2021 Toyota Supra GR 3.0 Premium — More horsepower, better handling

By Jim Prueter

(October 7, 2021) Last year we reviewed the 2020 Toyota Supra that returned 21 years after its last appearance. That Supra was powered by a 335-horsepower twin-scroll turbocharged inline six-cylinder paired with a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and with standard launch control reached 60 mph from a resting stop in just 4.1 seconds with thanks in part to the 365 lb.-ft of torque. That’s made it the quickest production Toyota ever.

Now for 2021 and just a year after the Supra was revived, Toyota has dialed up the horsepower on the 3.0-liter inline-six by adding 47 more horsepower taking it from 335 to 382-hp. More impressive however is a re-tuned suspension lifted from the M40i version of the BMW Z4 that adds aluminum braces that tie the strut towers and core support together for that significantly improved the Supra’s handling.

The added horsepower takes the sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.0 second. That isn’t much considering the huge bump in horsepower. That’s because peak power used to arrive at 5,000 rpm in last year’s 3.0 Supra, but now you’ll have to wait until 5,800 rpm. Similarly, peak torque now comes at 1,800 rpm, rather than 1,600 rpm. Top speed remains at 155 mph, thanks to the electronic lock. Fuel economy dips a bit, but we think worth the added ponies and improved ride and handling. Those who are waiting for a six-speed manual will continue to be disappointed. The automatic remains your only option.

One change for the 2021 model that’s a huge disappointment to us is that Toyota did away with the active exhaust when driving in Sport mode. Those delightful exhaust notes that would spit, snarl and pop in off-throttle/braking zones have been smoothed over and are gone.
You’ll recall the Supra was built as a collaboration between Toyota and BMW’s Z4 roadster, sharing the same platform and engine. Supra is offered as a coupe only so if you want a droptop you’ll need to opt for the Z4. Both vehicles are built on the same assembly line in Graz, Austria.

Overall, there’s much to love about the Supra. It’s an excellent rear-drive sports car with excellent horsepower with largely improved road and handling manners especially on twisty mountain roads where I tested it in Arizona, plus it really looks good outside and inside. But the interior will not accommodate those 6-feet and taller comfortably, and cargo space is on the short side, enough for weekend getaway luggage.

However, there is seemingly an endless choice of excellent sports cars on the market now in this price range including the excellent new Corvette, the BMW M2 and M440i, Porsche Cayman and Boxster and others.

Vital Stats
Base Price: $54,490
Price as Tested: $57,185
Engine/Transmission: 382-hp, 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline 6-cylinder paired with a
ZF 8-speed automatic transmission.
Fuel Economy: 22/30/25-mpg, City/Highway/Combined
Seating: 2

Crash Test Safety Ratings: The 2021 Toyota GR Supra has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Where Built: Graz, Austria

Competes With:
Audi TT
BMW M440i
Chevrolet Corvette
Porsche Boxster
Porsche Cayman

Fab Features:
More horsepower and improved handling for 2021
Stylish good looks
Upscale, near luxury interior