Automorbit, Cars – If you didn’t rush out and buy a Toyota Supra last year, that’s okay. You still can. But now you’ll have to face a real-life game of “Would You Rather?” when it comes to propulsion: Would you rather have the 382-hp 3.0-liter inline-six or save $8000 and go for the new 255-hp 2.0-liter inline-four? For $4000 per extra cylinder, maybe just buy the four, slap some Celica badges on the thing, and own it.
HIGHS: BMW’s turbo four, lighter and $8000 less than the six.
Even down 127 horsepower on the six, the four-cylinder Supra is good fun. Its 295 pound-feet of torque boil up at 1550 rpm, helping the 2.0-liter feel brawny off the line. It’s helped by a curb weight some 170 pounds lighter than the six-cylinder Supra’s, a crash diet that prescribes both the cylinder removal and a smattering of good old-fashioned de-contenting. For instance, the four-cylinder model shares tire widths with the six—255s up front, 275s in back—but it rolls on 18-inch wheels instead of 19s. The front brake rotors are smaller, and the front calipers are single-piston units versus the six’s four-piston clampers. Its seats adjust manually rather than electrically. And Toyota also 86’d—no pun intended—the Supra’s electronically controlled limited-slip diff and adaptive dampers for 2.0 duty.
At the test track, we measured a 4.7-second time to 60 mph, and the car covered the quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds at 104 mph. That’s a bit slower than the six’s 3.8-second 60-mph dash and 12.1-second quarter-mile time, but the four is quick enough to save face with your ruthless JDM crew. The power deficit does change the way the Supra drives, though—not just in terms of straight-line speed but its handling as well. You’re not going to easily boot the tail out in slow corners for fun like you can do with the 3.0-liter car.
LOWS: Four-cylinder sound, auto only, isn’t a four-cylinder Supra a Celica?
Given that the four-cylinder model is visually all but indistinguishable from its six-cylinder kin, it will make a more affordable case for the folks who are keen to start modding their cars five minutes after they get home from the dealer. There’s no aesthetic shame in the Supra’s four-cylinder game. And a typical “stage one” aftermarket treatment (new intake and exhaust and an engine-computer reflash) will likely edge the BMW four’s power output to over 300 horsepower.
But even in stock form, the 2.0-liter car is a quick, fun rear-driver. As it turns out, a four-cylinder Supra is still a Supra and still a lot of sports car.
2021 Toyota Supra 2.0
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED
$47,430 (base price: $43,945)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
122 in3, 1998 cm3
255 hp @ 6500 rpm
295 lb-ft @ 1550 rpm
Suspension (F/R): strut/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.0-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport, F: 255/40ZR-18 (95Y) ★ R: 275/40ZR-18 (99y) ★
Wheelbase: 97.2 in
Length: 172.5 in
Width: 73.0 in
Height: 51.1 in
Passenger volume: 51 ft3
Cargo volume: 10 ft3
Curb weight: 3179 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 4.7 sec
100 mph: 12.1 sec
130 mph: 18.8 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 5.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.6 sec
1/4 mile: 13.3 sec @ 104 mph
Top speed (C/D est): 155 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 151 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 302 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.02 g