Despite sticking it to those who bought a 2020 model, Toyota is happy with its decision

Not even a year after the 2020 Toyota Supra went on sale, Toyota made a surprise announcement that the 2021 model would be impressively better. So much better, in fact, that it six-cylinder model sees a 0.2-second improvement in 60-mph sprints, all thanks to a power increase of 47 horsepower and three pound-feet of torque. A cheaper, four-cylinder model will also go on sale with an impressive price tag and great performance as well. This was great news for those who waited to buy Toyota’s BMW-based halo car, but it kind of sticks it to people who jumped into dealers right away. Now, Toyota is trying to provide justification for its actions, and you’ll either agree completely or throw your phone.

Toyota Likens the Supra’s Power Increase to Adding Safety Features in Other Cars

Toyota Feels Justified in Making the 2021 Supra Much Better Than the 2020 Model Exterior
- image 886212

We’re almost always happy to hear when a performance car gets more power – that’s kind of what we live for – but when you introduce upgrades just months after a model has launched, it’s hard to prove that you weren’t just taking advantage of those willing to buy right away. And, rightfully so, a lot of 2020 Supra owners are pissed.

Had they waited just a few months, they would have nearly 50 extra horsepower at their disposal and quicker acceleration to go with it.

We’re talking about an increase from 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque to 382 ponies and 368 pound-feet. Those are little gains by any means.

2021 vs 2020 Toyota Supra lineup
2020 GR Supra 3.0 2021 GR Supra 3.0 2021 GR Supra 2.0
Engine 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with twin-scroll single turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with twin-scroll single turbo 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with twin-scroll single turbo
Horsepower 335 HP @ 5,000 - 6,500 RPM 383 HP @ 5,800 - 6,500 RPM 255 HP @ 5,000 - 6,500 RPM
Torque 365 LB-FT @ 1,600 - 4,500 RPM 368 LB-FT @ 1,800 - 5,000 RPM 295 LB-FT @ 1,550 - 4,400 RPM
Transmission ZF 8-speed automatic ZF 8-speed automatic ZF 8-speed automatic
Weight 3,396 lbs 3,400 lbs 3,181 lbs
0 - 60 mph 4.1 seconds 3.9 seconds 5.0 seconds

Now, in a media call with reporters, Toyota Group VP and GM, Jack Hollis, has voice Toyota’s official opinion on the matter. Fair warning – if you’re someone who bought the 2020 Supra right away, you’re probably not going to like what comes next.

Toyota Feels Justified in Making the 2021 Supra Much Better Than the 2020 Model Exterior
- image 886215

s that are important for them to advance.”>

Hollis even likened the performance increase from 2020 to 2021 as being “just as important” as adding safety equipment in other Toyota consumer cars. Now, maybe that you can agree with, but doing it after the initial rush and hype for a new model – especially one as nostalgic as the Supra – has worn down doesn’t really sit right with very many. In fact, it’s like playing dirty pool: you can get away with it, but you’ll get a bad reputation for doing it.

Back to the point at hand, Hollis said that his job is to make vehicles better, and that’s not just limited to the Supra. He admitted that recent buyers of the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid might get upset as the soon-to-launch RAV4 Prime PHEV will offer more power and impressively better fuel economy.

Toyota Suggests It Would Be Happy if 2020 Owners Bought a 2021 Model

Toyota Feels Justified in Making the 2021 Supra Much Better Than the 2020 Model Exterior
- image 886222

Now, maybe you can get past the sudden update to the 2021 Toyota Supra. Maybe you can’t. But, either way, what you probably won’t like is that Hollis suggested that he would be “really happy” if current customers return to buy a 2021 Supra. This statement alone almost makes it sound like Toyota was hoping to double-dip on the sales front. It actually makes complete sense:

  • Sell a new, nostalgic model one year
  • Next year provide an impressive performance increase
  • Current Owners trade in a slightly used model, just to take on a larger payment
  • The traded-in 2020 Supras, likely low mileage, are sold as certified used to those than can’t afford to or don’t want to pay full price
  • Toyota sells the same cars twice, making a decent chunk of cheddar in the process

And, that’s exactly how the whole story could play. Of course, for those that have waited, there’s now a good justification for waiting. After all, if you chose to wait for whatever reason, that wait will net you much better performance than you’re buddy down the street gets from his 2020 model. Then again, Toyota only sold some 3,800 examples of the Supra since it arrived in July 2019, which does make Toyota happy, but certainly limits the potential for the number of owners willing to trade-in.

As of now, pricing for the 2021 Toyota Supra has yet to be announced, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a significant price hike for the six-cylinder model.

The four-banger will undoubtedly be cheaper. With the six-cylinder 2021 model expected to arrive this summer, we won’t have to wait long to find out. If you want the entry-level model, you’ll have to wait until fall. Oh, and if you’re reading this from Europe, you won’t get the updated Supra anyway.

2021 Toyota Supra 3.0 vs 2020 Toyota Supra 3.0
2020 GR Supra 3.0 2021 GR Supra 3.0
Engine 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with twin-scroll single turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with twin-scroll single turbo
Horsepower 335 HP @ 5,000 - 6,500 RPM 383 HP @ 5,800 - 6,500 RPM
Torque 365 LB-FT @ 1,600 - 4,500 RPM 368 LB-FT @ 1,800 - 5,000 RPM
Transmission ZF 8-speed automatic ZF 8-speed automatic
Weight 3,396 lbs 3,400 lbs
0 - 60 mph 4.1 seconds 3.9 seconds

Source: Motor Trend

Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topsped.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read More
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