2019 Supra Prototype First Drive Reviews Are In! - Supra FT1 Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-03-2018, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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2019 Supra Prototype First Drive Reviews Are In!


Finally, first drive reviews are in, right before the Supra debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January. Even with this engaging experience, a lot of questions have yet to be answered, but for now what you'll find here and throughout the wealth of coverage online is enough to decide whether you should pre-order in October. Helping to sway that decision is well grounded performance that to a reasonable extent pays homage to the original Supra, but to 2019 standards. Making this possible are; standard adaptive variable dampers, normal and sport driving modes, an electronically actuated active differential, sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, four-pot Brembos, 0-60 of “under five seconds”, “Golden Ratio" cornering, perfect weight balance of 50:50, and weight under 3,400 LBS.

  • The suspension will include adaptive variable dampers as standard equipment. A button on the center console will switch the setup between normal and sport modes. “The damping force is optimized at each wheel according to road conditions and driver inputs, and operation has no negative impact on the car’s ride and handling quality.”
  • Hitting the sport button will: make throttle response “more direct and aggressive,” the automatic transmission will shift faster, the adaptive suspension will tighten up, the electric power steering will be faster, and the active differential will be “optimized for traction and cornering balance.”
  • Yes, there is an electronically actuated active differential. It can send as much as 100 percent of torque to either rear wheel of this rear-wheel-drive car as needed for exiting corners with maximum grip. But it is a two-way diff, so it also unwinds appropriately going into corners to maintain stability on deceleration.
  • Tires are super-sporty Michelin Pilot Super Sports, 255/40R19 front and 275/35R19 rear. So you’ll be getting good grip.
  • Brakes are four-pot Brembos, and even the brake booster is “optimized.”
From the passenger’s seat, you can really feel the quick acceleration. The official 0-60 of “under five seconds” could also mean “close to four seconds” for all I knew. Sure felt possible. Likewise, the car cornered flatter than I was expecting. Chief engineer Tada-san said the team developed the car using what he calls the “Golden Ratio.” No, that is not a drinking game. It is the ratio between the wheelbase, track and the height of the car’s center of gravity. The Supra has a wider track, relatively shorter wheelbase and a lower center of gravity than, say, the 86, or any number of other sports cars Tada listed.
Source: AutoWeek

Around Circuito del Jarama I quickly found the coupe intuitive and easy to drive quickly. The perfect weight balance of 50:50 was clearly evident.

But a huge part of the Supra’s charm is that it doesn’t have supercar ambitions. It felt quick but not brain-bending fast. It’s the kind of car you’d want on a back-road blast, while being tame enough that you wouldn’t worry if your buddy wanted to take the reins, too. With a weight of less than 3,400 pounds and the aforementioned power estimates, the Supra is a fun but accessible sports car.
Source: Motor1

We also tried the Supra on track. Here, the steering and chassis flow as one; the latter requiring little correction or additional inputs once you’ve committed to a corner, the former feeling incredibly planted and precise in both medium and high-speed direction changes.

Combine these attributes with Brembo brakes that are powerful and easy to modulate, and the Supra leaves you a little bit in awe of what Toyota and Gazoo have achieved. We wanted it to be good, but perhaps weren’t expecting it to be so involving. It feels like a pure sports car.
Source: AutoExpress


Design from a functional point of view, according to some well respected publications, the Supra feels just right. Similar feedback was given to the Toyota 86 revealed years ago, although its not hard to grasp Toyota's design philosophy behind its performance products compared to rival brands and of course what they're historically known for. Once inside the rising hood is reminiscent of the MKIV Supra that creates a special connection with the car that can be felt throughout the interiors sporty ergonomics. Unfortunately a lot of the interior was covered up but first drive reports suggest it has elements reminiscent of BMW.

The steel and aluminum body is designed to be as taut as possible, with rigidity Toyota says exceeds that of the carbon-fiber Lexus LFA.
That meant I couldn’t look at the unfinished and camouflaged interior, which was still largely unassembled anyway. The outside of my car had black and white camouflage, but I was forbidden to photograph this car.
Source: AutoWeek

From the moment you sit in the Supra, it feels just right. There’s the sensation of being sat on top of the rear axle (you’re pretty close to doing so) and that rising bonnet stretches out ahead like a sports car of old. Legs straight, steering wheel pulled to your chest, arms bent, and the Supra embraces you. It sounds good, too. The straight-six isn’t theatrically vocal, but has a depth to it that will be alien to Toyota GT86 owners.
Source: AutoExpress

I can not tell you how definitive is the interior of the prototype which I have driven since it was all covered with a fabric, but it does seem very close to the final one. As expected, there are elements reminiscent of BMW, such as the infotainment screen that crowns the dashboard as well as the quality of some elements that I could see, like the buttons in the central tunnel where we find the Sport mode button and the level of the automatic gearbox. At the moment there will be no manual box for this engine.

