Back in Japan, the Castrol TOM’s Supra competing at the time in Super GT quickly became one of the most recognisable racing cars in the world. And then, two years after Nagata’s infamous run, the Mk4 Supra made a cult appearance in the Hollywood mega-hit The Fast and the Furious. In a scene that now has more than three million views on YouTube, Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor out-drags an F355 Ferrari in his souped-up Toyota. The Italian supercar gets roasted in oh-so-satisfying fashion. It’s great. To watch the film is to fall for the Supra, and so the car’s legend as an illicit aftermarket delicacy was fermenting very well indeed.
Of course, we know what happened next. Toyota let the trail go stone cold, seemingly forgetting how to build a serious performance coupé. Instead, it gave us the lively but too junior MR2, an inexplicably front-driven Celica and finally the excellent but wouldn’t-trouble-a-Golf-GTI GT86.
It therefore isn’t hard to fathom why anticipation was at fever pitch when an A80 Supra successor was finally announced in 2018. And here we are, two years on and with our very own A90 ‘GR’ Supra. As a licence-less teen who fell for the old Supra back in its heyday, the mere arrival of this car already feels like the end of a journey.
This juicy Prominence Red Supra comes in Pro specification, with extra leather, a JBL sound system, a head-up display and wireless phone charging. The asking price is £54,960. It drops the reborn Supra into a shark pond of competition. Think Alpine A110, BMW M2, Porsche 718 Cayman and, a little traitorously, BMW Z4 M40i. Because an A90 Supra could only ever come about on the condition that it would be profitable for Toyota almost from the start, an arrangement was made with BMW. Simply, the Z4 and Supra would be co-developed.
The crux is that the two cars share their engines, chassis and electronics. They are indeed twins, although most of the core parts are from the German side of the family tree. To what extent and in what precise manner this influences the Supra’s character is one of the key questions we’ll answer. After all, nobody wants a Z4 in drag, and in fairness, our prior experience of the new Supra suggests that isn’t the case. At least, not entirely the case.