What is that?
Not content with building the best sports car of 2022 in the sold-out Toyota GR86, the Japanese firm is now offering a new version of Supra, one with three pedals. It seems that the provider of Toyota Prius and the Previa, and the auto industry’s undisputed volume champion, has also become the chief pimp of the tastes of the car-loving folks penetrating us.
It is well known that these developments come from the top: from Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda. As a petrol head he puts most of us to shame, and without his entrepreneurial drive the Gazoo Racing (GR) sub-brand wouldn’t exist. But it does, and Toyota GR Supra, Toyota GR Yaris and GR86 have all now made their mark. It’s perhaps the least compelling car of this trio – the potent GT-leaning Supra – that comes as a wake-up call for enthusiasts.
We’ll get to the gearbox in a moment, because that’s not the only new thing. The manual model also introduces three new colors, as well as steering and suspension updates that roll out simultaneously to the existing two-pedal Supra, which features ZF’s excellent eight-speed torque converter automatic. .
Chassis revisions extend to stiffer rubber used for the anti-roll bar bushings and shock absorbers which have been retuned for better body control. The electric power steering has also been retuned to weigh in earlier and more naturally, although the gear itself, which at times felt nervously quick in its responses, is unchanged. Regardless, the changes are welcome, because while the GR Supra was always a slim cruiser with enough pace to make you sit up straight, it lacked the dynamic verve of the Porsche 718 Cayman.
How does it look?
This refresh should help the Supra close that gap, although it’s hard to say by how much for just three short laps of the vast Monteblanco circuit near Seville. Here the car feels taut, composed and plenty quick, though it’s still heavy in slower corners and lacks that intuitive sense of what the front end is doing that comes through strongly in the Porsche and smaller GR86 sibling. of the Supra. It’s hard to describe, but from the driver’s seat, the front axle seems too narrow and far apart for this to qualify as a true sports car. Still, it’s great fun on the trail, with 369 lb-ft gently teasing the rear axle at will.
Towards the new ‘box. It is unique to the GR Supra but assembled from existing ZF parts, and although the automatic car’s case has been modified, the gear train is new, as is the final drive. So it’s not a full R&D exercise, but you wouldn’t expect it either. It’s also a nice gearbox. It’s smooth, precise and reminiscent of BMW’s best efforts over the past decade, but with more heft in the understated, attractive lever. Moving quickly through gates is easy, with good inertia smoothing out changes. Clutch weight and sensitivity are also well judged, although these are again more GT style than sports car.
What all of this means is that this new gearbox suits the Supra very well, and given that we’re a bit short of high-capacity, long-snout manual performance coupes at the moment, it is good. The manual gearbox also saves 22 kg and brings the Supra closer to 1450 kg. If there’s an obvious downside, it’s that fewer gears means the manual car will be busier when cruising, requiring 2592 rpm to sit at 70 mph compared to the 1813 rpm of Car.
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This notice was published: 2022-06-07 04:01:23