All Hail The New Toyota Supra

The legend is back and it brings with it the first GR Garage outside of Japan

  • By: Dinesh
  • Friday, 20 September 2019
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All Hail The New Toyota Supra
Behind the Wheel

All hail the king

You’ve probably digested anything and everything regarding the all-new Toyota Supra in the last few months as the build-up to its official launch hit fever pitch. Well, it’s finally, officially here in Malaysia.

There were the detractors that screamed bloody murder as their fragile egos couldn’t handle the Supra’s co-development with the new BMW Z4 while the other camp cried tears of joy that a Japanese legend of the sports car segment made a comeback in an age of SUVs and hatchbacks.

Officially dubbed the Toyota GR Supra here, the carmaker’s new flagship sportscar was introduced by UMW Toyota’s Chief Motorsports Officer (also deputy chairman of the company), Akio Takeyama, accompanied by Tengku Djan Ley, a well-known racer in the motorsports scene.

Toyota Gazoo Racing is the umbrella organisation for Toyota’s global motorsports endeavours. It has some notable winners’ trophies in its cabinet such as from winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Manufacturers’ Championship in the FIA World Rally Championship and the 2019 Dakar rally.

It seemed fitting that the new Supra A90 would be the first GR model developed and produced by Toyota Gazoo Racing for the global market. It’s a classic trickle-down effect for the transfer of technical learnings it gains from the racetrack and rally stages to the development of new generations of Toyota’s sports-focused GR models and also its wider range of vehicles.

Having achieved cult status in motorsports, amongst tuners and from starring roles in videogames (Gran Turismo, Need for Speed) and movies such as “The Fast & Furious” franchise, to say the new Supra has a lot to live up to is an understatement.

Although available globally with a smaller 2.0-litre engine, the Malaysian variant can only be had in a sole GTS trim. That’s a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six punching out a respectable 335hp and 500Nm of torque. The engine is pure BMW, codenamed B58 and is the most powerful non-M engine from Munich.

All that hits the rear wheels and the lightweight 19-inch forged alloys via the ZF eight-speed automatic that’s a staple of the BMW family. Nonetheless, the FZ transmission here has been taught the ways of the samurai and reflects a proper Toyota feel.

It’s good for a century sprint of 4.3-seconds with launch control though some foreign publications have achieved much quicker times during testing. Adding to that, dyno runs have also made it obvious that Toyota’s possibly being very conservative with the quoted horsepower figures. Top-speed is a limited 250kph. Tyres are sticky 255/35ZR19 up front and 275/35ZR19 in the rears.

For superior handling dynamics, the Supra boasts a 50:50 weight distribution aided by Adaptive Variable Suspension and Electronically Controlled Limited Slip Differential (LSD. It should be noted that the LSD is still a mechanical unit that’s just controlled electronically and not one of those systems that brakes one of the rear wheels to imitate the effects of the LSD.

That adaptive suspension is held in place by a double-jointed MacPherson strut setup in the front and a multilink rear. Coming to a halt is the responsibility of a four-piston caliper up front and a single one in the rear.

If you’ve been in any modern BMW, the interior will be quite familiar and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll find dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, push-start, heads-up display and a 12-speaker JBL sound system for those long road trips because the Supra is equally at home on the highway. There’s also the iDrive-looking knob that handles the infotainment system via the 8.8-inch touchscreen display.

As for safety, it gets the full works. Accompanying the usual stability control, traction control, ABS, EBD, BA and such are a host of active safety features. These include forward collison warning with brake function, lane departure warning with steering assist and adaptive cruise control. It’s seven airbags if you were wondering.

Joining the new Supra here is the GR Garage “shop-in-shop” concept for selected dealers here. As the name suggests, it’s for selling GR products – starting with the GR Supra, GR high performance products and GR merchandise. For starters, there’ll be three outlets in the Klang Valley and one each in the north and south regions. Malaysia is the first market outside of Japan to offer the concept.

The Supra starts at RM568,000and climbs to RM580,000. That’s smack in the middle of Porsche 718 territory and a huge come-at-me from Toyota to Stuttgart.

Customers can choose from a selection of eight exterior colours; Prominence Red, Lightning Yellow, White Metallic, Deep Blue Metallic, Silver Metallic, Matte Storm Grey Metallic, Black Metallic and Ice Grey Metallic.

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