DETROIT – Since everyone seems to love a reboot these days, Toyota is getting in on the action with the first Supra sports car it’s sold in the United States since 1998.
The long-awaited coupe debuting at the Detroit Auto Show is a collaboration with BMW that has also spawned a new Z4 roadster, but looks every bit the modern Toyota and features an inline-six-cylinder engine just like the most iconic Supras of old.
This one’s a 3.0-liter that’s turbocharged to put out 335 hp, and the Supra has rear-wheel-drive, a perfect 50/50 weight distribution and can hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. It’s only available with an 8-speed automatic transmission, but comes standard with a computer-controlled suspension and active rear differential that shifts power from side to side to improve handling.
Toyota’s namesake president Akio Toyoda, who races cars for fun and is one of the brand’s certified Master Drivers, personally took it to the track for development driving. (Must be nice to run your grandfather’s company, huh?)
Toyota is even putting the Supra’s name and face on its spec Nascar Xfinity Series cars this season to drive the performance point home. Toyota’s North American General Manager, Jack Hollis says the company shares the same level of purchase consideration as Ford and Chevrolet among NASCAR fans and expects the Supra to connect with them just as well as the Camry and Tundra have.
It’s very much a grand tourer, though, with an upscale, two-seat interior and plenty of electronic safety aids including automatic emergency brakes, lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control, but you can always turn them off and just drive.
Pricing will start at $50,920 when the Supra speeds into showrooms this summer.