Earlier in the week, we learned that the Toyota Supra could be getting an entry-level four-cylinder variant. That four-cylinder engine, of course, would obviously be borrowed from BMW. Turns out, those rumors were true and Toyota has recently announced that its iconic car will be getting an entry-level variant packing a BMW-sourced turbo four. Additionally, the six-cylinder Supra will also be getting a power bump and some suspension upgrades, surprisingly.
Let’s start with the big news first, the four-cylinder. This new Toyota “GR” Supra (sorry, Toyota, that GR name isn’t gonna stick) will now get a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-pot with 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque to start. It marks the first time in history that the Supra is powered by anything other than a straight-six engine. Naturally, that’s going to upset a lot of Toyota Supra enthusiasts. Just think about when BMW gave the M3 turbochargers and BMW fans lost their collective minds. Still, it packs a decent punch and can get the iconic Toyota from 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds flat.
It’s essentially the same engine that powers the BMW Z4 sDrive30i and, having driven that car a few times, that means it should actually be pretty fun to drive. The little four-pot is strong, pulls hard and likes to rev. It doesn’t make the best noise but it’s not terrible and an aftermarket exhaust can help with that. Plus, it’s considerably lighter (200 lbs lighter) than the six-cylinder it replaces, so it should be a bit sharper to turn in and maybe even a bit livelier to drive. Though, it doesn’t get the trick limited-slip rear diff or adaptive suspension that the six-pot model gets. Compromises.
When this new Supra was first given to the world to drive, it received mixed reviews. As an everyday sports car, it was considered to be very good, with sharp steering, a capable chassis and a great engine. However, if pushed hard on track, it had some odd handling characteristics that some enthusiasts didn’t love. It seems as if Toyota heard those complaints and decided to make some changes just one year into the Supra’s life-cycle.
For 2021, the Toyota Supra 3.0 (powered by BMW’s B58 engine) will get new lightweight aluminum strut-tower braces, new damper tuning and new front and rear bump stops. Toyota also re-tuned the power steering, adaptive dampers, stability control and limited-slip diff to accommodate its new chassis tweaks. So the new Supra 3.0 should now be sharper and handle more predictably.
It gets better for the six-pot Supra, too. The 2020 car made 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0 liter turbocharged I6. Now, it gets bumped up to 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, which is the exact same power output as the Z4 M40i here in the ‘States. So we’re assuming that Toyota and BMW decided to give the two cars the same engine, instead of hamstringing the Supra.