The arrival of the fifth-generation Toyota Supra is imminent, and we should all rejoice when there are new/returning entries into the sports car market. The modern automotive business is fantastically hostile to pure sports cars – unless you are Porsche, so any new product is worth celebrating.
Sadly, the Internet is wont to complain about things, and since the embargo on driving impressions by journalists were lifted this previous Sunday, the discussion online isn’t on how superbly well the new Supra drives, but rather that it’s made nearly entirely of BMW parts. Indeed, there are (crazy) enthusiasts out there who would not entertain purchasing the GR Supra simply because it shares platform and components with the equally new BMW Z4 convertible.
Never mind the consensus opinion by those who’s driven it is that the new Supra is a brilliant machine; Toyota’s mandate of competing with a Porsche Cayman on dynamics is utterly achieved.
Nope, people are whining about how the car is largely a BMW product, with only a few Toyota fixings sprinkled on top. As halo vehicle to follow the legendary fourth-generation Supra, the lack of “pure Toyota” in the GR Supra is seen as sacrilege. Again, mistakenly ignoring how great the new car drives, and that BMW isn’t exactly known for making terrible sports cars throughout its history.
Hilarious the hills some petrol-heads choose to die on. Toyota’s already got a product for the people hankering for a 100% Toyota-produced successor to the Supra: it’s called the Lexus LC500. Adjusting for inflation, it costs nearly the same as the MK4 Supra did, and in terms of handling philosophy, it’s more in tune with the old coupe’s grand touring-leaning appeal anyways. The LC500’s atmospheric V8 is quite the party piece, too. Why aren’t the people complaining about the GR Supra’s BMW underpinnings buying the Lexus instead?
Because it costs too much; they want their cake and eat it as well, but a brand new Supra engineered from the ground up by Toyota would have been far more expensive than the mid-50K price of the GR Supra, and taken even longer to materialize. There’s simply no business case for Toyota to be in the upper 70K to low 80K price segment, not least of which they know from history: the previous Supra (again, adjusting for inflation) did not sell well at all.
Have I mentioned the new Supra – according to reviews – drives really great? It seems Toyota have made a worthy sports car for 2019, and that’s all that should matter. For those looking for a bit more Japanese soul, well, there’s always the LC500, or better yet, the LFA.