So I used to be racing down some fabulous again roads, diving off a ridge down right into a valley, bushes and golf course greens flashing previous, winding out third gear into some ridiculous triple-digit velocity when it hit me: The 2023 Toyota Supra GR with a 6-speed handbook transmission is PERFECT. I imply, there’s nothing mistaken with this automotive. Every thing – EVERYTHING – about it’s implausible.
We final drove the most recent iteration of the Supra again in Autumn of 2021 – two years in the past. We beloved it regardless of it’s automated transmission. The paddle shifters labored exceptionally properly and we had been capable of paddle our means throughout some enjoyable Michigan roads. However nonetheless…working that third pedal and a handbook gear shifter would have made it…higher. Extra satisfying. So when Toyota introduced that they had been going to supply a 6-speed handbook model we began calling our Toyota rep to see once we might snag a trip. The when turned out to be now and…what a trip it has been.
Nothing has modified concerning the design within the final two years. It’s nonetheless the identical gorgeously curvaceous highway rocket that it was then. It’s eye catching for positive, from the sharp F1-inspired nostril up the lengthy arching hood, the fake fender vents, the aggressive roofline with bubbles over the driving force and passenger offering a couple of additional inches of headroom clearance for helmets, to the sexiest rear fenders this facet of a Dodge Viper GTS, and eventually that ducktail spoiler that has to supply some critical downforce at velocity. It’s beautiful. Really the least costly unique you should buy in the present day.
Inside is simply as well-thought out. The cockpit is a combination of wealthy plastics, leather-based, and real carbon fiber, all tastefully built-in. Severe drivers will admire how properly laid out all the pieces is: The vital stuff is major within the inside design and the peripheral stuff is tucked out of the way in which the place it gained’t be a distraction. Tachometer? It’s the main focus of the instrument cluster. The velocity studying is digital and resides to the left of the round tach. It’s additionally thrown up on the windshield so that you don’t should be distracted when driving at velocity. The stick-shift falls readily handy within the heart console. The “Sport” button and “Traction Management Off” buttons lie between you and the stick. The knob that controls the sat-nav display screen is on the passenger facet of the console – inside straightforward attain in the event you want it however out of your means when driving. Stunning. If the satan is within the particulars, Toyota has gone to nice pains to exorcise that satan. There’s loads of legroom for tall folks – simply watch your head as you’re getting in as a result of the roofline is low. The trunk is fairly spacious beneath the rear hatch and Toyota gives a privateness display screen to cover your stuff from prying eyes.
Underneath the hood lies a BMW turbocharged 3.0L inline-six (it’s a joint venture, in the event you recall). It must be the silkiest, smoothest engine I’ve ever had the privilege of driving. It makes 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. That torque comes on onerous at low rpms and carries it proper as much as it’s 7000 rpm redline. It’s a ridiculously sturdy engine with no weak factors wherever in it’s rev vary. Heck, I managed to spin the tires leaving a parking zone in second gear. Talking of second gear, it’s just like God pushing you up the highway. My neck about snapped again into the headrest a number of instances as I grabbed second gear and planted the throttle. Every redline shift drops you again into one other sturdy upward sweep of the tach. The engine sounds implausible, particularly with Sport mode engaged. The energetic exhaust opens up and that frenetic free-revving inline six simply sings out the 2 massive exhaust pipes in again.
Having a honest-to-God six-speed handbook on this automotive perfects it. It’s SO good to have a 3rd pedal within the pedal field, so good to relaxation your hand on the shift knob at a lightweight, to really feel the direct linkage if you shift, feeling the engine slip into a distinct vary of energy, to have that management and have it so tactilely in your hand. A superb handbook simply makes a automotive. The clutch is mild and set a little bit larger than we’d have preferred, nevertheless it wasn’t a detriment. The sprint show tells you what gear you’re in, which is a pleasant reminder at instances. Whenever you downshift, the automotive rev-matches for you, completely blipping the throttle to your downshift. Whereas it appears a bit disingenuous, it IS useful and I preferred it. Out again, an electronically managed LSD put down the facility as evenly and totally because it might.
The Supra 3.0 GR will speed up to 60 mph (100 kph) in about 4 seconds. It’s electronically restricted prime velocity is 155 mph. Whenever you’re driving one thing that accelerates like that and may attain 155 as shortly because it does, it pays to have good brakes. The Supra is match with Brembo four-piston calipers up entrance over 14” ventilated discs and single-piston rear calipers over 13.5” rear discs. They clamp down with sufficient pressure to cease the 3400 lb automotive with mind scrambling velocity. We by no means bought caught out by a scenario within the Supra. If site visitors backed up all of the sudden throughout our rush hour commute, we had been all the time capable of break sooner than the man forward of us. All that braking means is ensconced inside 19” wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Tremendous Sports activities. Whereas ferociously sticky, they are often coaxed into sliding round with distinctive steadiness – one thing we did fairly a little bit of because the temps turned cooler right here.
The suspension is Toyota’s adaptive variable suspension, which does job of constructing the trip really feel tremendous easy. Sharp bumps and enlargement strips in straight line driving upset the suspension a bit. You would really feel the automotive bounce to at least one facet or the opposite if you hit a entry cowl within the highway. The suspension felt tight. Minor imperfections within the highway are eradicated fully. Glide by means of a set of curves and also you’d swear the suspension was utilizing AI to determine what stance to take, then adjusting the suspension to finest deal with the angles and perspective of the automotive. The outcome was that you may take corners with little effort and are available out feeling like an expert driver. The Supra simply eats corners and curvy roads like an athlete at a buffet after coaching.
Our automotive, whether or not aligned to manufacturing facility specs or not, had razor-sharp steering. An inch or so of flip might deal with almost any s-curve with out breaking a sweat. It additionally made it really feel twitchy on the freeway because the Pilot Tremendous Sports activities tramlined within the reduce grooves on the concrete sections and within the tire depressions of asphalt sections. It was unsettling sufficient that you simply actually needed to maintain each palms on the wheel always. With time although, we grew extra comfy with it.
Typically a sports activities automotive is able to posting implausible efficiency numbers however lacks that magical human-machine interplay. The Supra isn’t a kind of vehicles. You are feeling one with the automotive if you’re driving it and that’s the signal of a superb automotive. We had a number of implausible drives on again roads whereas we had it. The cornering, the acceleration, the braking, the steadiness – all encourage complete confidence within the package deal and that confidence makes it an especially rewarding automotive to drive quick. On a observe, this automotive can be an absolute pleasure to pilot. Accelerating, winding by means of the gears to redline, downshifting whereas braking, tucking into corners too sizzling however feeling the automotive come alive and steadiness on a knife’s fringe of controllable slip, getting it straight once more and powering to the following curve, listening to the throttle blip as you downshift, working that stick and clutch, feeling the suspension arrange beneath you and the automotive glide effortlessly by means of the nook, again flat on the throttle, listening to the revs construct, the engine easy as silk. Its heady stuff. Stuff you wish to get pleasure from again and again. Toyota and BMW have nailed it with this automotive and it actually is ideal. I’m in love.
The beginning worth for the three.0 GR with a stick within the US is about $60,000. A implausible worth for the efficiency you’re shopping for into. The one actual possibility package deal is a bunch of digital security options and cruise management. Every thing you want is already there. This is without doubt one of the most rewarding, most economical offers within the automotive world proper now. Good job, Toyota. You’ve made the right sports activities automotive.