PAUL WALKER’S tragic death was an untimely one. He was the “bro” every guy wanted to be, and the man every woman wanted to date. He still is missed, and will always be remembered for his ride in The Fast and The Furious — a 1993 orange Toyota Supra Turbo.
That was 2001, a year before the Supra left Toyota’s car lineup. As much as Walker turned movies into cult classics, he also helped the Supra become the most significant of the cars of the franchise. It also became the most recognisable car that Toyoto’s ever made. Built as a street legal race car with an incredible engine and all, it was the last to feature Toyota’s amazing racing pedigree, right until the LFA came along.
The same car was auctioned off for USD185,000 in 2015. A bummer, but not anymore. The new 2020 Supra has just been launched, and we have to say that it is looking pretty neat.
It’s been a long time coming, being the first Supra to be produced in 21 years and after seven years of development. But it was well worth the wait. The first global model developed by Toyota Gazoo Racing, the company’s motorsport arm, it doesn’t stray far from its predecessors. It is your fuss-free everyday race car, packing in an inline six-cylinder engine under the front hood, with the power running through its rear wheels.
As a joint project with BMW, much of the hardware and important bits are shared with the Z4. From the switchgear and iDrive, to the platform and top engine — a 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six with 335 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque. Other than that, expect launch control, and “normal” and “sport” driving modes. Also, a “track” setting for traction control and the ability to go from zero to hero in 4.1 seconds. That makes it the quickest Toyota car to date. Unfortunately, no manual transmission has been made available. And that will be the case for as long as we know it.
Unlike the Z4’s soft roadster setup, the Supra’s a coupé that’s as stiff as the magnificent carbon fibre-bodied Lexus LFA supercar. It’s a short, punchy and feisty-looking car armed with an arsenal of impressive graphics. The wings flow aggressively at the front while the back’s busy with curves, fat wheel arches and layers of bodywork.
Toyota doesn’t have a rap for the prettiest cars, but with the Supra, it all seems to gel. Extra brownie points are given for its front mid-engine, which translates to optimal centre of gravity and even weight distribution. Going fast around sharp corners should prove to be quite fun — if you bruise like a peach, there’s padding for your knees — Paul Walker would know.
No word has been said about the Supra’s price and availability here in Singapore, but just you wait. The starting price in the UK is around £50,000, the equivalent of a Porsche 718 Cayman, which costs a rough $300,000 here
ENGINE: 3.0-litre, turbocharged in-line six-cylinder
POWER: 335 horsepower
0-100KM/H: 4.3 seconds
TOP SPEED: 250 km/h
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed semi-auto dual-clutch (6-speed manual)