Pay no mind to the fact that the 2021 Toyota Supra shares much of its chassis and powertrains with the BMW Z4—it offers its own distinct personality and is an utter blast to drive. Two different turbocharged powertrains—an inline-four and an inline-six—are on offer, both of which drive the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. We know, we know: a six-speed manual would be preferable. To be honest, this automatic does an excellent, changing gears crisply and responding quickly to the Supra’s paddle shifters. So impressed are we with the Supra, we’ve named it an Editors’ Choice and to our annual 10 Best list two years in a row. Its snug cabin, while not the right size for every driver, is nicely finished.
What’s New for 2021?
Only a year after the Supra was reintroduced, Toyota is turning up the heat on the car’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, dialing up its horsepower from 335 to 382. To help the Supra broaden its reach, the company is also adding a four-cylinder model to the lineup, which is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 that makes 255 horsepower. The range-topping A91 special edition comes standard with the six-cylinder engine and adds a host of appearance items to the interior and exterior to differentiate it from regular Supra models. Last year’s standard 6.5-inch infotainment screen is gone; the larger 8.8-inch display is now standard across the lineup.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Supra models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and are offered only with rear-wheel drive. At the test track, our long-term Supra 3.0 laid down some seriously impressive acceleration numbers: zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and zero to 100 mph in 9.5. That puts it in the big leagues against the Chevy Camaro, the Porsche Cayman GTS, and the BMW M2 Competition. In fact, it’s even quicker than the vaunted fourth-generation Supra that was powered by a sequentially turbocharged inline-six with 320 horsepower. It’s a shame that a manual transmission is not available, but hope isn’t completely lost; it’s rumored that the Supra will gain a stick later in its production run. Despite its performance potential, the Supra’s suspension is forgiving enough to drive daily. Its steering is accurate, nicely weighted, and direct, which enhances its fun-to-drive personality. The lower-priced four-cylinder model is new for 2021 and delivered a brisk 4.7-second zero-to-60-mph run at our test track. That’s quicker than the Supra’s German cousin—the BMW Z4—which managed a 5.0-second zero-to-60-mph time.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Now with more horsepower, the fuel-economy ratings for the 2021 Supra 3.0 take a slight hit but are still good, earning 30 mpg highway, 22 mpg city, and 25 mpg combined. That’s more efficient than the Camaro, the Cayman GTS, and the M2. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, the six-cylinder Supra exceeded its highway rating by delivering 34 mpg. Those looking for even better fuel economy with their sports car will find it in the four-cylinder Supra, which carries ratings of 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway; in our testing, this model exceeded its highway rating and delivered a stellar 38 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The driver-focused cockpit is tight, and although the double-bubble roof provides some additional headroom, the tallest drivers will feel pinched. Cargo space is similarly cramped, but the cargo area (accessed via a hatchback) should be roomy enough for a couple of duffle bags, a week’s worth of groceries for two, and maybe even a set of golf clubs depending on the bulkiness of the bag. In our testing, we managed to fit four carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats. Much of the Toyota’s interior is shared with the Z4, so those familiar with BMW switchgear and infotainment controls will feel right at home.