Pros: It has a manual now, playful and full of character, sweet engines, better-than-BMW steering and handling
Cons: The 2.0 still doesn’t have a manual, two seats only, it’ll be too German for some, pricey compared to Nissan Z
It’s a good time to be a Toyota fan. The GR86 was just brilliantly overhauled, a new and very hot all-wheel-drive GR Corolla is on the horizon and the 2023 Toyota GR Supra is countering the new-for-2023 Nissan Z with a new manual transmission option of its own. If you’d asked enthusiasts a decade ago which brand would spearhead a Japanese sports car renaissance while staring the end of internal combustion in the face, not many would have guessed Toyota. Yet here we are.
The Supra is still a Toyota with an asterisk, however. Its chassis, engines and transmissions are all sourced from BMW, for better or for worse. Fortunately, it’s most often the former. We have a few quibbles. The lack of a manual on the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, for example, but hey, at least you can now get one for the 3.0-liter inline-six. By and large, the Supra is a powerful, agile, communicative driving partner that never fails to turn heads.
What’s new for 2023?
Three-pedal fans rejoice! The GR Supra 3.0 model is officially available with a manual transmission for the 2023 model year. Regardless of transmission, all six-cylinder Supras get retuned suspension and steering, the former of which is supposed to make the car more comfortable. Traction and stability control systems have also been retuned, and a new Hairpin+ drive mode introduced for better cornering on tight mountain roads. The four-cylinder Supra 2.0 gets some suspension and braking system tweaks carried over from the revised 3.0, but otherwise carries over. There’s also a new Stratosphere Blue color and the A91-MT Edition, pictured in the interior photos below, that gets unique forged 19-inch wheels in Frozen Gunmetal Gray, red accents throughout, a 12-speaker JBL sound system and exclusive Cognac leather.
Toyota was basically handed a box of BMW buttons, knobs and screens, and then used it all to create a cabin that’s indeed stylistically different from its BMW Z4 platform-mate. The materials quality is not quite up to a BMW standard, but the Supra also costs considerably less and is still to an acceptable standard for its price point. To that point, the cabin is also of a higher quality than that of the cheaper Nissan Z.
Although the instrument panel screen features Supra-specific graphics and is surrounded by a unique frame integrated with fuel and temperature gauges, what you see on the standard 8.8-inch infotainment display is pure BMW. The center console knob controller and surrounding menu buttons are identical to the last-generation iDrive units you’d find in cheaper BMW models or pricier ones from a few years ago. It generally works OK, but we had the same sort of Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay connectivity issues as we’ve previously had with BMWs, and it’s not the easiest system to use. Some would argue a Toyota system would be better.
The Supra is quite small. Its wheelbase (97.2 inches) and length (172.5) are virtually identical to the new Nissan Z’s. Like that car and unlike past Supras, it seats only two, albeit with sufficient space for someone taller than 6 feet. Its narrow cargo area can handle weekend getaway luggage (we somehow managed to stuff four bags inside). We’ve yet to test out the new Z’s cargo area, but we expect the Supra to have a slight edge given the Z’s carry-over platform and previous cargo volume of just 6.9 cubic feet. Neither is nearly as capacious as Mustang trunk, nor the dual trunks of a Corvette.
One space-related element to consider are the seats. They’re the same in the 2.0 and 3.0, but only the latter has eight-way power seats, which means you may only be comfortable in the pricier model. The seats also can’t be heated in the base model.
The base Supra 2.0 packs a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four by BMW that’s good for 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Like every Supra, it comes only with rear-wheel drive. Toyota says it’ll go from 0- 60 mph in 5 seconds, which is mighty quick, and basically the same as the base Porsche 718 Cayman. The BMW Z4, which has the same engine is just a hair slower. Fuel economy figures hadn’t been released at the time of this writing for 2023, but it seems safe to assume it would be virtually the same as the ’22 Supra that returned 25 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined.