The seats are very cushioned and extremely supportive when you slide around during some hot laps on the track. There are no optional seats with a sporty appearance – its design was quite conventional – but that does not exclude Gazoo Racing working on a line of accessories such as wheels, lips, stickers or exhaust systems.
Source: BMWBlog

U.S. vs Europe Models

If you've been keeping tabs on MKV Supra first drive information as it becomes available, a hot topic has been differences between market specific models and fortunately so far U.S. customers have the advantage. Its even more important to highlight on now since journalists have driven both U.S. and European spec versions. So far difference are few but they matter and it seems Europeans will have a restrictive exhaust system. Hopefully this means aftermarket exhaust makers pounce on the Supra to give European customers what they're really after.

As of right this minute, I can’t tell you much about the BMW Z4, but I can tell you something about the new Supra. I was lucky enough to get to drive one around the road course on the infield of Texas Motor Speedway yesterday, a crankshaft’s throw away from Toyota’s new U.S. headquarters in nearby Plano. I was further lucky enough to be driving the first U.S.-spec version of the car. Earlier drives you may have seen were in European-spec cars on a European track in, that’s right, Europe. This would not only be an American car on an American track but a U.S. spec car in Texas, by God!

Granted, the difference in performance between Europe and the U.S. Supras will not be that much. The Euro cars have an extra particulate filter thingy in their exhaust systems that we in America will not have to deal with. Specific info on this was limited, but we do know that the lack of this filter on U.S. cars frees up the exhaust enough that we may get a slight boost in horsepower over them. So we should consider ourselves lucky, even if it’s only a few hp lucky.
Thank you, parts department. Like the cars from the European drive earlier, this one was a very early prototype. That meant I couldn’t look at the unfinished and camouflaged interior, which was still largely unassembled anyway. The outside of my car had black and white camouflage, but I was forbidden to photograph this car. So the shots you see here are of the European cars, which, apart from that exhaust and maybe some side marker lights, are pretty much the same.
Source: AutoWeek


Little concrete information has been revealed about the MKV's timeline but so far the 2019 Detroit Auto Show reveal has been confirmed. Toyota suggests "The car is still being finalized" but European order books are reportedly open as of October and likely in other major MKV markets. U.S launch models are expected to have an electronic differential and active suspension but don't expect a manual to complement them and the forced induction 3.0-liter inline six engine. Good news is, Toyota has been “studying” other configurations like different engines, transmissions and even body styles.

Likewise, the information that Toyota has officially revealed is still scant, which is understandable considering the new car won’t be here till sometime in the first half of 2019. We know the engine will be a 3.0-liter straight six with a single, twin-scroll turbocharger making, “More than 300 DIN hp.” The car’s 0-60 time will be “under five seconds.” The configuration will be front-engine rear-drive and the weight balance will be 50/50.
Source: AutoWeek

Although Toyota gave us and other members of the global media an opportunity to drive the new Supra, the company elected to hold back all Supra specifications – including power figures. Toyota spokespeople say that information should come by the end of the year, and executives are only allowing that the inline six “makes more than 300 horsepower.” Um, yeah. Clearly. It should at least match the Z4 M40i’s 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.
When it goes on sale in the U.S., the launch model will feature an electronic differential and an active suspension. There’s no four-wheel steering or all-wheel drive offered. Masayuki Kai, the assistant chief engineer on the Supra, says the company is “studying” a number of other potential options. Everything from engine sizes (“smaller and bigger,”), a T-top roof, and even a manual.

“Technically a manual is possible,” Kai-san says. “But with an engine with high torque, it’s difficult to provide a good shift feeling. You don’t want to feel like you’re driving a truck. But of course it’s possible… and depends on market feedback.”
Source: Motor1

Engineers insist they aren't being coy. "The car is still being finalized," said the project's assistant engineer, Masayuki Kai. "The truth is we don't know the final numbers ourselves." Kai has been based in Munich for the past five years, working alongside Toyota's technical partner, BMW. The Supra coupe and latest BMW Z4 roadster were designed in tandem, with Bimmer engineers doing the lion's share of the work. The Supra's powertrain hardware comes from BMW, and Toyota is responsible for its own calibration and tuning.
Source: AutoBlog

In some European countries, the online pre-bookings will begin in October, and official dealers will be able to order them as well. The price is unknown, but it’s expected somewhere between 50,000 and 55,000 euros.
Source: BMWBlog

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post #2 of 3 Old 10-04-2018, 08:47 PM
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So far the MKV is exceeding my needs because all I really care for is a great platform and components as a baseline. Sort of like what the MKIV was.
Toyota took the same approach with the GT86 and even with all its flaws, the vehicle is a hit.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-05-2018, 10:35 AM
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I'm interested to learn more about the electronically actuated active differential. Being able to send 100% torque to either wheel should make the MKV incredibly potent in the corners.
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