2021 Toyota GR Supra
- Starting in the low $40,000s
- Summer 2020
What to expect
- New four-cylinder engine shared with the BMW Z4
- Power bump for six-cylinder
- New A91 Edition trim limited to 1,000 examples
- Part of the fifth Supra generation introduced for 2020
What is the Supra?
After more than two decades off the market, Toyota finally released the newest version of its preeminent sports car — now dubbed the GR Supra — for the 2020 model year. After taking the GR Supra to our track and subjecting it to instrument testing, we praised its rapid acceleration, quick steering and sublime handling.
Now Toyota is widening the Supra's appeal. For 2021, Toyota is adding an entry-level trim level — the Supra 2.0 — that comes with a 255-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine to join the existing turbocharged inline-six. Buyers set on the six-cylinder Supra 3.0 will be rewarded with an increase of nearly 50 hp. It now thumps out 382 hp and further gains revised suspension tuning to help it be more buttoned-down and confident both on and off the track. There's also a new limited-edition A91 appearance package with racy carbon-fiber bits, special graphics and a unique paint color.
How does the Supra drive?
Toyota's goal for the Supra 2.0 is to make it more affordable without sacrificing too much of the sports car spirit. After a full day's driving, we came away impressed with the engine's ample midrange power and smooth power delivery. While it's in no way as quick as its 3.0-liter counterpart, the 255-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine doesn't lack for speed. It should have no problem keeping up with the four-cylinder powered Mustangs and Camaros in a straight line.
But compared to the 2.0-liter, this year's upgraded 3.0-liter engine feels like an absolute powerhouse. There's grunt throughout the rev range, and the smoothness of the engine makes it seem like the Supra isn't really trying and we found it all too easy to brush against the car's rev limiter during spirited driving — it's just that smooth. Any doubts that a turbocharged six-cylinder engine can go toe to toe with American V8s should be banished.
We only wish these engines sounded a little more soulful. The Supra's exhaust note — for both engines — simply sounds synthetic and lacks the spine-tingling sound of high-performance four-cylinder and inline-six engines from the past. The piped-in engine noises don't do it any favors either. If there's one powertrain-related area we'd like to see improve with the Supra, this would be it.
Once the road starts to bend, both Supras show a level of adeptness that's getting harder to find, no matter the price point. Toyota says the four-cylinder car is about 200 pounds lighter than the six-cylinder version. And along a curvy road you can feel a difference in the way the lighter Supra more eagerly dives into corners. It's nimble and lively but at the same time full of confidence and grip. The Supra 2.0's tires, incidentally, are the same width and model as the ones used on the Supra 3.0, albeit mounted on 18-inch wheels instead of the six-cylinder car's 19-inch wheels.
The Supra 3.0 feels altogether more serious, and not just because it packs nearly 130 hp more. The more powerful Supra gets a unique set of adaptive dampers, as well as an active differential. We're deeply impressed with the upgrades these parts received for 2021. Over bumpy roads, the 2021 Supra 3.0 feels more planted than the 2020 Supra. It has better body control and does a better job of keeping its tires in contact with the road. It's also easier to put the power down exiting turns because of the Supra's reprogrammed active rear differential and stability and traction control systems. This is a very well-executed sports car.
How comfortable is the Supra?
The seats offer good adjustability, as does the steering wheel, so most sized drivers will be able to lock in a good driving position quickly. But where the Supra 2.0 offers only manually adjustable seats (still with eight-way adjustability), the Supra 3.0 gets 14-way power-adjustable seats. The seats are grippy and supportive, but neither model offers ventilation, and the seats don't breathe particularly well. You might feel some perspiration (or, less politely, "swamp butt") after an invigorating drive.
The ride in both Supras is respectably firm yet offers good compliance in soaking up bigger bumps. The 2.0-liter car lacks the more sophisticated adaptive dampers in the 3.0-liter version and can bounce the driver around on roads with sudden bumps and undulations. It's far from unpleasant, but jumping from one car to another, the 3.0-liter car feels more tied down and better sorted.
Cabin noise is also acceptable for a sports car, with relatively low levels of wind and tire noise. That said, if you like to drive with the windows open, the Supra might make you change your ways. There is severe buffeting at speeds over 25 miles an hour, so much so that as weird as the complaint may be, it bears mentioning.
How's the Supra's interior?
With the exception of the limited A91 Edition Supra's blue and black interior, all Supras interiors are black. Even with plenty of shoulder room and headroom for most drivers, the dark monochromatic interior can feel a bit claustrophobic at times. Interior quality is high, which you'd expect from a BMW and Toyota mash-up.
