V&R named Toyota and BMW’s collaborative two-seat performance coupe our annual “best of” honor. It was done so with the help of your votes.
We have come to the point where #VOTY2020 – the Toyota GR Supra – has become the gift that keeps on giving.
A little under two years ago, V&R named Toyota and BMW’s collaborative two-seat performance coupe our annual “best of” honor. It was done so with the help of your votes. After all, you recognized that this sports coupe was made for sprinting and corner carving – the things enthusiasts love.
Granted, it’s not perfect. Tall drivers are challenged by the entry and exit due to its low side window placement, Yet, the “domes” above each head helps to find a place behind the wheel.
However, some have argued that the GR Supra should not have won. Not with just 335 horsepower from its BMW turbocharged in-line six-cylinder back in 2020. “Couldn’t you have waited until the horsepower bump to 382?” Sure, I could’ve.
Then came the turbocharged four-cylinder version last year. It was part of the “package” that BMW settled upon with Toyota to help the GR Supra reach a wider audience at a lower price point. Was I jilted for not getting last year’s six-cylinder performance upgrade? Nah.
Due to scheduling change of vehicles, I was sent a 2022 GR Supra. This time, with the power bumped turbocharged six-cylinder engine. While I was looking forward to working with the originally scheduled vehicle, you can’t say “no” to a GR Supra as a replacement.
Forget that this is a “replacement” for anything originally scheduled to be touted on this website. Let’s enjoy another GR Supra for another year, shall we?
Since the 2021 model year, the J29/DB GR Supra wielded a huge hammer for its six-cylinder models. It is still a 3.0-liter turbocharged engine, but with the aforementioned 382 horsepower rating. The B58 BMW engine is a top-notch mill. Specifically, the B58B30O1 – the top dog that is now aligned with the six-cylinder versions of the BMW Z4, 3-Series, 4-Series, X3, X4, and the M240i.
This engine is connected to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. That gearbox sends power to the rear wheels.
Before I continue, I should mention that BMW will supply a six-speed manual transmission to 3.0-liter GR Supra models starting with the 2023 model year. I know there will be some of you who are not only intrigued about this driveline. Rather, some of you may have orders in for one.
Was the higher horsepower version of #VOTY2020 worth the schedule change? Um…yeah!
I might even say that the extra 47 horsepower did its best to be ambitious on acceleration, while delivering solid cruising on longer stretches. The GR Supra and its six-cylinder engine is really made for curve carving with its precise shifting from the ZF automatic.
You can manipulate the shifts two ways. One is through the paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel. The other is by selecting the Sport mode button on the center console. That way, you are forced to shift with the paddles, as some gears will hang the engine up at a certain rev before changing to the next ratio.
These days, I tend to chill out a bit more than get enthusiastic. The GR Supra will let you do that without resorting to paddles and switching to another drive mode.
Working with another GR Supra enables me to do two things: Validate my previous impressions, as well as to take a more critical look at certain aspects of the car. It helps to expand its use from previous turns in the GR Supra.
My focus was to see how the increased horsepower changes the way I approach the GR Supra. That validated my thoughts and considerations prior to taking the wheel. My instant summation is that the GR Supra is where it should be with the enthusiast. The manual gearbox for 2023 should put it over the top.
Yet, there are some things I’d like to see in future GR Supra models. I’m surprised that Michelin still produces the Pilot Super Sport tire. I thought it was discontinued and supplanted by the Pilot Sport 4S. The argument about the Pilot Super Sport has been the compound is more designed for track use rather than road performance. One thing I would do if owned a GR Supra is to swap the Pilot Super Sports for a set of the Pilot Sport 4S ones. They tend to be quieter and more in tune with good roads.
Otherwise, I’m good with everything else on this GR Supra tester. The driving dynamics are on point and expected from previous turns in this car. I have to admit that I am used to the low window profile hindering entry and exit from this car, but you always have to remember what you are getting into (and out of). Years of practice helps with developing a technique to gracefully emerge from a GR Supra.
One thing I must state about this tester is the color scheme. The Turbulence Gray is lovely to look at and fits the GR Supra perfectly with the Premium’s chrome spoked alloy wheels. As for the Red leather seats – yes, please, and thank you!
As for price, the sticker for this 2022 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium tester shows a bottom-line figure of $57,915. You can still get a GR Supra starting from $43,540 – with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
When I received the news that this GR Supra was to replace a vehicle on my schedule, I had to search quickly on how to tell this story the third time around. The obvious answer was to experience all of the horsepower gained from its awarding of #VOTY2020. But, is that really enough?
The one thing I found when driving this GR Supra was the message that it is quite a rare sight for many people’s eyes – including enthusiasts. Even if you go to a car meet and there’s a few GR Supras lined up, there are those who may have never seen one “in the flesh.”
Sure, I can sit here and tout that, yes, I have driven three GR Supras – one of each year so far. Does that make me a better human being? A better automotive journalist?
No, it doesn’t.
Surely, you have come across one of these fun driving machines in your traverses. If you haven’t, they are still a treat to experience three model years on.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by Toyota Motor North America
All photos by Randy Stern