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Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Pro

The Toyota Supra is back. In spirit at least. I used to have a soft spot for the last incarnation of the Japanese coupe that disappeared from our forecourts way back in 1996 I believe so, even though this is technically an all-new car, I’m delighted to see the Supra name reappear.

It was developed as part of a collaboration with BMW that also spawned the German marque’s new Z4 and, inevitably, shares a number of parts with the convertible. However, unlike Toyota’s partnership with Subaru that produced the GT86/BRZ twins, the Supra and Z4 are very different creatures.

Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326538)
Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326538)

So what is the new Supra? It’s a strict two-seater coupe with a long bonnet that houses a BMW-sourced straight-six engine that sends its power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Climb into the cabin and there’s more evidence of BMW’s role in this car’s evolution. Much of the switchgear is straight out of the Bavarian manufacturer’s parts bin as is the thinly-disguised iDrive infotainment system. None of this is necessarily a bad thing. The quality of the parts is excellent and the iDrive system is one of the easiest to operate thanks to its intuitive menus, sharp graphics and the chunky rotary controller mounted on the transmission tunnel that’s easy to use on the move.

There’s an 8.8in screen positioned high on the dashboard and well within the driver’s line of sight and features include sat nav, DAB radio and Apple CarPlay though not, disappointingly, Android Auto.

Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326501)
Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326501)

The Supra eschews traditional gauges for a digital display in the instrument binnacle. It doesn’t offer the flexibility of some, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit for example, but the graphics look sophisticated and bold and there’s no shortage of information available for keener drivers.

Electric seats – with memory – are standard and even provide adjustable side bolsters and lumbar support, plus the steering wheel adjusts for reach and rake, so those same keen drivers can find the perfect position from which to attack the road ahead.

The Supra is a low-slung coupe – as evidenced by my rather ungainly efforts to enter and exit the car – but once you’re inside you’ll find there’s plenty of headroom for tall drivers thanks to the scalloped roof. I’m over six feet and I didn’t have any issues with legroom either.

There’s a fair distance between driver and passenger so you shouldn’t find yourselves banging elbows but the transmission tunnel’s width means it does impact negatively on space in the footwell.

Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326497)
Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326497)

Luggage capacity stands at 290 litres, which is equivalent to a small hatchback. The trouble is, that while accessing that space is relatively easy thanks to a wide opening, its shape isn’t particularly practical, so you won’t be squeezing any suitcases in there for lengthy trips away. It’s strictly weekend bags-only territory.

When you start the Supra’s turbocharged straight six you’ll stop caring about luggage capacity, if you ever did, because this is where all the fun starts. It produces a generous 335bhp and 369lbft of torque over a wide range of revs.

That means that you don’t have to work it hard for it to feel potent and muscular. There is, though, some pleasure to be gained by pushing the engine towards its red line just to hear its delightfully deep bark. Slip it into Sport mode and you’ll also get pops and crackles from the exhaust just to heighten and tighten the senses. Although the sounds are electronically augmented, they don’t sound overwhelmingly synthesised and, in any case, the audio from the engine is streets ahead of anything you’d get from a four-cylinder unit.

Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326560)
Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326560)

The Supra runs on super-sticky Michelin Super Sport tyres and is fitted with, as standard, an electronically-controlled limited slip differential and, together, they imbue the car with terrific traction, even without launch control engaged.

Should you wish, you can switch off the traction control and, with very little encouragement, get the car to step out at the back. It’s all very manageable and progressive so you never feel as though the car’s driving you, rather than you driving it.

In the suspension’s firmest setting there is minimal body roll in corners and the front end turns in with great enthusiasm and holds its line like it’s on rails. It’s also keen to change direction rapidly with little fuss thanks those super grippy Michelins and it’s low centre of gravity. You can put down the power confidently as you exit the bends thanks to the limited-slip diff.

Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326571)
Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326571)

It stops as well as it goes and, while the brakes are strong, they’re progressive so it’s easy to bring the Supra to a standstill smoothly whatever speed you’re travelling at.

Where the Supra properly excels – despite the relatively impractical boot – is a grand tourer. Swap Sport for Comfort and it delivers an impressively supple, cosseting ride at motorway speeds thanks to the well-considered standard adjustable suspension.

You’re not totally isolated from everything that’s going on beneath you but there are no loud crashes or heavy thuds and it’s only when you encounter some particularly unforgiving potholes that the comfort levels deteriorate significantly.

It’s worth noting that even Sport mode delivers a more-than-acceptable level of comfort for on-road use.

Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326554)
Toyota GR Supra 3.0-litre Pro (44326554)

The eight-speed automatic gearbox is an absolute gem and swaps rations quicker than Donald Trump can cry foul at an election count when left to its own devices. Should you desire greater involvement in the decision process there is a pair of paddles mounted behind the steering wheel for just such an occasion.

There’s just two models in the current line-up – the Supra and the Supra Pro. The former gets adaptive suspension, limited slip diff, eight-speed auto, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and engine start-stop, LED lights and Alcantara seats.

The Pro is a just a tad more expensive but throws in leather seats, an upgraded audio system, head-up display, wireless phone charging and ambient lighting.

The Supra was benchmarked against the Porsche 718 Cayman and Alpine A110 but it’s hard to see those two particular cars as direct rivals. They are both lighter, more agile, driver-focused cars whereas the Supra, which itself possesses a well-balanced, tenacious chassis with a playful character, also has a softer side that means you won’t shy away from using it every day.

Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Pro

Price: £54,340 OTR

Engine: 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder turbocharged petrol

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Max power: 335bhp

Max torque: 500Nm @ 1,600 – 4,400rpm

Max speed: 155mph (limited)

0-62mph: 4.23sec

Economy (WLTP cycle): 34.4mpg (combined)

Emissions: 188g/km (combined)

For more information visit www.toyota.co.uk

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