Toyota’s GR Supra two-seat sports car has significant changes for 2021, just one year after coming back from an 18-year pause. The existing turbocharged six-cylinder engine gets a big horsepower boost, going from 335 to 382, and its chassis has been retuned accordingly. Toward the other end of the spectrum, a milder yet still burly turbocharged four-cylinder model has been added, producing 255 horsepower and giving buyers a more affordable choice.
The GR in the name stands for Gazoo Racing, a subdivision of Toyota that produces modified racing versions of vehicles. Gazoo means “garage” in Japanese. The GR initials distinguish the current Supra from the earlier Supra, but for simplicity’s sake they are usually left off in everyday language.
Supra has rear-wheel drive, and both versions (four-cylinder 2.0 and six-cylinder 3.0) come with the same eight-speed automatic transmission. No manual transmission is available at this time, but rumors indicate one will materialize before too long.
My test car was the new GR Supra 2.0, ablaze with Nitro Yellow paint visible for miles. It’s priced at $43,985 including a $995 destination charge.
Standard features for this model include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with automatic high beams, paddle shifters, Alcantara sport seats, four-speaker audio system, 8.8-inch TFT LCD gauge cluster, satellite radio, smart key and push button start, dual zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, lane departure warning, pre-collision safety system with pedestrian detection, and an 8.8-inch display screen with satellite radio, USB and Bluetooth.
An optional Safety and Technology package increased the tester’s bottom line by $3,485 and provided an upgraded 12-speaker JBL audio system, navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, Supra Connected Services, dynamic radar cruise control, blind spot monitor, parking sensors with emergency braking, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Toyota developed the Supra jointly with BMW, and its chassis, powertrains and other parts are BMW-sourced, specifically from the Z4.
Supra’s powerful turbo four-cylinder engine with its 295 pound-feet of torque has a 0-to-60 mph time of 5 seconds and a fun-to-drive quotient that’s through the roof, figuratively speaking. Fuel economy ratings are 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.
Supra’s cabin is snug and not easy to get in to or out of. It won’t please a driver whose height or weight is quite a bit above average, or whose back tends to act up. There’s a big blind spot on the passenger side, more like a region than a spot. Blind spot monitoring, always good to have, takes on a whole new importance in the Supra.
The driver’s seat is terrific, offering first-class comfort. It has manual adjustment, including for height, but with power lumbar and bolstering adjustment. I drove from Snohomish County down to Vancouver and back in the same day, stopping only briefly for the inevitable text messages and to use facilities at Washington’s wonderful rest areas, and I was completely uncrabby when I got home. The Supra’s nice smooth ride made a major contribution, too.
2021 TOYOTA GR SUPRA 2.0
Base price, including destination charge: $43,985
Price as driven: $48,040
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.