We test drove the new MK5 Supra!
In 2020 Toyota shook the car world, announcing after nearly 30 years since the mk4 was released, we were getting a NEW mk5 Supra! The internet went crazy, asking what will it look like? Are we getting a modern day 2JZ? … and then Toyota announces, they were partnering with BMW.
Nearly a year after the Supra’s release I got my hand on the keys…
When I arrived at Toyota to collect the car I wasn’t sure what to expect. In the UK, sightings of Supras are VERY RARE, this was the first time I had actually seen the MK5 in the flesh, and I must admit, I love it!
At this point everyone knows the new Supra is based on the new BMW Z4. They are pretty much identical under the hood, with the main difference being the external styling. Toyota really went mad with the body kit. The car is covered with striking curves, being somewhat reminiscent of the old MK4. You realise how extreme the car looks when you sit it side by side with its BMW sibling.
I personally love the look of the new car. I think it’s a refreshing modern take on an old classic. which is frustrating as when the Supra came out in 2020, critics were sceptical over the cars appearance. In 2019, Toyota released the FT-1. In short… it was nuts! A super aggressive, sharp, and fierce front, complimented by a sleek side and rear profile that made the FT-1 look like a car of the future. But that was short lived. Instead the car we got was much… softer. Despite all this, I still think it has that crazy Japanese sports car flair.
Another interesting point is that the Supra only comes as a hard top, so no classic targa top. On the other hand, the Z4 only comes as a convertible.
Considering it’s been nearly 30 years since Toyota made another Supra, I can’t help feel disappointed Toyota only gave the new Supra 14bhp more than the old one. Not that I consider 340bhp to be slow.
The MK5 Supra nods to its ancestors, running a similar front mounted turbocharged straight 6. The MK4 shook the 1990s with the crazy 326bhp 2JZ. It was quite rightly nicknamed “the supercar killer”, and was able to take extreme lengths of modification. The new Supra, with its Z4 engine is equally as impressive. It’s faster than the BMW M2 and the Porsche Cayman GTS, and there have already been reports online that some tuners have already achieved 1000bhp, without the need to replace all of the stock internals.
When I finally got behind the wheel it began to rain do I didn’t get chance to properly push the car. However, the brochures say it achieves 0-60 in 4.1 seconds, and when the turbo kicks in, believe me, it really pulls!
The car handling is fantastic. It feels incredibly light, agile, and positive, much like my old GT86. It’s a lot of fun in the corners to, and is very easy to slide around. My main criticism is that it only comes with an 8 speed automatic gearbox, meaning there is no manual option!
If you’re like me, and haven’t matured away from loud and shouty cars then you aren’t going to be overly impressed by the cars sound. It’s hardly a symphony. It sounds very much like every other BMW on the planet. If I bought one, it would have an aftermarket exhaust system on by the end of the week. However, if you don’t mind a good ol’ German exhaust note, you’ll find the drive pleasant, its comfortable and quiet on the ears.
The old supra was designed and engineered in Japan, by the Japanese. The new Supra was co-developed with BMW by the Germans, and the interior does feel very German. It’s essentially an assortment of recycled parts from various BMW cars: the Entertainment screen, the graphics, Gear shifter, Climate control system, Entire I Drive controller, Steering wheel and even the Key are all designed by BMW. Don’t fear though, Toyota designed the rev counter screen…
YES, IT WAS BUILT BY BMW… BUT IS THAT REALLY A BAD THING?
I was really impressed with the quality of the materials throughout the car. BMW are known for the quality and longevity of their cars, and the Supra has definately inherited this trait. The leather and carbon fiber effect trim feel very durable, and the BMW seats are incredibly comfortable and easy on your back. However, I must admit, the dull and generic interior really contradicts the Supra’s wacky exterior, almost like the interior was intended for a different car (sigh).
“HEY, WHATS THE RETAIL ON ONE OF THOSE?“
So let’s talk about how much this is going to cost you to be a modern Supra owner. The standard Supra will cost you £53,000. They also have the PRO version, which for an extra £1000; you get an extra speaker behind your head, and get a wireless phone charger in the centre console. I drove the PRO, but didn’t spend much time with the radio on, and my phone is ancient and doesn’t have that new-fangled wireless technology, so I can’t comment on the benefits of that extra 1k.
Overall I think the new Supra is a great RWD Sports car. It’s fast, comfortable, and is incredibly fun to drive. I handed the keys back with a big smile on my face, and would definitely like to drive one again, hopefully in the dry next time. Whilst the car has received a lot of negative reviews online, I feel this is mostly from diehard MK4 fans. A lot of car brands have been bringing back old model names to entice enthusiasts, with Fords new Puma and Mustang-E to name a few. I believe Toyota are doing a similar thing, and whilst the car does have some very Supra aspects, I can’t help feel it might have been better received if it had been sold under a new name, with its own identity, similar to their approach with the GT86. Ultimately, like it or not, the MK5 Supra is a fantastic car, and has given us enthusiasts the change to own a modern day Supra, and since when has BMW engineering been such a bad thing?
I think the new Supra is a great RWD Sports car. It’s fast, comfortable, and is incredibly fun to drive. I handed the keys back with a big smile on my face, and would definitely like to drive one again, hopefully in the dry next time. Whilst the car has received a lot of negative reviews online, I feel this is mostly from diehard MK4 fans. A lot of car brands have been bringing back old model names to entice enthusiasts, with Fords new Puma and Mustang-E to name a few. I believe Toyota are doing a similar thing, and whilst the car does have some very Supra aspects, I can’t help feel it might have been better received if it had been sold under a new name, with its own identity, similar to their approach with the GT86.
After roughly 100 miles behind the wheel I was hesitant to get out of the car. It really was something special. Like it or not, the MK5 Supra is a fantastic car, and has given us enthusiasts the change to own a modern day Supra, and since when has BMW engineering been such a bad thing?