In the seven days, four hours, and 39 minutes I shared with Toyota’s latest GR Supra 2.0 last week, one overriding thought kept buzzing through my gray matter: Man, this would make a great convertible.
Sadly, as you can see from the funky photos, it’s not. It’s a fastback coupe. A two-seater with a lid. A hardtop.
Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Some of the world’s greatest sportscars are coupes. But since the dawn of time, we Americans, especially us Floridians, have had a love affair with soft tops.
And a huge part of having a convertible Supra would not only be the feeling of sun on your face and wind in your hair, but a more practical benefit. Like ease of getting in and out.
The Supra’s metal roof is so low, and the door sill so wide, that climbing inside is best left to yoga instructors or limbo dancers.
And don’t even think of extracting yourself from the hip-hugging driver’s seat with any modicum of elegance or dignity. Getting out is like extracting yourself from a crashed hang glider.
There’s another sizable negative about having that fixed roof: Visibility. From the driver’s seat, looking back over your shoulder when backing up—especially out a space between two XXL-sized trucks—is a challenge.
It’s what happens when you have roof pillars so wide, they come with their own zip code. In a convertible with its roof down? Not a problem.
OK, complaints over. Now let’s talk about what makes this little Supra a true, pedigree sports car and an absolute bundle of driving joy. Especially this new base model 2.0-liter I’ve been trying on for size.
It joins the original Supra 3.0 with its BMW-sourced, turbine-smooth in-line six. And like the 3.0, this 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder uses a motor from the BMW line-up, in this case the X1.
For the uninitiated, back in 2019, Toyota and BMW joined forces on sportscar production to cut costs, with the Supra sharing its mechanical bits with BMW’s Z4 roadster.
Why a smaller-engined version now? Price appeal for starters. The Supra 2.0, at $43,500, costs $9,000 less than its bigger-engined brother. It’s also more economical at the pumps. I got over 30 mpg.
Of course, what you don’t get is the sublime power of that BMW six-cylinder, which packs a non-trivial 383-hp and muscley 368 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the 2.0 is good for 255-hp and 295 lb-ft.
While the numbers don’t sound too thrilling, this turbocharged dynamo has the energy of a sugared-up two-year old. Off the line it can scoot from zero to 60 mph in around five seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.
And performance is enhanced by a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic with paddle-shifters, the only gearbox offered with the Supra 2.0.
Oddly, Toyota just started offering a six-speed manual for the bigger-engined Supra, but has no plans to do the same for the 2.0. Strange.
That said, the combo of the turbo-four and eight-speed auto works so well. There’s plenty of low-speed muscle for swift passing, or sling-shot acceleration out of Interstate on-ramps. And, especially in Sport mode, there’s a symphony of snap, crackle, and pop from the exhaust.
Find yourself a nice, twisty backroad and the combo of laser-precise steering, grippy 18-inch rubber and brakes with more bite than a pit bull, deliver a grin-inducing thrill ride. It’s just a lot of fun.
Yes, the interior is tight, and the all-black cabin feels as gloomy as a Kentucky coal mine. But the seats are super-supportive and the driving position just about perfect. Manual seat adjustment in a $44,000 car? Oh well.
Yes, two-seat sports cars like the Supra, are a dying breed in these days of rocket ship electric Teslas and Mach-E Mustangs.
But for someone who loves the pure joy of driving, the feel of controlling a finely-tuned machine, the Supra 2.0 doesn’t disappoint. Even if it isn’t a convertible.