The Toyota Supra is Not a Good-Looking Car
Seems like Toyota simplified the FT-1 Concept a little too muchby Kirby, on
More leaked images of the Toyota Supra have surfaced online ahead of its highly anticipated debut at the 2019 North American International Show. The new — and unobstructed — images actually come from a video that was mistakenly tweeted before getting taken down. Minus a few details that we didn’t know before, the new Supra actually looks like what we’ve expected all along, confirming concerns that the sports car, at least in my mind, isn’t as good-looking as I hoped it’d be. At the very least, it has a polarizing design that’s going to draw strong reactions from a lot of people.
It’s true that the Supra’s design relies heavily on the FT-1, the concept vehicle that Toyota introduced all the way back in 2014 to jumpstart the hype surrounding the return of the Supra. For the record, the FT-1 Concept looked like a proper concept. I didn’t like certain parts of it — the long nose, for example — but, overall, it was attractive in the way concept cars should be attractive. It even spawned other concept vehicles of the real and virtual variety — the FT-1 Vision GT Concept — that took the concept’s looks to rather extreme levels. Fair play.
The problem I have with the production version of the Supra is simple.
Toyota watered down the production version’s design and, unfortunately, kept the design elements in the concept for the production model.
Granted, the long nose on the FT-1 is absent in the production Supra. Thank God for that. But the headlight design on the Supra looks like a cheap version of the cool ones that the concept sported. When they’re lighted and in certain angles, the headlamps look like the ones on the second-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse. I get it that it’s not a fair comparison, but I don’t think I’m the only one who sees it.
The front intake design is another sore spot for me. It’s not a bad design and it serves a purpose, but I’m just used to seeing those kinds of intakes on Ferraris and Lamborghinis, not in a Toyota. They just look, well, out of place.
Fortunately, the rest of the Supra’s design gets high marks. The sweptback profile is a tremendous nod to past Supras.
The new model is more compact and more streamlined, but the idea behind it manifests itself well in the design of the production model.
The rear section of the production model also looks good. Ironically, it’s the one section in the FT-1 Concept that I didn’t like, in part because it looked too funky five years ago. A lot has changed since then, including popular design tropes in the industry. Seems like that design aged well enough for Toyota to use it in the production model, and, it actually works now.
I’m not calling the Supra a disappointment because there’s more to the sports car that we’re going to learn in the coming days, weeks, and months.
But like any hyped car, our first impressions are usually reserved for the first things we see, and in all these cases, that’s the design of the car.
I’m not wowed by how the production version of the Supra looks like. It’s not ugly in the way the Mitsuoka Orochi is ugly. It just doesn’t live up to my expectations, especially when you compare it to what BMW did with the Z4 Roadster relative to the concept model — the Concept Z4 — that came before it. The Germans did a tremendous job translating a lot of the concept’s design cues into the production model. It’s too bad that in the case of Toyota, its designers may have tried a little too hard doing the same thing.
2020 Toyota Supra Estimated Performance Specs
|0-to-60 mph||4.2 seconds (est)|
|0-to-124 mph||10.2 Seconds (est)|
|Quarter-Mile||13.1 Seconds (est)|
|Top Speed||165 MPH|
Read our speculative review of the 2020 Toyota Supra
Read our full review on the 2020 Toyota Supra GR.
Check out our full review of the 2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept
Read our full, in-depth review of the 2019 BMW Z4
Read our full review on the 1993 - 1998 Toyota Supra.
Read our full review on the 1986 - 1992 Toyota Supra.
Read our full review on the 1982 - 1986 Toyota Supra.
Read our full review on the 1979 - 1981 Toyota Supra.