Toyota Supra 2019 prototype review
Long-awaited sports coupé is driven at last, but leaves us with as many questions as answers
It’s still dazzle-camouflaged outside and carpeted like they’ve skinned Sweep the puppet and draped him over the switchgear inside, it’s still eight months away from production and it’s still very much in prototype form. I’m accompanied by a minder whenever I go near it and they’ll barely tell me a single flipping statistic about it.Because the numbers don’t matter, they insist. (Which begs the question: why not just tell us, if they’re so unimportant?) All that matters at the moment, they say, is the way it drives and the way it makes you feel.And this, I’m thrilled to report, I can tell you. I’ve driven it, quite a lot and quite fast, at least by the standards of events that only have four prototype cars available and quite a lot of Toyota regional managers to demonstrate them to.But it’s nonetheless yet another painful ‘plink’ in the agonising drip-feed of Supra information that, let’s not forget, began in 2012 when BMW and Toyota announced they were going to work together. Does Toyota really need seven years to build a car?Of what we know, then, only this much is confirmed: the Supra has a lower centre of gravity than a GT86, despite having a 3.0-litre straight-six engine, which drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox (BMW/ZF respectively), while a BMW M Active limited-slip differential sits at the back axle. As with the BMW Z4 version, the weight distribution will be 50:50. I still can’t tell you the exact power but 340bhp sounds about right, as does 350lb ft, and the kerb weight is likely 1500kg.The body, despite being a blend of steel and aluminium, is as rigid as a Lexus LFA’s carbonfibre one. The wheelbase is around 2440mm and the track approximately 1600mm.There will be faster and, I suspect, slower versions of this car later, to make the sums add up for Toyota, so the slow release of information will go on even after production begins in May. You’ll see the final car, shorn of its disguise, at the Detroit show in January.And we can add this to what we know: it’s good to drive.
Source: Autocar Online