Author: Jack
POSTED ON 15 Jan 2019

Finally! The Official Debut of the A90 Supra!

And it’s catching a lot of flack – which truth be told I fully understand. Let’s start with the basics of what people tend to complain about.

It’s More BMW Than Toyota

It’s true that the new A90 Supra shares the hardware and hard points of the platform -ie: the engine, transmission (basically all of its internal organs), and interior placement. However, you can drastically change a cars characteristic with a bit of tuning since everything is electronic. The throttle mapping, transmission, dampening, electric-motor assisted steering quickness, etc. can all be easy tuned and changed so that the A90 Supra has a different personality than its half-brother BMW Z4. Although they share similar components, the tuning was done in complete isolation from one another.

The A90 Doesn’t Have The Heart of a “Supra”

This is also true and one of the biggest problems many see about the Supra – besides being one of the most hyped up cars of the 21st century. The A90 Supra comes with a turbocharged  inline six, 3.0L engine supplied by BMW that is good for 335 hp and 365 lb-ft. The inline six was well received by Supra fans, however it wasn’t a JZ variant. Without the heart of the previous Supras, it feels as if the spiritual connection has been lost. The new NSX faced a similar criticism when it debut for being to digital and using electric motors to help increase its performance capabilities. Also, have you heard what the new Supra sounds like? It’s a bit too Germany in my opinion with all the cracking and popping.  If you were to be blind folded and had the Supra do a flyby, you would think it was from a German manufacture and not Toyota.

Where Did The Manual Transmission Go?

A ZF 8-speed automatic transmission is currently all you can get with the 2020 Toyota Supra – and that is a huge problem. Yes you can put the transmission in manual mode and shift the car yourself, and truth be told, it would be faster and have a better ability to attract more customers in theory since it seems more and more people don’t know how to drive a stick. However the people who are really going to be interested in buying the new Supra are people who truly loved the Supra line up – the die hard enthusiasts. At a base price of $50,000 USD, Toyota is going to have a hard time trying to convince new buyers to try out their sports car over the German competition. Hell, I could see sales reps using the fact the car has BMW parts to try and move inventory. If Toyota had gone the way of the Ford Focus ST and focused on “fun” and had a stick only option, the Supra most likely would have been better praised by its fan base.

The Vibes Verdict

The goal of the A90 Supra seems a bit blurred. On one hand, Toyota wanted to revive the Supra brand to answer the calls of die hard enthusiasts. The fact that did so should be celebrated. However on the other hand, the Supra doesn’t seem to have any spiritual connection to the past besides naming – and price tag. In an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, the Supra has been transformed into something that will out perform the A80 Supra hands down in a stock-to-stock comparison. Progression is great but if it comes at the cost of sacrificing its connection to the past, then can it really be successful? Will people get over the fact it sounds more German than Japanese, and doesn’t come with a manual option? I honestly don’t know, but if you were to give me $50,000 USD, I think I would struggle to buy an A90 Supra over an A80 – guess a true test of the car would be needed to make a final verdict.