Engineering Explained Cracks the Toyota Supra’s Engineering Wide Open
Video aims to once and for all clear just how much Z4 is in the new Supra and whether or not you should buy oneby Andrei Nedelea, on
We know very well that the new Toyota Supra and the BMW Z4 are mechanically very similar under their quite different bodies. Aside from the design, probably the single biggest difference between them is the fact that one is only available as a fixed top coupé, while the other can only be had as a soft top roadster. But exactly how much the two cars are alike still seems to be up for debate, which is why Engineering Explained made this in-depth video, in order to help those who are still pondering whether or not to buy the new Supra.
Both Toyota and BMW say the cars are (or rather feel) very different to drive and that this, combined with the radically different exterior appearance, is enough to mark them out as totally different cars. But is that so? Well, since they have not been driven back to back, it’s hard to really assess this claim, yet the fact of the matter is that once you peel away their bodies, they are essentially the same car.
What differs is engine tuning (including exhaust note), suspension tuning and just the feel and the ambiance of being aboard either of them. The BMW certainly feels like the more posh place to be, easily beating the Supra for luxury feel. You can’t not notice the fact that the Supra’s interior is a BMW interior with minimal alterations and that it feels like it’s from the previous generation of BMWs, whereas the Z4 feels more modern (on top of feeling like the more premium car).
And this question of how the car makes you feel (as well as the clear fact that the BMW is more luxurious and pleasant to be in), becomes even more relevant when you realize the six-cylinder Supra is only a few bucks more expensive than the four-cylinder Z4 ($50,920 versus $50,695). Then it starts to make more sense - the Supra feels cheaper inside and less luxurious because it is cheaper - it is for those people not so much interested in luxury, but the engineering and sheer capability that a car possesses.
In other words, the Supra is the enthusiast’s choice (the one which we also expect to handle better than the Z4 since its fixed roof grants it extra torsional rigidity) and while $50,000 may sound like a lot for a Toyota, it really isn’t when you factor in its German underpinnings and engine, as well as the fact that you really can’t tell it’s related to the Z4 just by looking at the car from the outside.
|2020 Toyota Supra||2019 BMW Z4 M40i||2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i|
|Engine||turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder||turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder||turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder|
|Transmission||eight-speed automatic||eight-speed automatic||eight-speed automatic|
|Horsepower||335 hp||382 hp||255 hp|
|Torque||365 lb-ft||369 lb-ft||295 lb-ft|
|0-60 mph||4.1 seconds||3.9 seconds||5.2 seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph||155 mph||155 mph|
|Weight (lb) Per Horsepower||10.14||9.01||12.89|
This is the conclusion reached by Jason Fenske in the video - he says that while it’s certainly not cheap, the new Supra is well worth the money and it is different enough compared to the Z4 that it does warrant being taken seriously. In fact, it should probably be taken more seriously than the BMW because it is less of a car for posing and more of a car for driving and that’s got to count for something.
Besides, once Toyota launches the four-cylinder version of the Supra which will seriously undercut the BMW, then maybe the more sizable price difference will make it seem even more of a relevant purchase.
Read our full driven review on the 2020 Toyota Supra.
Read our review of the 2020 Toyota Supra
Read our full review on the 2019 BMW Z4.