar territory, from the thin-rimmed steering wheel and seat controls, to the seat memory buttons, and we’re constantly reminded just how much we miss these old BMW controls, and how we prefer them over the new batch of glossier feeling buttons.
The rebooted Supra is a joyful, engaging, and immersive sports car that commands and demands attention. It checks off every box and will appease both hardcore enthusiasts and newcomers. Its inherently flawed from an ergonomic perspective, but its core ingredients make it special, powerful, and accessible enough to live up to the hype. It’s not the Supra that some may have wanted, but it’s the Supra that everyone can enjoy.
Model: 2022 Toyota Supra 3.0 Premium
Paint Type: Phantom
Base Price: $67,820
Price as Tested: $69,435
Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,381 / 1,854 / 1,293
Curb weight (kg): 1,542
Engine: 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six
Horsepower: 382 hp @ 5,800 - 6,500 rpm
Torque: 368 lb-ft @ 1,800 - 5,000 rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, RWD
Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 10.6 / 8.0 / 9.4
Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 11.1
Tires: 255/35R19 front; 275/35R19 rear; Michelin Pilot Super Sport