TOYOTA SUPRA — Everyone by now has heard of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most people know him as either a jacked action movie star or a politician, but before all of that Arnold was a champion. His bodybuilding career was the stuff legends are made of. He dominated the Mr. Universe and then entered into the coveted Mr. Olympia contest, which was (and is) the gold standard of bodybuilding. He won six straight titles in almost embarrassing fashion from 1970-1975, and then abruptly retired. But after a five year hiatus, Arnold made a stunning and remarkable comeback in 1980 and reminded the world just how great he was by winning his seventh title.
In the early 1990’s, the import race wars were going strong. There were cars from every manufacturer that were lightning fast: the Nissan twin-turbo 300ZX, the twin-turbo Mazda RX-7, the twin-turbo Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, even the Honda Civic and Acura Integra Type-Rs got into the mix. But there was one that almost instantly became legendary, and that was the Toyota Supra. The Supra had more untapped potential than some of those other cars combined. With only the simplest of mods, the Supra could and would run circles around just about anything else. Rumors of single-turbo modded cars haunted the internet in its infancy, as did stories of stock bottom-end Supras that made upwards of 800-horsepower.
And then suddenly in 2002, the Toyota Supra was retired. Gone, and out on top, much like Arnold. But after a much longer hiatus than the Australian Oak took between Olympias, the Supra is back and better than ever for 2020 in the form of the GR Supra, specifically the Launch Edition.
The 2020 version looks much like what someone might have thought a futuristic Supra might have looked like back in 1995. It resembles the beloved Mark IV model, but with a bit more body cladding and a debatable rear end design. It looks aerodynamic, but it also looks like it’s trying a little too hard to be sporty. But we do like the LED headlights and the very sport-oriented seats and interior. A large touchscreen handles all things infotainment, while wireless Apple CarPlay and full-color heads up display take care of the entertainment. There is a host of safety features standard with the Toyota Supra including Lane Departure Warning with Steering Assist, Pre-Collision Warning with Pedestrian Detection, and even automatic high beams and speed limit information.
Under the hood, the Supra harks back to its grandfather and resurrects a very similar looking all-aluminum 3.0-liter twin-turbo DOHC inline-six cylinder engine that Toyota tells us makes 335-horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. But when you look at the performance numbers, things don’t quite add up, and that too, is a wink back at the past. You see, back then Japanese auto makers had a sort of unwritten agreement that cars they exported could not exceed 320-horsepower. Why? We have no idea. Japanese culture is not our forte, so we are not going to venture a guess. But, this was all done with a smirk, because most of those cars, did in fact make 320-horsepower, but they also made a lot more after 320 came and went. All that power, however much it is, gets sent though an 8-speed automatic that is nearly telepathic in its shifting. We are very sad to say there is no manual option offered as of yet, but hopefully good things come to those who wait. That transmission then sends power to the rear wheels only.
The new Supra is said to have 335 ponies, which we’re sure it does. We would just like to see the full dyno report. For a car that weighs in at 3,363 pounds, it is a rocket. 0-60 mph takes a scant 3.9 seconds, while 0-100 mph takes just 9.9 seconds, and it goes through the quarter mile in 12.5 at 111.2 mph. That stupid fast, and takes a bit more than 335-horsepower to move a 3,000 pound vehicle. But whatever Toyota, sure, we’ll call it 335.
The Supra is not just a straight line monster. Thanks to nearly perfect weight distribution (52/48% front/rear), this Toyota sports a mind-numbing 1.01 g around the skidpad, and even stops from 60-0 mph in a retina-detaching 99 feet. Equally as impressive as its performance is the Supra’s performance at the pump with a 24/31/26 city/highway/combined MPG. Not bad for a serious track car. The only thing that might impress even more than all of that is the price. For a base price of $55,250 (and even less if you want one of the inferior models), the GR Supra Launch Edition can shell out the performance of cars that cost two and three times that money.
So while it’s been almost two decades of waiting, Toyota has given us our legend back. And just like Arnold did in 1980, the Toyota Supra is poised to shock the world coming out of retirement to remind all of us, why it was once the king of the road, and why it’s ready to take back its crown with Terminator-like force.