Perhaps it’s because I had no great affinity for the previous Supra when I was a teenager in the 1990s. Perhaps it’s because I, instead, had a strong affinity for BMW. Perhaps it’s because I think any long-hood, short-deck, rear-drive sport coupe is a great thing. And this particular one looks really cool.
I do, however, understand the take shared by some Autoblog editors that the Supra betrays the legacy of its illustrious predecessor. I get it. If the new Z4 were a warmed-over Miata or something, I’d think that was lame. If the new Z4 wasn’t offered with a manual transmission, I’d think that was lame, too. Oh wait, it isn’t and I do.
Yet, this feels like “Star Wars” fans raging at George Lucas … or Rion Johnson … or anything, really. It’s about history, a name and expectations. If the exact same car were called the Toyota Fast Coupe, everybody would be jumping up and down with glee, saying, “Sweet, Toyota made a sports car with BMW, the time-honored makers of exceptional driver-oriented performance machines, and now we have another sports car to ogle!”
Naysayers really need to wait and drive the thing. I’ve been massively impressed by the dynamic strides made by Toyota and Lexus in recent years, and indeed, I’ve enjoyed driving a number of them more than their BMW counterparts. In particular, I greatly prefer Lexus’ steering calibration to BMW’s, which continues to be disappointingly numb. As I see it, the Supra promises a best-of-both-worlds proposition along with the inherent dynamic advantages that come with having a solid roof instead of bits of fabric. Yet apparently none of that would matter to detractors, because Toyota had the gall to besmirch the good name Supra with Bavarian filth.
I would also offer that any Supra today could not be the pinnacle of Toyota engineering that the Mk. IV was. That’s because the company already has one: the Lexus LC, which has the technology, engineering, performance and commensurate price tag of such a thing. It also serves as the dynamic and design beacon for the rest of an increasingly cohesive brand.
Perhaps Toyota could’ve crafted some sort of bespoke, in-house, hardcore Supra. Perhaps it would’ve been OK to be off on its own little island amidst Camrys and Corollas. Perhaps it would’ve been OK to share the same absurdly high price tag as its illustrious predecessor, which, adjusted for inflation, would be $80,000.
Perhaps, but then it would be a Nissan GT-R. It made car fans drool when it was launched, but that was 10 years ago, and I bet you completely forgot about it. All the people buying $100,000 sports cars certainly have.
And you know, maybe people buying $50,000 sports cars won’t want this Supra, either. There’s certainly no shortage of lust-worthy competitors. Yet, I don’t think the vast majority of potential buyers will see its Bavarian parts content as a problem. If anything, they’d see it as a benefit. I certainly do.