In Los Angeles, land of cool cars, it’s very likely your fancy automobile will be flat-out ignored. Ferrari? “Meh. Seen that.” Porsche? That’s practically the People’s Car here. But the new Toyota GR Supra? Folks in pickup trucks will come up to you for selfies. Guys in business suits will flash thumbs-ups. People will shout, “SUUUPRA!” It’s like that rare approachable celebrity that everyone wants to give a high five.
It’s been more than twenty years since a new Supra hit the streets of America, and it took some unconventional international alliances to conjure. The car is a collaboration between Toyota (Japan) and BMW (Germany) and is built in the city of Graz (Austria). As it shares a platform and a drivetrain with the BMW Z4, there is the question: Is this a real Supra, like the tuner legend of the mid-nineties that’s been seared into the minds of young people via racing games? We’ll leave that to the vocal commenters on the Supra subreddit.
What we can tell you definitively: It is pure joy on four wheels. Short with a wide, agile stance, it will leave you with a stupid smile as you toss it through winding roads with speed, or even just cruise through town, its 335 hp, 365 lb-ft inline-6 tuned to still emanate an attention-grabbing burble. It does all of this straight out of the box. But it is a Supra, so expect to be asked how you’ve, ahem, souped it up.
While the future is electric, the Supra makes a big case for the internal combustion engine in a way no one-percent V-12 supercar ever could. The thrill of a rumbling two-seater is primal and real, and it should live on in a stylish vehicle with a non-bank-account-busting price—it starts at $50,945. Sports cars need to be for everyone, and the new Supra delivers. Power to the people.
This article appears in the Winter ’20 issue of Esquire. Subscribe Now