Toyota’s already made substantial changes to its Supra sports car just a year into its lifecycle. In its inaugural year, the 2020 GR Supra arrived with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine producing 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque.
For 2021, however, the Supra’s inline-six sees its power increase to 382 horses and 368 lb-ft of twist. Also new for the 2021 model year is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 225 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Dubbed the Supra 2.0, the new model is the first iteration of Toyota’s sports car to use a four-cylinder engine. Well, in the U.S. that is— the turbo-four already served as an option in other world markets. Toyota is planning more changes and additions for the Supra in the next few years, which is one of the reasons why the brand took its time to add the 2.0-liter to the model’s roster.
To keep the Supra fresh, Toyota felt it better to launch the reborn model (internally known as the A90) with a six-cylinder engine. Jack Hollis, Toyota’s group vice president and general manager, said on a call with journalists that adding the four-cylinder Supra one year after the launch will help sales. The 2.0 serves as the new entry-level Supra and is more attainable to more people.
Unfortunately, recent plant closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are forcing Toyota to push back the launch date of the four-cylinder Supra. The model was slated to arrive by August, but the halt in production at the Magna Steyr plant is delaying its arrival until late fall. As of this writing, Magna is not producing examples of the 2021 Supra 2.0. Nick Miller, Toyota’s marketing manager, said about 400 units of the 2021 Supra 3.0 are currently crossing the Atlantic. He expects those vehicles to go on sale in late June or early July.
The 2021 Supra’s chassis also benefits from changes that aim to enhance its stability in corners, something we complained about when we drove it for Best Driver’s Car last year. Ben Haushalter, senior manager of product planning, said that the updated Supra adds lightweight aluminum braces to increase the lateral rigidity. It also includes revisions to the electric power steering, adaptive dampers, and active differential.
We welcome Toyota’s changes to the Supra’s handling behavior. Throughout the last year, we tested the Supra multiple times and reported mixed results. The Supra won a comparison against the Porsche 718 Cayman and the BMW M2 Competiton, but a few months later it finished last at Best Driver’s Car. Then, during our Car of the Year testing, the Supra advanced as a finalist and won another comparison against the BMW Z4 M40i. Stay tuned for our driving impressions of the 2021 Supra later this month.
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