How's the Supra's tech?
The tech, for the better, is essentially a BMW iDrive system. This has been a sore spot for some Supra purists who would like to see much less of the German automaker's influence in this car. But the system, from its layout to the graphics to its functionality, is much better than anything on offer from Toyota. And even though the screen looks to be a bit of a last-minute add-on, it all but disappears from your view once you're focused on driving.
New for 2021 is the standardization of the 8.8-inch infotainment screen. The smaller 6.5-inch screen is no longer offered. In the 2.0-liter Supra, the standard screen is not touch-sensitive, but with the addition of the Safety and Technology package it becomes a touchscreen. That package also adds wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone integration compatibility but doesn't add wireless charging for your devices — that's reserved for the 3.0 Premium and the A91 Edition. That's important to mention since the 2.0-liter car is curiously equipped with a 1.5-amp USB port, while the 3.0-liter Premium and the A91 Edition receive a quicker-charging 2.1-amp port.
How's the Supra's storage?
The Supra provides 10.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity. That's less room than you'd get in, say, a Mustang (which offers 13.5 cubic feet), but the Supra is easier to load and unload thanks to its large hatchback. There's a tight-fitting cargo cover to keep your items hidden, but we'd suggest investing in a cargo net or some other cargo management system since the large, flat floor of the trunk doesn't have any nooks or crannies to wedge smaller items into.
Inside, it's best to declutter before driving the Supra. While there are places to put a phone or sunglasses and drinks, most don't allow both driver and passenger to do so at once. You can put items behind the front seats directly into the cargo area since it's open to the passenger compartment.
The upgrades to the 2021 Toyota GR Supra make it an even more attractive choice to a wider range of budgets. We like the new Supra 2.0's punchy performance and nimble handling and are smitten with the additional power and handling upgrades for the 3.0 car. The 2021 Supra's styling may be polarizing, but its balance and capability are most certainly not.
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2021 Toyota GR Supra video2021 Toyota Supra Review
2021 Toyota Supra Review
KURT NIEBUHR: This video is being shot in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. While it's important that we adhere to the strict guidelines given to us by scientists and medical professionals, I think it's also important to look ahead and think about something else for a while. [MUSIC PLAYING] So let's talk about cars. Cars are cool, right? And they're certainly better than a pandemic. I should also note that I'm here by myself, because Edmunds is adhering to the strict social distancing guidelines. So I am going to apologize for the wonky camera work-- [SCRAPING MICROPHONE] That'll help. --the iffy sound-- I don't know if this is picking up sound or not-- and general lack of overall polish and professionalism-- Thinking about the four-wheel drive pickup truck, huh, so you could go 10 miles an hour under the speed limit. --that you have become accustomed to with the Edmunds.com video team. But I've been assured that we can fix all that in post. [MUSIC STOPS] Right, guys? [CRICKETS] [BLEEP] I'm here by myself. And for that extra little sprinkling, it's raining in Los Angeles. So the one 24-hour period that we have access to this specific car, it's raining. But that's not going to stop me. And we're going to review the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 2.0, because it has a 2-liter engine. [MUSIC PLAYING] Well, guess what, there's not much to talk about in the interior from a standpoint of what's new, because the 2-liter Supra basically takes everything from the 3-liter Supra, with a few main exceptions. There is no heads-up display. There are no sport pedals. Who cares? For some reason a lower-powered USB port in this version than the 3-liter version. Also, the 2-liter version comes with manual seats, not power seats. So-- [CLICKING] --yeah, manual. The 8.8-inch screen is standard equipment, but it does not include touchscreen capability unless you opt for the safety and technology package. That's what this car has in it. The safety and tech package gives you touchscreen compatibility, it gives your navigation, it gives you adaptive cruise control with start/stop capability, blind spot monitoring, other safety bits. And it also gives you a 12-speaker JBL audio system. I don't know where they put 12 speakers in this car. I've been able to count seven. So there's still five speakers that are unaccounted for. A side note-- if you're a real fan of 1980s sound staging, the base audio system has four speakers. If only it had a cassette deck. But this car is not about what's on the inside, it's about what's under the hood. So I'm going to unpark myself and hit the road. [CLICK, ENGINE TURNS OVER, CHIME SOUNDS] As previously mentioned, I am self-shooting this, so there's no one else out here to help me, which means there's nobody who's getting soaked by the side of the road and making me look good because I come driving by. So there's not a lot of exterior action shots. Actually, there aren't any. As a result, I would kindly ask that we throw to some beautiful B roll in a warmer, sunnier climate. So this 2-liter engine, like the 3-liter engine in the larger, more powerful Supra, as well as the rest of this car, all come from a certain southern German automotive manufacturer. This is a pretty robust little unit. 255 horsepower, 295 foot pounds of torque. And that torque is everywhere. It's just off idle to about 4,400 RPMS, something like that. I had a chance to drive the BMW Z4 with that engine-- with this engine-- in it, and found it to be more than adequate for that car. We did test it at the Edmunds test track last year. And it hit zero to 60 in 5.3 seconds. 