By Larry Lark, contributor
Cars seem to be built for stages of life.
I enjoyed a Mustang Fastback and Chevy Camaro in my younger years, and the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 2.0 sports coupe reminded me of those fast, carefree days.
With a Nitro Yellow coat of enamel, and curves that don’t quit, the turbocharged Supra races of the line, turns on a dime, and delivers smiles at every turn.
Forget about practicality, who needs that? This two-seater, with limited cargo space, reeks of exuberance. It was the perfect car to coincide with the calendar turning from the dark days of winter, to the optimism of spring.
The 2021 GR Supra 2.0 offers an intermediate model between the Toyota 86 and the Supra 3.0, giving the customer three distinct Toyota sports car choices.
The 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine 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. The variable intake valve lift system adjusts intake valve timing and duration. The bottom line is 255 hp at 5,000-6,500 rpm and a stout 295 lb.-ft. peak torque at 1,550 to 4,400 rpm.
Supra 2.0 uses the same eight-speed automatic transmission as the 3.0, and Toyota projects 0-60 mph in 5.0 seconds, which will make it Toyota’s second quickest vehicle in the lineup. The Supra 2.0 has the same electronically limited 155-mph top track speed as the 3.0, and its fuel consumption will be lower.
Paddle shifters are at the ready if you would like to simulate manual shifting.
I was able to muster 25 miles per gallon fuel economy despite jackrabbit starts, freeway acceleration, and otherwise non-fuel efficient behavior.
The 2020 GR Supra won praise for its ride/handling balance, but even the exceptional can be improved.
Toyota retuned last year’s chassis, but added lightweight aluminum braces that tie the strut towers to the radiator support to increase lateral rigidity, along with front and rear bump stops and new damper tuning.
Revised programming for the electric power steering, adaptive variable suspension, vehicle stability control, and active differential works in concert with the hardware changes to make the 2021 Supra more stable through quick transitions, such as compound turns.
Black Alcantara leather bucket seats with aggressive side bolsters keep occupants firmly in place, although my son was on the lookout for the non-existent handles for added comfort.
My tester came equipped with a “Safety & Technology” package ($3,485) that adds dynamic radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors with an emergency braking function on the safety side.
On the technology front, the package added a 500-watt JBL sound system with 12 speakers and amplifier, touchscreen navigation with real-time traffic, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Completing the GR Supra’s safety features are six-lens auto-leveling LED headlights with automatic high beam, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, traction mode and electronic parking brake.
The Supra was assembled in Graz, Austria.
Base Price: $43,985
Price As Driven: $48,040
Destination charge is included in base price. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.