Toyota GR Supra 2.0

How the 2-litre Supra’s flawed four could be improved

- Steve Sutcliffe

CARS AND POLITICS DON’T MIX, THEY say, but when you’ve got a Lightning Yellow Toyota Supra on loan and a roll of blue gaffer tape in the cupboard, well, I couldn’t resist showing my support for the people of Ukraine. So I went outside, thought about putting two massive blue stripes up the bonnet, then thought better of this and applied two small strips of tape beneath the tailgate instead. And – tada! – the Toyota Ukra was born.

Since when, our Supra has attracted even more attention than it normally does, all of it 100 per cent positive. I, too, am learning to like our small-engined Supra more and more as the miles go by. I like its size, its relative simplicity, and the fact that its cabin is resolutely not festooned with electronic gimmickry. I wish it had a manual gearbox rather than an eight-speed automatic, but while the 3-litre Supra will soon be available with a stick shift (visit evo.co.uk for the full story on that) the 2.0 is remaining resolutely auto.

As well as a manual ’box, what the entry-level Supra needs, I’m now convinced, is not more cylinders, because these would inevitably add weight and complexity. Instead it needs the same nice, light four-cylinder engine that it already has but with a personalit­y transplant. A version with a lot more gusto to it. Something a bit more like an E30 M3 engine or a Honda S2000 motor. A fourcylind­er with some character and some purpose at the top end, in other words, rather than one that’s merely been plucked from the corporate parts bin, and feels like it.

Fair enough, there’s a Sport button which, when pressed, slightly alters the sound and response from the otherwise anodyne 3-series engine. But even if you bend the floorboard­s and scream it to the heavens – which you need to do to get anywhere near the meat of the available performanc­e – nothing much happens ultimately. Which is a shame because I really do like the way the Supra 2.0 steers, stops, rides and goes round corners. Yes, the ride goes to pieces a bit if you put the dampers in Sport, but then the control of the rear end takes a big step up if you do. As a result, I find myself switching between the modes more often than I normally do because the transition is worth it. And it’s easy enough to exact, with a onebutton press down by the gear selector.

Overall, I’m still a fan of this car. I like it, even if I’m not quite hook, line and sinker about it. Whenever people ask me what it’s like, my reply is always positive, albeit with the caveat about the engine. And the mediocre straight-line performanc­e. Then again, mine has stripes on it now, which must make it faster than before, right?

Date acquired December 2021 Total mileage 3859 Mileage this month 701 Costs this month £0 mpg this month 31.1

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