01 Aug: Toyota GR Supra

… Toyota GR Supra …

Toyota’s GR Supra may be a monster, but on the whole it’s an easy monster to live with. On the other hand, if you poke it with a sharp stick, it will bite. It can be a wee bit thirsty at times and a wee bit hungry for disc pads and tyres if you overdo the ‘going for walkies’ excuse to take the beastie out for a spin. But by heck it’s guid, awfy guid.

The only complaint I have is the noise, or lack of it. Based on BMW’s Z4, and sharing much of the technology, it has a 3 litre straight six under the bonnet just begging to be unleashed on the eardrums of those who appreciate such mechanical music. However, British legislation suppresses the desires of the few due to the wishes of the many.

It also has a turbocharger and that too can mute the efforts of six cylinders to delight the eardrums and excite the senses but what it doesn’t do is detract from the physical performance.

Under that long bonnet those six cylinders punch out some 335 bhp which is good for a sub 5 second nought to 60 time and onwards to a top speed of 155 mph. The rev counter is red lined at 6500 rpm which means that keeping the pointer under 4000 returns a much more relaxed style of motoring pleasure.

It is so docile that my granny could drive it, and in the interests of our ‘woke/sexist’ society, my grandpa could drive it too. No doubt that statement will arouse the ire of the ‘ageists’ as well!

However, the beast’s nature changes the higher that wee needle climbs and unloads a torrent of power on the rear wheels. The power is handled by an eight speed ‘sport’ automatic which does take some of the fun out of it although Toyota has come under pressure from the purists and are introducing a ZF manual gearbox which is likely to cost around £2000 less.

It looks a big car in the pictures but it’s not as bulky as the old Supra and it’s only 15 inches longer than a Mazda MX5, but then it has to pack another two cylinders under the longer bonnet. At 1500 kgs it also looks heavier than it actually is which helps to explain the handling. The steering is a little light in ‘Normal’ mode but feels a bit weightier and much better in ‘Sport’ mode and certainly doesn’t feel overpowered by the thrust of 335 bhp from the rear.

There are cars which are quicker and handle better, but this new Supra hankers after the old-school leisurely approach to power application. That’s not to say the car isn’t quick, it is seriously quick, but the power surges in and builds rapidly rather than giving you a kick up the bahookey while screaming its nuts off.

It is surprisingly nimble as well, especially with the steering in ‘Sport’ mode. There’s little sense of understeer or pushing-on, it just turns in and follows the line without any drama although it can be provoked into oversteer mode without hitting any panic buttons. It is a very forgiving and enjoyable motor car.

It could also be regarded as something of a selfish car, it has only two seats. There’s no room for kiddies in the back never mind adults, just a decent luggage space under the rear hatch. Decent enough for two going on a short holiday or a long tour – or ideal for getting away from the weans every now and then!

Prices start at just over £45,000 but that’s for the 2 litre four-cylinder version with 255 bhp whereas the more desirable 3 litre job comes in at £53,000. There’s room for more, as extras like heated power adjustable sports seats, paddle-shift, 8.8 inch touchscreen display can be added to the now seemingly obligatory additional electronic safety and driving ‘aids’ which are standard features on all new cars these days.

That’s not at all bad for such a hugely desirable machine. Yes, it’s a sport car but it can also be regarded as a ‘super touring’ car, a cross continental tourer of the old class which can offer either a relaxing cruise or an adrenalin pumping thrash on un-restricted roads.

It’s not what you might call ‘explosively quick’ but for a relaxing, pleasurable driving experience this is a car which can stimulate the senses, just stamp the throttle and play with the paddles.

I loved it.

Toyota GR Supra
Review Date: 01 Aug 2022
Price: £57,495 (as tested)
Engine: 3 litre, 6 cylinder turbo petrol with 335 bhp
Performance: 0-62 mph in 4.3 secs, flat out at 155 mph
Economy: 34.4 mpg
Emissions: 188 g/km

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