Here’s Another Design Take on the 2020 Toyota Supra and Now We Know What it Should Have Looked Like
Toyota put itself in a design box and, in the process, limited its creativityby Kirby, on
Are you one of those who thinks that Toyota could’ve done much better in designing the new Supra? Ever wonder what the sports car could’ve looked like if the design was treated differently? Auto designer Roman Miah took a shot at redesigning Toyota’s new sports car, and the results are, well, interesting. Miah’s design interpretation of the new Supra builds off of what the new Supra looks like and taps into retro resources, specifically the designs of past versions of the Supra. It’s a similar approach to what Toyota did but done in a slightly different fashion. There are a lot of differences between Toyota’s design of the new Supra and Miah’s own rendering. Both versions stayed true to honoring the Supras of the past, but in doing so, they arrived at the same design destination by taking different roads to get there.
Suppose you had the power and influence to change Toyota’s design of the Supra. Would you do it? It’s a tough task given all the attention that the Supra has, but if you had the authority to do it, how would you design the Toyota Supra? Digital artist Roman Miah answered that question by creating his own rendering of the Toyota Supra. Take it how you will, but Miah’s redesign of the Supra is interesting, to say the least.
Most of the Miah’s redesign happened in the front section of the Supra, which makes sense considering that this is one of the so-called problem areas in the new Supra’s actual design.
Miah's objective was to create a cleaner look for the Supra while still paying homage to the fourth-generation A80 Supra, the model that launched the Japanese sports car into icon status.
You can see Miah’s approach in the rendering. He removed the nose of the Supra and flattened the bodywork around the hood area. It’s less striking than the real design of the Supra, but it does fall in line with his goal of paying tribute to the A80 Supra, which carried the same flat nose design. You’ll also notice that Miah reshaped the headlights. It has a rounder element to it compared to the actual Supra. Again, this was done as a nod to the fourth-generation Supra and its own round headlights. Miah also redesigned the lower section of the Supra’s fascia. The supercar-like intakes are now gone, replaced in part by a single wide front grille, flanked by a pair of smaller intakes. The outer line of the intakes connects to the outer edge of the headlamps, giving the face a modern aesthetic twist. Just below the grille is a front splitter, which stretches across the front to presumably provide additional aerodynamic qualities to the Supra.
Miah put less emphasis on the side and rear of the Supra in his redesign. That said, he did enlarge the side air intakes and lowered the car’s ride height for an extra sporting touch. Notice also that the sports car’s A-pillar now wears the body color of the Supra while, at the back, the presence of a rear spoiler is hard to miss.
Miah’s redesign of the Supra makes the sports car look different, but does it really look better than Toyota’s own design? It does in some ways, but Miah also falls victim to the same aesthetic trappings that likely undercut Toyota’s own creativity.
The artist mentioned that he wanted to stay true to the design of the A80 Supra, which, at least in my mind, is the real elephant in the room with regards to the new Supra’s design.
I get the sentimentality involved in doing that, but the issue is that, with the exception of a select few, automotive designs have very short shelf lives. Just because a design looked breathtaking five years ago doesn’t mean it’s going to hold up with the time that has passed and the visual tastes that have changed with him. Miah’s intention to stay true to the A80 Supra’s design is admirable, but it’s also what makes his version of the Supra look, well dated. Round headlights are no longer in vogue, and while you can get away with it, you’re going to need to have a fresh headlight layout to give the package a striking look. Unfortunately, the new Supra doesn’t have that. There are three round LEDs lined up horizontally and an LED bar that cuts upwards toward the outer section of the design. It’s not a bad look; it’s just not fresh, either.
Another issue is the single wide front grille. I know that the A80 Toyota Supra carried a similar design, but you know what the grille actually reminds me of? The third-generation Mazda MX-5, which is now referred to as the “smiling Miata.” I know this kind of design works on other cards, but it doesn’t work on the Supra.
While I do agree that the flatter nose is a big improvement over the real nose of the new Supra, I can’t look at Miah’s redesign of the Supra without asking myself why it has such a wide grin on its face.
The Supra isn’t supposed to look like it’s happy to be back in the market. It’s supposed to look like a sports car that’s primed to unleash holy hell on the road.
Between Toyota’s design and Miah’s redesign, I actually like the latter better. But the artist missed the chance to give the new Supra its own identity. Instead, he tried, perhaps a little too hard, to infuse his redesign with aesthetic touches from a sports car that we haven’t seen in 17 years. That’s the problem. Emotional attachments notwithstanding, Toyota — and Roman Miah, for that matter — should have resisted on parlaying years-old design cues in a sports car that took five years to come to life. Toyota’s mistake was relying too much on the FT-1 Concept. Guess what? That concept is five years old. Miah’s mistake? He tried to hard to bring the A80 Supra’s design into the modern world. That would’ve been fine, but the A80 Supra was discontinued in 2002. That was 17 years ago.
The new Supra deserves to have its own aesthetic identity. It deserves to have its own look, and not have to rely on visual cues from the previous generation to establish that identity.
Toyota put itself in a box by its insistence in bringing the FT-1 Concept to life through the Supra.
In doing so, it limited what it could really do in giving the Supra a look of its own. In some ways, Miah did the same thing, except that he did it through the previous-generation Supra. You can’t back yourselves against that wall and not expect people to have issues with it.
The new Toyota Supra could’ve looked better than it’s current design. To be clear, the new Supra’s design isn’t bad. It has some qualities to it. But Toyota wasted a prime opportunity to flex its design muscle by giving us a tamed down, five-year-old version of a concept that didn’t excite our aesthetic sensibilities anyway. In his own way, Miah did the same.
2020 Toyota Supra Drivetrain and Performance Specifications
|Engine||3.0-liter twin-scroll turbo six|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters|
|0 to 60 mph||4.1 seconds|
|Top Speed||155 mph|
Read our review of the 2020 Toyota Supra
Check out our full review of the 2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept
Read our full, in-depth review of the 2019 BMW Z4