Maybe it was the shock of seeing the badge on a new car again, maybe it was the bold, sexy styling in fiery Monza Red, maybe it was the exhaust barking and crackling every time the car slowed in traffic – but good lord, does the Toyota Supra turn heads.
More than any other car we’ve been in recently, Toyota’s returning halo car saw camera phones raised, mouths agape and pointed fingers everywhere it went.
Oh, and the endless questions from seemingly every person who laid eyes on it:
“Is that the new Supra?”
“Does it still have a six?”
“Is it like a BMW inside?”
“Is it good?”
The answer to all was a resounding yes.
Even if you were to disregard the Supra badge and its lengthy history, this would still be a car to attract attention: it largely stays true to the drool-worthy FT-1 concept it was based on, with a sexy, sculpted back end, “double bubble” roof and the traditional long bonnet/low beltline sports car silhouette.
As most will know, the new Supra was made in cahoots with BMW, who offer a drop-top version as the Z4.
Toyota has chosen wisely in what it’s borrowed from its partner; the interior is all BMW, from the switchgear to the layout.
We’d guess not many buyers would complain about getting a BMW interior for Toyota money (though Toyota uses its own software).
Speaking of money, Toyota also took Beemer’s 3.0-litre straight six turbo petrol engine, which will you’ll need to fork out $124,900 to get in the Z4.
The Supra has it for as little as $84,900 in the entry-level GT spec, though we think Toyota should offer a more stripped down version with less fruit to lower the entry point even further for driving fans.
We, however, were in the top-spec GTS which adds $10,000 to the asking price and 19-inch wheels (up from 18s), sports brakes with red brake calipers, sports accelerator and brake pedals, head-up display and premium JBL surround sound with 12 speakers and more to the features list.
They’re all worthy features, but we could probably live without them – though the audio system is great and the brakes would be worth it if you’re heading to the track a lot.
Speaking of which, we’d previously had the chance to test the Supra at Philip Island a few months back at the car’s local launch – it was basically what we’d hoped it’d be: ample acceleration with exhaust crackles, enough grip in corners when you wanted it but also a playful back end when indulging your inner hoon.
But this time around we were more interested in how the Supra was to live with.
Pretty easy, as it turns out.
There’s a big, none-too-subtle ‘Sport’ button on the centre console to press to switch between performance mode and muted around town driving.
In its soft setting, the Supra is pretty unassuming and comfortable – actually, this is a mostly comfy car regardless of which mode you’re in.
The long bonnet can make you feel you’re in a bigger car than you are, but the short wheelbase means it’s still easy to navigate daily drudgery such as shopping centre carparks.
The 290-litre boot was even big enough for a decent grocery shop.
Massive doors make it tricky getting in and out and though the interior’s borrowed from BMW, it’s not as plush as the Z4’s.
But the biggest potential issue is the low roof. I’m not massive – 185cm – but had the seat all the way down and still only had a smidge a little bit of daylight between my head and the roof.
If you’re 190cm or taller, you may not be able to go on this ride.
Sexy to look at, sexy to drive. The new Supra is great – but you’ll probably be happy enough in the GT with an extra $10K in your pocket.
Engine 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo petrol
Transmission Eight-speed automatic