The Toyota Supra is back. But let’s have some point of view, please. Nostalgia fuels our love for the last-generation vehicle more than its cars authentic. Its rate was outrageous for its time, and the resulting glacial sales in fact eliminated off the once-booming Supra franchise (it sold a tenth of what its predecessor did). Ever since, it’s been lionized in popular films and computer game, but when the 2020 Toyota GR Supra reaches display rooms on July 22, generations of fans will find a mature, Nürburgring-capable cars, not the Tokyo-style street racer of yore.
The collaboration that birthed the 2020 Supra coupe and BMW Z4 convertible makes the Bimmer the appealing point-of-comparison, not a wholly unassociated Toyota that died more than 20 years earlier. With all regard to the car’s loyal tuner crowd, Toyota’s job is to sell Supras, not to do fanservice to developed tuners or sell nostalgia. Without BMW engineering and parts, for which Toyota ponied up development money, this Supra would not exist. Nor would the Z4
That’s a win-win for anybody who ‘d like to see sports cars endure. As it happens, I’m nearly assuredly the first automobile reporter to have tested production variations of the Toyota and BMW back-to-back: I drove a Z4 down from New York City for the Supra’s first media drive at Top Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia.
For sports automobiles that share so lots of genes, they could not feel more various. The rightness of BMW’s and Toyota’s method, establishing these automobiles individually using the exact same mechanicals, virtually blows my mind when I jump from the BMW into the Toyota and back once again– and it needs to impress anyone who does the very same. When compared to the soft-top BMW that feels richer and more developed with heftier responses, the hardtop Supra looks and imitates a frisky, tuner-friendly Toyota– a fact that will instantly divide lots of enthusiasts into one camp or the other. The easy cop-out would be to state that the Supra and Z4 are various cars and trucks for various purchasers, and that’s true. But given that I drove them both, forget cop-outs: Let’s tease out those differences.
- 2020 BMW Z4
- Image Credit: BMW
Interior and exterior styling
In terms of styling Z4 leans conservative, a classy evolution. The best color assists a lot. Meanwhile, the Toyota borrows what it can from the FT-1 principle that got Supra fans dreaming and drooling. But it’s a greatly redacted variation of that significantly bigger principle, and not completely successful. The Supra appears like an eight-tenths-scale supercar from some angles, a small coupe that’s attempting very tough to look imposing and exotic.
The Supra’s swollen hips are a popular style cue, but they forced another compromise: Toyota could not produce the bulging kind with a single steel stamping. So the two-piece fenders include yet another distracting cutline joint to a vehicle that already has a surplus. The Supra is busy, yet vibrant and intriguing. But five years from now, the BMW will still be a BMW, and the Supra might not age as gracefully.
- 2020 Toyota Supra Launch Edition
- Nighttime Black
- Image Credit: Autoblog
The Z4’s most significant advantage is its luxurious interior. Every touch point and innovation is better: Soft aromatic leather on seats, the fat-gripped steering wheel and shifter, BMW’s dramatic, dual-screen Digital Cockpit and industry-leading head-up display. The Toyota’s driver-centric cockpit is efficient in its own way, but uses a previous variation of the iDrive user interface with a various UI and physical buttons instead of the capacitive touch-operated ones. To me, it simply does not scream “$50,000 car”.
Powertrains and efficiency
In the interest of fairness, my particular Z4 was fighting with one hand and two cylinders behind its back: BMW calls it the Z4 sDrive 30 i, but the confusing nameplate actually explains a 2.0-liter, turbocharged TwinPower four-cylinder with 255 horse power and 295- pound feet of torque. Still, this is one of the world’s slickest, most overachieving four-bangers. It hustles this 3,287- pound convertible from 0-60 mph in a BMW-tested 5.2 seconds, mated to the very same paddle-shifted, eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that does its hyper-efficient thing in the Supra. While Toyota would not confirm it, it seems a matter of time prior to America sees the more-affordable Supra with the very same four-cylinder BMW engine offered in other markets. Budget-minded enthusiasts might possibly expect a $43,000 base rate.
