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Toyota finally unveiled the new-generation Supra at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The unveiling comes after many years of rumors and several months of spy shots and teasers. It was one of the most anticipated vehicles for 2019, but now that it’s out there, I think it’s rather disappointing.

I know, it’s rash to judge a sports car based on a launch event and without driving it, but it’s not what it seems. I’m not saying the 2020 Supra is a bad sports car. I actually think it will prove itself performance-wise against the competition. I’m just saying that the fifth-generation Supra isn’t worthy of its badge.

And here’s why.

It’s a BMW Z4 Underneath

Three Reasons why the 2020 Toyota Supra Sucks Exterior
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This is fact. The Supra Mk.V is a BMW Z4 under the skin. It rides on the same rear-wheel drive architecture, it features the same twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, and the same suspension setup front and rear. And this is actually why the Supra will deliver performance-wise.

BMW makes some of the most dynamic vehicles on the market and I'm pretty sure the Supra will be able to give the competition a run for its money using these underpinnings.

But this is exactly what makes the Supra a sports car that shouldn’t wear a "Supra" badge. It should even have a "Toyota" emblem either. This is a problem because the Supra became an iconic sports car because it was different. It was a no-nonsense machine, yet an engineering masterpiece, and set many new benchmarks. Toyota used exotic materials in the car’s construction and redeveloped the 2JZ-GTE into a state-of-the-art flagship mill with sequential turbochargers.

You just can’t take a BMW platform, slap your own body to it, recalibrate the underpinnings and call it a Supra. It’s not a Supra, it’s just a rebodied Z4.

BMW-sourced Interior Parts

Three Reasons why the 2020 Toyota Supra Sucks Interior
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Toyota created a unique interior for the Supra, but unlike the exterior, it features some elements that are clearly borrowed from BMW. The steering wheel is the first that catches the eye. Sure, Toyota revised the spokes and made some changes to the rim, but the controls are clearly similar. The same goes for the small control panel near the driver’s door.

The gear and the rotating selectors on the center console are also very similar.

Sure, they’re not identical, but it definitely looks like Toyota borrowed the same patent to create them. The radio control unit on the center stack also seem to be the same on both cars, and all these are just the features I can spot at first glance. It’s bad enough that the Supra is a BMW underneath, it makes it worse that Toyota borrowed some features from the Z4.

I know these things probably save Toyota some money, but again, the Supra isn’t about saving money. It’s about creating a unique vehicle and about setting new standards.

Uninspiring Design

Three Reasons why the 2020 Toyota Supra Sucks Exterior
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While I must give Toyota credit for designing a unique exterior, the Supra isn’t as impressive as it deserves. It’s bubbly rather than sleek and it combines sharp and organic cues in a rather unpleasant way. And that nose. It looked great on the FT-1 concept, but it’s out of place here.

That nose was designed for an aggressive, race-inspired vehicle and it doesn't work as well with the milder lines of the Supra.

The rear fenders also look out of place. They’re too muscular for the rest of the car and the thin vent in the door seems pointless. Likewise, the round arch of the rear fender looks really bad in conjunction with the sharp frame of the quarter window. I also don’t like how the coupe looks overall. The front hood is too short and the entire car doesn’t look as sleek as its predecessor. When I think of the old Supra, I see a long, wide, and flat GT. The Mk. 5 just seems too small. Too similar to the Toyota 86.

Final Words

Three Reasons why the 2020 Toyota Supra Sucks Exterior
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As I said, I’m well aware that the Supra might not have returned without this cooperation between Toyota and BMW. It’s how the industry works and very few automakers are willing to develop vehicles from scratch and not share components with other nameplates. I don’t mind that. I didn’t mind when Toyota co-developed the 86 with Subaru or when Bentley, Porsche, and Audi started sharing Volkswagen Group platforms and engines. But the Supra is special, it’s a legend and a badge that you can’t slap on any vehicle.

Further Reading

Three Reasons why the 2020 Toyota Supra Sucks Exterior
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Toyota Supra Returns After 21 Years with BMW Engine; And it’s Not Cheap

2020 Toyota Supra Exterior Spyshots
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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Toyota Supra

2020 Toyota Supra GR
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Read our full review on the 2020 Toyota Supra GR.

2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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Check out our full review of the 2014 Toyota FT-1 Concept

2019 BMW Z4 Wallpaper quality High Resolution
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Convertible Top Can be Stowed in 10 Seconds

Read our full, in-depth review of the 2019 BMW Z4

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