As MotorTrend first reported last week, Toyota will offer a more affordable Supra with a smaller, less powerful four-cylinder engine in the U.S. Now, we can now officially confirm that momentous news. Toyota has announced the new addition to the Supra sports car lineup ahead of NASCAR’s Daytona 500, where 43 of its race cars will compete this Sunday.
Finally, a Four-Cylinder Supra!
The new 2021 Supra 2.0 becomes the entry model, slotting between the Toyota 86 and the Supra 3.0 with the inline-six that launched last year. That 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six (and, well, plenty of the rest of the Supra) came from BMW, part of the partnership that also created the Z4. The two automakers shared costs to make it feasible to create low-volume, rear-wheel-drive, two-seat sports cars for each brand. In the 2020 Supra, the six-cylinder generated 335 horsepower and 365 lb-ft of torque, and in our testing that was good for a 3.9-second 0–60 mph test and a 12.5-second quarter mile at 111.2 mph. For 2021, the six-cylinder’s output rises to 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque; Supras so equipped should therefore be slightly quicker.
But enough about the six—how about that four-cylinder Supra? Toyota already is selling an entry-level version of the Supra with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine—also supplied by BMW—in Europe and Asia. There, the Toyota’s four-cylinder is available in two power outputs. The lesser version makes 194 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, while the more powerful version produces 225 horsepower and 295-lb-ft. Americans, rejoice—the Supra 2.0-liter four-cylinder being sent Stateside has been massaged to 255 horsepower (at 5,000–6,500 rpm) and 295 lb-ft of torque (which lands from 1,550 to 4,400 rpm). Those numbers equal the performance of the BMW Z4 s30i with the 2.0-liter four cylinder, and Toyota figures they’re good enough to scoot the Supra 2.0 to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds flat.
Lighter in Weight and Content
While the four-cylinder Supra clearly won’t keep up with the six-cylinder version, that it will only fall about a second or so behind in the sprint to 60 mph is good news. The Supra 2.0’s light weight surely helps. At 3,181 pounds, the base Supra is some 200-plus pounds lighter than the Supra 3.0. Partly, that’s because of its missing two cylinders—the four-cylinder shares much of its technology with the 3.0-liter inline-six, including a twin-scroll turbo, direct fuel injection, and continuously variable timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts—but a lot of the 2.0’s diet comes from smaller front brake rotors and swaps the four-piston calipers for single-piston units. Base Supras also ditch the 3.0’s active differential and adaptive suspension, and drivers must adjust their seats manually (instead of using 14-way power controls) and listen to music from only four audio speakers instead of 10.
What the car does get is a new Safety and Technology package, which is available on the 2.0 as well as the 3.0 with adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors, Apple CarPlay, navigation, and an upgraded audio system. The Driver’s Assist package, an option on the 3.0, is not available on the 2.0, though at least 2.0 drivers can enjoy the same snappy eight-speed automatic transmission (with manual mode and paddle shifters) as buyers of the six-cylinder Supra.
Pricing has not been announced, but given how the four-cylinder Supra slots between the Toyota 86, which starts at about $30,000, and the 2020 Supra 3.0, which started at $50,920, take a guess where it’ll land. That said, pricing for the 2021 Supra 3.0 is expected to increase, thanks to a small power boost and more standard features. It will start arriving in dealerships in June.
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