The Toyota fires back a six-cylinder volley using BMW’s own ammo: The familiar 3.0-liter inline-six with 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque, excellent for an approximated 4.1-second blast to 60 miles per hour. And the Supra’s distinctively aggressive exhaust tuning produced raucous burps and backfires that echoed off Summit Point’s track walls, and the forested lanes of the Virginias.
BMW’s own one-upmanship comes via the Z4 M40 i, whose 382 horses and 369 pound-feet– from the M Division’s greatly remodelled version of the inline 6– pips both the Supra and the 350- hp Porsche Boxster S. Pushed on why the Supra should use the less-powerful, slower-reacting version of the inline-six, Tada stresses the desire for Supra “balance.”
- 2020 Toyota Supra
- Downshift Blue
- Image Credit: Toyota
However from my sources, I believe the real reason is that BMW’s haughty, pampered M Division wasn’t ready to share its most recent and best workmanship with the similarity Toyota, just as the Supra does not get the M Sport design’s torque-vectoring diff or BMW’s brand-new Digital Cockpit dual-screen IP/infotainment display. BMW approximates a 3.9-second 0-60 run for that Z4 M40 i, besting the Supra by a couple of tenths. I’ve evaluated that barn-burning, M-massaged engine in the fantastic brand-new 2020 M340 i sedan, and its 382 on-paper horses feels like another business understatement.
As for that shared ZF transmission, it’s basically impossible to screw up, and neither company has: Both the Toyota and BMW easily blip through equipments through their paddle shifters or in Drive modes. At Top Point, I required to leaving the Supra in Drive, the better to focus on the tight and technical course, and the Toyota never as soon as stumbled or got captured in the incorrect equipment.
Instead of benchmarking and contending against each other, Toyota and BMW aimed to the greatest vibrant target in cars: the mid-engine Porsche 718 Cayman and Boxster Nearly undoubtedly, it appears, the Supra and Z4 don’t reach the Porsches’ Olympian heights of accuracy and satisfaction. However I’ll guarantee you this: both the Toyota and BMW represent genuine sports-car achievement that’s not sullied by comparisons to those incomparable (and vastly costlier) Porsches.
Their virtual carbon-copy mechanicals are some true blessing, consisting of a chassis that Toyota states is more rigid than the Lexus LFA supercar, and the BMW-designed front MacPherson strut and rear-multi link suspension hardware. Group Supra was left to work its specific magic mostly on tuning the electrically assisted steering, adaptive damping, transmission and electronic differential.
Both cars and trucks offer a series of driver-selectable settings via their rotary-knob iDrive controllers, including customized settings for the steering, dampers, engine and transmission. Where the Toyota offers just Normal and Sport settings, BMW uses a broader spectrum, with an Eco mode and aggressive Sport Plus in addition to Comfort and Sport.
Ride and handling
The BMW’s steering is a clear efficiency edge. The Z4’s helm brings that signature German solidity and creamy elegance that the Toyota can’t match. Listen, I choose a light-steering cars to one with synthetic heaviness, but that’s not what’s happening here: The Toyota’s variable-assist and -ratio electric guiding counts as a performance botch, duration. That sensation was highlighted by not just the BMW, but my street-and-track drive of the 2020 Toyota 86 TRD Scandal sheet, whose own fixed-ratio electric steering was spot-on firm compared to the Supra.
Weight is another moderate frustration; the Supra checks in at 3,397 pounds, 110 more than BMW’s four-cylinder convertible. In six-cylinder guise, the BMW weighs 3,443 pounds, simply 46 more than Toyota’s coupe. Those caveats aside, the Supra is chock filled with character, and a blast to drive, though both sports automobiles could transmit more feedback from their front wheels.
