TOYOTA’S luscious Supra just made itself more available.
The new alternative is £7,000 cheaper than the original.
The surprise is you might find this cheaper one is more fun to drive.
There’s gotta be a catch.
There is. The Supra 2.0 has a four-cylinder engine in place of the exotic-sounding 3.0 six-cylinder the pricier one uses.
It’s like when Ford bunged a four-cylinder under the V8-sized hood of the Mustang.
Supras have always had straight-six engines. Somehow a four-cylinder seems wrong. Oh, and it’s an engine blagged from a rep’s saloon.
But look on the bright side: The saloon in question is the terrific BMW 330i.
As with most of the mechanical bits of the Supra range, this was a “co-operation” with BMW. And BMW was the dominant partner.
The suspension, too, comes from the Germans, although Toyota tuned it for the Supra.
That engine is not exactly charismatic-sounding, despite Toyota’s special fruity exhaust.
But it is super-smooth and pretty urgent to the throttle. It gets the Supra from 0-62mph in just 5.2 seconds. That’s brisk. It’s under a second less quick than the six-cylinder.
BMW does the best auto transmissions in the business. This one makes the very best of the engine’s efforts.
But even so, if the performance is slower than the six-cylinder and the engine sound is less charismatic, why am I saying I enjoyed driving it more?
Because the smaller engine is a lot lighter.
That means the car reacts more naturally to the steering wheel. It flows better into a bend.
When you get on the power, the rear feels more secure and more progressive. There are times when the 3-litre flicks its tail like a nervy lizard.
So if the 3.0 is a bit of a muscle car, the 2.0 is the thing for tight and bendy roads.
Besides, there is something to be said for the fun of giving a little engine a right flogging.
With the more powerful one, as soon as your foot gets to the floor, you have to lift off again.
Otherwise you will annoy the constabulary. On long trips, the Supra relaxes on the motorway and aims straight down its lane. It’s a proper GT. The 2.0 has the same cabin and equipment as the 3.0. Again, that means a lot of BMW stuff. And again, I’m not bothered.
Toyota’s entertainment/comms-screen systems are mostly ugly and unfathomable. The BMW one installed here is clear, effective and about the nicest in the business.
But I’m saving the best for last. Toyota has wrapped all that BMW stuff in its own body. It’s a shape to stop the traffic.
You get all those epic curves — even with the smaller engine and lower price.
KEY FACTS: TOYOTA GR SUPRA 2.0 PRO
- Price: £45,995
- Engine: 2-litre petrol turbo
- Power: 254hp, 400Nm
- 0-62mph: 5.2 secs
- Top speed: 155mph
- Economy: 38mpg
- CO2: 167g/km
- Out: Now