No car has ever been teased so regularly, and for such a long time, as the new Toyota Supra A90. Hell, it was seen testing in its red-grey-black camo so many times that Toyota UK even sold Supra-themed Christmas wrapping paper between making out the car didn't exist.
Fans of everything The Fast and the Furious stands for will be pleased to hear that the game's finally over, with the 2020 Supra being revealed at the Detroit Auto Show this week. I mean, obviously it's still going to be a little while before anybody's actually going to be able to buy it, but this is a step in the right direction.
It still puts the Supra well behind its Bavarian sibling, though. The BMW Z4 — based on the same platform as the Supra, codesigned by BMW and Toyota — is already on sale, which probably counts as beating Toyota to the punch. One point to the Germans in the genitalia-waving contest, I guess. The two cars were always going to be compared pretty closely with each other, as everybody tries to get an idea of just how much Toyota and BMW respectively were able to eke out of their shared platform.
The first thing to keep in mind is that, despite the same underlying structure, we're looking at two very different vehicles. Though BMW's teased the possibility of launching a few variations of the Z4, for now it's a straight up roadster. The Supra, on the other hand, is... well, pretty much exactly what you'd expect it to be — a chunky sports coupe that was very obviously designed in Japan.
One area the A90 differs from its Supra forerunners, though, may have been forced by the cooperation with BMW; while BMW's have been growing at an alarming rate (and look set to continue), the 2020 Supra will be the shortest yet. At 172.5 inches (4832 mm), it's a full 5 inches shorter than the fourth-generation A80, and almost a foot shorter than the early-80s vintage. In terms of footprint, at least, the new Supra is far closer to a roadster than the grand tourers that came before it. The modern Supra crowd probably aren't looking for grand tourers, though, so it was a wise move.
That doesn't mean the A90's totally abandoned the Supra legacy, though. In terms of looks, it's clearly taken cues from the mid-90s A80, to the extent you could basically call it a tribute act. Despite being a touch bigger than the Z4, the Supra's around 50 lb lighter, so anybody drawn to the Supra for its reputation on the drift scene shouldn't be disappointed.
That said, it's clear Toyota knows who it is and isn't expecting to buy this thing. The BMW Z4 is obviously the more premium package on the inside, with a more refined interior design and better materials, not to mention a 10.25-inch dashboard screen instead of the Supra's comparatively puny 6.5-incher. You're buying a BMW — even something like the Z4 — for the full luxury experience.
That added luxury comes at a cost, though: $13,775. The Supra starts at $49,990, but to get the same 3-liter engine in the Z4 you'll have to stump up at least $64,695. If that's a little too rich for your blood, Toyota and BMW also worked on a 2-liter four-cylinder variant, which is available in the Z4 for a base price of $50,595 but won't be offered in the Supra until next year. You'd hope that will shave a bit off the price, because a $50k entry for a Supra feels kind of ridiculous.
Although BMW and Toyota worked together on the two engines, and they're fundamentally the same, in reality there are a few key differences. Both have roughly equivalent torque, but BMW was able to get 382 horsepower out of the 3-liter engine, compared to 335 from the Supra. A few days ago that meant the Z4 was able to hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, but after Toyota announced the Supra and slapped a 4.1-second 0–60 time on it, BMW has revised its conservative estimate and now claims it'll only take 3.9 seconds.
At least until the 2-liter Supra comes out, the four-cylinder Z4 sDrive30i will do it in 5.2 seconds.