With its large position, 50: 50 weight balance and a lower center-of-gravity than the Toyota 86, the Supra is as tossable as a soggy tennis ball to a Golden Retriever. Like that ball, the Supra’s quite happy to spin. As a caveat, I drove the BMW and Toyota back-to-back on public roadways here, however couldn’t (this being a Toyota occasion) lap the Z4 at Summit Point, though I recently tested the Z4 on track in California. The BMW can also be coaxed into lurid slides, but it prefers a steadier hand and a more precise line.
Not remarkably, the luxurious BMW also shows a bit more bump seclusion and suspension compliance. Chuck the Supra hard into a hot corner, and instead of understeering, it will slide with a dead-neutral mindset. Can be found in with a more-controlled entry speed, get back to throttle early on exit, and you can still churn the rear tires and execute a trendy drift. Michelin Pilot Super Sport summertime tires provide just-right amount of grip without compromising too much tread life for daily use.
As Toyota engineers meant, it takes idiocy or obliviousness to produce breeze oversteer or a spin. Because vein, the Supra advances the trend of all modern cars and supercars: It’s enjoyable and friendly for the amateur, but not dumbed-down for a specialist or even expert motorist. Brembo brakes, including four-piston calipers and 13.7- inch aerated rotors up front, were up to the all-day job at Summit Point. And the engine is a pleasure, despite giving up 47 horsepower to BMW’s six-cylinder variation. In modern-day BMW fashion, it barely feels like a turbocharged engine (aside from its low-range torque), with minimal lag and a gush of linear thrust right as much as redline.
- 2020 Toyota Supra Introduce Edition
- Nighttime Black
- Image Credit: Toyota
The Supra, Z4, and the competition
It’s natural and inevitable to compare 2 sports automobiles that have a lot in common, despite very different audiences: The typical BMW buyer appears not likely to cross-shop a Toyota coupe. As such, for the Z4, the real rivals are the Porsche 718 Boxster, Audi TT and Mercedes SLC convertibles. The Supra, on paper, likewise stacks up to the 718 Cayman and TT coupe, and if you’re OK dropping $50,000 on a Toyota, doing so on a Porsche or Audi shouldn’t be a problem either. That stated, amongst non-luxury makers, there’s truly nothing apart from the arthritic and out-gunned Nissan 370 Z and the American muscle automobiles that are literally and figuratively in a various weight class.
Remarkably, the six-cylinder Toyota Supra is priced much like the four-cylinder Z4 (50,920, versus $50,695, respectively). That’s huge money for a Toyota, but it’s reasonable for a contemporary cars built on Bavarian bones. Start including costly BMW choices, and that fairness ends up being clearer. Where the 335- hp Supra 3.0 Premium comes practically filled at $54,920, my 255- hp Z4 sDrive 30 i cost $63,845 with a slew of choices. When it comes to the 382- hp Z4 M40 i, its $65,690 base rate is almost $16,000 above the Supra’s, though still about $7,000 listed below a 718 Boxster S. Again, that’s before the very first BMW choice is tallied; you’re reasonably looking at a roughly $73,000 roadster.
- 2020 BMW Z4
- 2020 BMW Z4
- Image Credit: BMW
The bottom line
Apples-to-apples contrasts in between a Toyota coupe and a BMW roadster aren’t simple or specific. However the six-cylinder Supra easily outruns the four-cylinder Z4, and will wind up costing less– as it should. Stepping up, the Z4 M40 i is quicker, more powerful and more elegant than the Toyota, however its open-roofed enjoyments put it in another prices league entirely. If money is any things, the Toyota Supra wins.
BMW Z4 Info
Autoblog accepts vehicle loans from car makers with a tank of gas and sometimes insurance coverage for the function of examination and editorial material. Like many of the vehicle news industry, we likewise often accept travel, accommodations and event gain access to for automobile drive and news coverage opportunities. Our viewpoints and criticism remain our own– we do decline sponsored editorial.
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