5 seconds flat for the rollout. Quarter mile was like 13.6, around just over 100 miles an hour. That's adequate. That's more than adequate. This motor is totally fine, especially in conditions like this. There's not much else in the class that's going to be significantly quicker than this 2-liter Supra. Lots of torque. You really don't even need to shift up that much. You can just use one gear. Even on a road like this, leave it in third, 3,500 RPM, and just lean on it. Ah, good, good, good, good. Special shout-out to this car's traction control, which is superb in the rain. It's helping me accelerate. It is quelling wheel-spin. Still able to put the power down. The car's moving its tail around a little bit, but it's never getting out of shape. That's just one tap on the stability control switch, in case you'd like to try this at home, which I encourage. Now, the 2-liter and 3-liter Supras share quite a bit in terms of parts, including the transmission, which is literally the same transmission, even down to the ratios for every gear. And I understand cost-cutting and money-saving. But it would be nice if the gear ratios were specific to the 2-liter, and I'll tell you why. I was not really aware in the 6-cylinder that second gear seemed a little short and third gear seemed a little tall. But with the 2-liter, there's just not the same amount of power that the 3-liter has, so that gap in the upshifts becomes all the more apparent. With its own specific ratios, this car would be phenomenal. Now I know and you know that this car should come with a manual transmission. That would be a wondrous thing. But it seems to me the only manual they could really use would be the one out of an M2. That's not a bad transmission. But if it had a BMW manual transmission in it too, there would be no hope. This would just basically be a rebadged Beemer. And it's not like Toyota can just whip up a manual transmission. They don't really make them anymore. I mean, yeah, they have them in a Tacoma. And the manual transmission in the Corolla hatchback is actually-- it's genuinely fun. It's really good. But to handle the power of the Supra, Toyota would have to make their own manual transmission. And if it's not really good, it might not sell. And then Toyota would stop making this car. So long story short, yeah, I wish they had a manual. But I'm glad the car exists even if it exists without one. Does it feel any different from the 6-cylinder Supra? Well, it's been a while since I've driven that. But I have to be honest, the front end on this car does feel lighter. It feels more immediate without being forced. It's not like this car has an aggressive alignment, and that's why it changes direction so well. The nose goes where you want it to go. And it goes quickly and accurately. On tighter roads like this, you know, I might take this over the 6-cylinder car. You can never have too much steering feel, especially in the wet. But unfortunately that's not a good way to start a review about the steering. This Supra carries over the power steering from the 3-liter version, and that carries over BMW's electric power steering, which is also kind of devoid of feel, especially right off center. That's kind of the crucial part when you're driving in the rain. Because you're usually not going fast enough to feel the lack of traction at the front. So you want everything to come through the wheel, and it's just not coming through the wheel for me. I wish there was more feel, in the rain and out of the rain. [MUSIC PLAYING] And now, with no concern for critical continuity, we're back. Now we're in the 3-liter Supra. Different color. I've changed most of my clothes. The roads are the same. The weather is slightly better. And oh yeah, I have a lot more power. [ENGINE PURRING] [CHUCKLES] Here's a helpful spotters guide on how to tell a 2-liter Supra from a 3-liter Supra. The easiest way to tell, obviously, are going to be the wheels. The 2-liter super comes with 18 by 9's on the front and 18 by 10's in the rear. The 3-liter Supra comes with 19 by 9's in the front and 19 by 10's in the rear. 3-liter Supras also have a larger front brake-- 13.7 inches in the front, as opposed to 13.0 in the front for a 2-liter model. Another way to tell the cars apart are their outside rearview mirrors. 2-liter cars have glossy black, while 3-liter cars have matte black. Now, if you get the A91, which is a special edition 3-liter car, you get black satin. So either way you look at it, all the mirrors are black, it's just how they're finished. Some people care. Another easy way to tell a 2-liter from a 3-liter apart is the exhaust outlets. On a 2-liter car, they're polished stainless steel exhaust tips. On a 3-liter car, they're brushed stainless steel exhaust tips. All about the details. