When it comes to the saga surrounding the 2020 Toyota Supra, it was a classic example of what could happen when a company’s attempt at keeping something so valuable and secret under wraps goes so horribly wrong. Quickly becoming the worst kept secret in recent memory, the endless torrent of leaks brought many aspects of the Supra to the masses early (much to the chagrin of Toyota officials.) But at long last, the 2020 Toyota Supra has OFFICIALLY debuted, and as Toyota CEO Akira Toyoda mentioned in his remarks to the assembled media this morning, “Good things come to those who wait.”
Indeed this adage holds true when one looks at the exterior styling of the resurrected Supra. Whereas other models in Toyota’s hierarchy have about as visual excitement as watching the Antiques Roadshow on TV, the exterior styling of the Supra is like jumping head first into a futuristic sci-fi movie. Alot of the styling elements that first made their initial appearance on the FT-1 concept several years ago have transitioned very nicely into the finished product. The front fascia is very aggressive, and embodies a high tech infused assertiveness that few other sports cars can match. The side profile transitions nicely into exaggerated rear fender flares, and an equally aggressive rear end with slender taillamps and more muscular details in the trunk area.
Toyota claims that the exterior styling was honed as a result of lessons learned on the race track, while retaining the raw emotion that exists when pushing a sports car to its very limits. In a way, it reminds us of some of the styling mojo that exists in many current Ferrari models, but the Supra brings this unique level of aesthetic flair and presentation to buyers at a far lower price point, which is an impressive feat in and of itself. We are glad that Toyota chose to embark on a very bold approach with the Supra, and even if it does not sell very many units for Toyota dealers, it should still fulfill its role as a very potent halo car for the brand, especially in adding more customers to its growing lineup of CUV and SUV models.
The interior of the Supra is all business, and eschews alot of the luxury and gimmickry seen in similarly priced models for a back to basics approach to motoring. Functionality is very abundant here, with the low and narrow sectioned dash provides expansive forward visibility which is a valuable aide in helping a driver place the Supra perfectly in sharp corners. the gauge cluster adopts a single meter layout with all relevant driving information located at the drivers line of sight either through the aforementioned gauge, or in the heads up display. All multimedia and other infotainment focused info is relegated to the right side of the cluster which helps reduce driver distraction, and allows them to keep their attention on the road.
The rest of the cabin is nicely constructed, with the center console featuring an asymmetrical layout, as well as protrusions for the climate control functions that allow drivers to operate them without averting their eyes away from the road. There is some hints of BMW in the way the steering wheel and other key components are laid out, but this is still a very distinctive model, and it does a very good job differentiating itself from its fraternal twin the BMW Z4 roadster.
The Supra was designed to be a GT with a healthy balance of standard and luxury goodies. Keyless entry is standard, and the Supra will also bring a rear backup camera, dual zone climate control, power folding mirrors, a leather wrapped steering wheel, and other goodies.
Performance for the 2020 Supra comes from BMW’s 3.0 liter turbocharged straight six that produces a very robust 335 horsepower, and an equally stout 365 lb-ft of torque. Torque delivery was designed to take place very low in the torque band, which gives the Supra assertive acceleration from a standing start. This is mainly due to the twin scroll turbochargers, as well as the variable intake lift system and direct injection. But, while the legend has indeed returned, it has also bowed to the latest trend of eschewing manual transmissions with an eight speed automatic being the sole transmission offering available. The eight speed does indeed promise smooth and precise shifting, but we personally prefer the higher level of driver involvement that a traditional three pedal setup brings to the equation. That said, the eight speed does allow the Supra to make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, before topping out at 155 mph.
Keeping with the theme of simplicity, the Supra will only offer buyers two driving modes (Normal and Sport) with each mode bringing something unique to the driving experience. Naturally, Sport mode is where the bulk of the Supra’s track capability is housed, and it truly allows the Supra to be in its element when pushed hard in the hands of a skilled driver.
The mode also reduces intervention by the traction control system, sharpens up throttle response, increases shift accuracy, as well as amplifies the noise generated by the exhaust system. The Supra will also offer an electronically controlled Active Diffrential system that is designed to help control lateral torque, and actually controls the amount of torque that is sent to the rear wheels at any given moment. This allows the Supra to have greater poise in the corners, and give drivers more confidence and control over the driving experience.
When the 2020 Toyota Supra eventually makes its way to Toyota showrooms, it will start at $49,990 before any optional extras are factored into the equation. It will be offered in two distinct grades, the base 3.0 model, and the higher end 3.0 Premium. The most noticeable calling card between the two will be the seats, with the base model featuring Alcantara cloth seats, and the higher end Premium featuring stitched heated leather seats.
Buyers and collectors that are anxious to be among the first to own a Supra, can take solace knowing that the first 1,500 models produced will be special Launch Edition models which wield a base MSRP of $55,250, and come equipped with red leather accents, high contrast red mirror caps, and 19-inch forged aluminium wheels. The lone exception is red hued Supra launch editions, which will feature an all black leather interior with carbon fiber accents.
Our advice is to wait until the initial hype dies down before ordering a Supra so you can avoid some of the creatively insane markup prices that some Toyota dealers may employ to try and make a few extra thousand on such a popular model.
Either way, look for the Supra to arrive at a Toyota showroom near you during the first half of the year, and see for yourself why the world is very happy to have the Supra back on the road again.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.