The Supra’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six remains the upgrade engine and it’s the only one available with another exciting upgrade: a six-speed manual transmission. It produces 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque, and can take the Supra from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds with the eight-speed auto. It feels every bit as quick as that sounds behind the wheel while literally sounding sensational doing it. Fuel economy for the automatic in 2022 was 22/30/25, and they should remain consistent with that. Those for the manual will almost certainly be lower.
What’s the Supra like to drive?
You can feel the Supra’s size (or lack thereof) from the driver seat. The beltline is high, the greenhouse short and the clamshell hood stretches out before you, but it doesn’t overwhelm as similar long-hood/short-deck cars like a Mercedes-AMG GT can. It’s also balanced, with a 50:50 weight distribution that’s pretty much written into anything with Bavarian DNA, and possesses an eagerness to turn in smartly and rotate around you. Through longer arcing turns, you can feel what the car is doing through the seat of your pants and can steer with the responsive throttle. Along those lines, you can wag its tail and slide a bit when in Sport mode and with the traction control off. Shut stability control off and it’s possible to easily coerce and then hold a full-blown smoky slide. The steering, meanwhile, is excellent and actually a much more responsive, communicative effort than BMW achieves with theoretically the same componentry.
Not surprisingly, things are dialed down with the four-cylinder. It’s still quick, but obviously quite a bit slower. Its exhaust still sounds cool (unlike BMW, Toyota does not employ fake engine noise through the speakers), but it’s also not the same as the inline-six. And without the 3.0’s limited-slip differential and adaptive suspension, the four-cylinder Supra just doesn’t handle as well, even though there’s less weight atop the nose and elsewhere. It also has less powerful brakes, and, without the adaptive suspension, doesn’t ride as comfortably as the Supra 3.0.
As such, the more powerful Supra is most definitely the better one to drive and being paired with an inline-six just feels right in this car. We’ve yet to drive the manual-transmission Supra, but its availability is just more icing on the 3.0-liter cake. However, for the money, and relative its minimal competition, the four-cylinder model is still a compelling performance machine.
What other Toyota Supra reviews can I read?
Driving both the 2.0 and revised 3.0 models for the first time, including more in-depth info about the then-new 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
Our original review of the Supra, including the most in-depth information about its engineering, design and relationship with BMW.
Take a look underneath the Supra with engineer Dan Edmunds to see how its suspension works.
Contributing writer Lawrence Ulrich takes back-to-back drives in the 2020 Supra and its BMW Z4 platform-mate to determine which company did the better job creating a sports car out of ostensibly the same parts.
We drive the Supra in the real world during a week-long road test at our Michigan headquarters.
We find out how much luggage you can fit inside the Supra for a weekend getaway (and are very surprised by the answer).
We do not yet have official pricing for 2023, but the 2022 Supra 2.0 started at $44,565, including the $1,025 destination charge, which was $8,000 less than the more powerful Supra 3.0.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch cast aluminum wheels, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, LED headlights, automatic wipers, auto-folding mirrors (with driver-side auto-dimming), proximity entry and push-button start, dual-zone climate control, eight-way manually adjustable seats, leather/Alcantara upholstery, 8.8-inch displays for the instrument panel and infotainment system, BMW’s last-generation iDrive tech interface, wireless Apple CarPlay and a four-speaker audio system.
Besides its more powerful engine, the Supra 3.0 adds Brembo disc brakes, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, a limited-slip differential, power-adjustable seats, and a 10-speaker sound system.
The 3.0 Premium adds leather upholstery, heated seats, a head-up display and a variety of infotainment extras: integrated navigation, voice controls, emergency communications services, wireless smartphone charging and a 12-speaker JBL sound system. The special A91 and A91-MT Editions are equally equipped. They are pictured below.
Some of those infotainment extras are optional on the lower trims. There are also extra driver assistance systems available, which we list in the safety section below.
Every Supra includes standard forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and auto high beams. The Premium trim’s Driver Assist package adds adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems and parking sensors that can activate the standard emergency auto braking system. These features are also included in the base 2.0 and 3.0’s Safety & Technology package that also adds the Premium’s infotainment extras.
The Supra has not been crash tested by a third party.