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let's talk about the engine. For 2021, Toyota claims that this car is now making 47 more horsepower, up to 382. And we suspect that that's probably what the car was making all along. More on that later. Also, the car makes 3 foot pounds of torque more. It's up to 368 from 365. Most of that new power can be attributed to a redesigned exhaust manifold. And they've also engineered in some extra longevity into the engine by redesigning the pistons and lowering compression, which seems counterintuitive, but that means that there's less of a chance of detonation at full boost and higher RPM. So thanks for making the car last longer-- hopefully. Back to that bit about claimed horsepower. We had a Supra at our test track last year. And the numbers that it put out seemed to be suspiciously better than what a rear-wheel-drive car with 335 horsepower could deliver. Zero to 60, I think, was like 4.3 seconds, 3.9 with a foot of rollout. And the quarter mile was 12.5, and 110.4 miles an hour. That's silly fast. I know that the car only weighs 3,400 pounds, but that's still considerably quicker than we expected it. So we thought that Toyota was probably underrating the car's performance. Or maybe all the press cars got a little bit of a sprinkling of extra power here and there. Either way, it'll be interesting to get this car back to our test track once the coronavirus thing has settled and see what the new power numbers actually mean for real performance. So it isn't all about the engine for 2021. Toyota has made a couple changes and tweaks to help the car's handling, which it didn't really need any help with handling. But anyway, up front, there are two new aluminum suspension braces. They kind of look like pipes. That's to help rigidity. They've redesigned the front and rear bump stops. But they've re-tuned the car's electric power steering. And that's something that I kind of had a problem with in the 2-liter car yesterday in the rain. So I'm hoping that gets better for this year. Toyota has also retooled the shocks as well as the active differential. Now, the active differential is something that the 2h liter car does not come with. So it will be interesting to see how all of these changes add up, and to see if it's something that I can actually notice. So let's get to a good road and see what's what. [ENGINE PURRING] To nobody's surprise, the 3-liter version is much more serious than the 2-liter version. It's not just for the engine. Because that suspension, all those changes I mentioned they made, they paid off. This car is not like it was last year. There is just better control over the body. The re-tuning of the shocks is probably largely responsible for that, because this car is so much more planted, where the 2-liter could kind of like bounce around on this road. Right there, it would hop around in the rear. Your head would hit the headrest every so often. This is much better controlled. If there is a reason to buy the 3-liter over the 2-liter, it's probably the suspension. It's really good. So now can I notice a difference with the re-tuned power steering? I like the weighting. I think the weighting isn't the same as it is in the 2-liter. This feels slightly heavier, but in the right way. And I just don't think I'm going fast enough to get the feel for the feedback at the limit. I'm OK with not going fast enough right now because the weather has deteriorated considerably. So now it's pretty much like it was yesterday. And this car is much, much faster than the 2-liter. You know what? I like the differentiation between the 2-liter and 3-liter models. I like how more money buys you more cylinders, gives you more power and more performance. And it's real-world performance, too, it's not the kind of performance that you have to split hairs over. Do I wish this were more of a Toyota? I guess. I think I just wanted to be more different than the Z4. But again, I understand cost sharing. And if it means that we have to choose between two sports cars, I'd rather have that choice than not at all. Options are good, especially when the options are good. At the time of shooting this video, pricing has not yet been released. But bear with me. I'm going to go out on a limb, and I'm going to say that the 2-liter version is going to cost less than the 3-liter, maybe by several thousand dollars. To get updated pricing information, keep checking back with Edmunds. We'll tell you how much it costs. See what I did there? I threw it back to the website. Yeah, professional. So it's a little weird to be giving a conclusion about a car that I'm not currently driving. But you know what? You can count me as a fan of the 2-liter Supra. It's comfortable, it's capable, it's really nicely balanced, and it's well-rounded enough that you can use it every single day. And if you like doing sports car stuff-- going to a track day, doing some autocross, it'll do that too. There's not much change on it, except maybe the name. I'd call it the Celica Supra-- you know, old school.
For 2021, the Toyota GR Supra gets a lighter and less expensive four-cylinder engine option as well as a more powerful six-cylinder. Kurt Niebuhr drives and reviews both versions.