2020 Toyota Supra: Is It More Than a Rebadged BMW Z4, And How Does It Compare To The 86?

Does the Supra live up to its name? We have our first chance to find out

Is the new Supra a worthy successor to its predecessor?

We waited and waited, and now our first chance to drive it is finally here. The 2020 Toyota Supra has returned, and Toyota brought us out to test its all-new generation of a sports car legend. In the process, two major questions loomed in our minds. Is the new Supra more than just a rebadged BMW Z4, and is it really worth twice as much as its little brother, the Toyota 86?

2020 Toyota Supra
Finally, we get our first shot to drive the 2020 Toyota Supra. How does it stack up? [Photo: Toyota]

2020 Toyota Supra by the numbers

Under the hood, the 2020 Toyota Supra has just one engine option. A 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six is standard fare, with 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Sorry, manual lovers — there’s no row-your-own option here. Up front, Toyota fitted double-joint MacPherson strut suspension, and there is multi-link suspension around the rear. There’s also an active differential and adaptive dampers.

Those who followed the 2020 Toyota Supra are keen to point out Toyota’s partnership with BMW on its development. When asked what characteristics of the Supra make it unique to the Z4, chief engineer Tetsuya Tada provided his insight. “The reason we split the development teams from the start was exactly that. It wasn’t just a simple suspension tuning. Everything from the engine tuning to the steering and body rigidity…once the base platform dimensions were agreed upon, then they ran off on their own.” On that basis, Toyota’s revived sports car has more of its own character than you’d expect, given the BMW-sourced powertrain and interior components.

Price is another area the two cars drastically differ. The standard 3.0 model starts at $49,990 MSRP before destination charges and fees. The 3.0 Premium starts at $53,990, while the unique Launch Edition kicks off at $55,250. The Launch Edition comes standard with red mirror caps, unique matte-black wheels and a numbered badge with CEO Akio Toyoda’s signature.

How does it compare to the 86?

Yes, the Toyota 86 has been around for a few years now. It has just a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer engine under the hood, rather than a meaty six-cylinder. Unlike the Supra, it manages just 197 horsepower and up to 156 lb-ft of torque. It’s also substantially cheaper than the Supra, starting at just $26,505 and up.

2020 Toyota Supra

Like with the 2020 Toyota Supra, the 86 came about as a partnership between Toyota and Subaru. The car is based on a modified Impreza platform, and it uses a horizontally-opposed engine. That said, it is still a fun sports car in its own right, with a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive.

As to whether it’s worth twice as much as an 86, its bigger brother does go beyond its little brother on many levels. For some, the partnership with BMW is a bridge too far. With a relatively low-volume model, though, developing a car like the Supra alone isn’t the most cost-effective decision. And, at the end of the day, it’s still the return of the Supra.

Check back to TFLcar.com on May 12th for more on the 2020 Toyota Supra, including driving impressions!

2020 Toyota Supra Photo Gallery (More updates in progress)