Toyota A90 Supra Prototype, Japanese Driving Reviews at Sodegaura Forest Raceway
Here are a few established journalists and seasoned professional driver's first impressions of the A90 Supra on the raceway.
Though still a pre-production versions, these are final versions of the prototype and pretty close to the real thing which will release in 2019.
Translated here for English audience, here is what they had to say.
Shimizu Kazuo, a veteran of the Japan Group A's legendary R32~33 Skyline Era, and JGTC, and a long established performance driving instructor and journalist, reviews the Supra at the very limits.
"Here is the Z4, err Supra... OK jokes aside the Supra in comparison to the Z4, feels lighter, and as such allowing the car to be softer but with higher tactility. It's a nice balance.
You can see that the interior is similar to the BMW, here so there isn't much to comment in addition to the already released Z4.
The nose of the car responds extremely well, so it is easy to induce an oversteer, optionally corrected by VDC or left to dance. Either way, pleasurably.
It's half wet on the track today, but it seems to stabilize well. Michelin Pilot Sport and it isn't a run-flat I think.
A typical well made front engine rear drive car. A good balance as such indeed. It has the character almost of what I recall driving the classic Hakosuka FR GTR, with a touch of that rawness in dynamics with a dose of stability of the A80 Supra.
The straight six just feels fantastic, and is something missing in feel today from even comparable target that is the Porsche Cayman, as those are now inline 4's.
The response and linearity of this engine, just makes so much pleasure in driving.
Despite the long nose, the wheel base is short, and the driving position in relation to the car is cabin forward in feel compared to traditional long nose, long wheelbase sports cars of the past.
Your shoulder lands about in the middle between the front and rear wheels, hence the rotational center of your vision is just ahead of the wheel base center, with a near 50-50 balance.
Feedback, hence, is similar to the visual and inertially, similar to the Ferrari's modern front engine mid-ship cars.
It's about the price of two Mazda MX5 Roadsters today I assume, but well fitting of that pricepoint.
Humm. Steering weight feels slightly more lively than the Z4. VSC behavior is yet to be seen on the production models, as this prototype still has a few quirks to me.
I'm hoping to see how the final production car will feel, as it seems really promising. "
Yuki Imai, an established motor journalist and a FIA licensed driver, test drives the new A90 Supra.
Notice the letter S in the Supra name plate on the side sill? It is the shape and the view of the Adenauer-Frost Corner of the Nurburgring, from driver's seat!
And upon driving, she's shocked with the sound level being quite potent in cabin, and with a beautiful, strong note of the inline 6. It just feels fantastic on throttle!
The acceleration and exhaust note, blending with the mechanical song, just has this impeccable balance in this car to just feel very much connected seamlessly to emotions.
In this day and era, a car like this is rare. It needs to be celebrated.
The overall tactility from especially the suspension, has a strong flavor of Toyota cars, and quite different from its BMW siblings.
BMW of recent, loves to play with very strong flavoring differences among their line of car selection, some being ultra sharp and added harshness, and others being calmer and gentle to cater to a specific buyer.
This car however, has that Toyota philosophy where it focuses on the purity to what the car is intended, and refined with the proper balance of what is "proper," given the specific car.
It really strikes the right emotion, and one that is in accord with the GR movement at Toyota.
It's been a while since I am on Sodegawara Circuit, so I'm seeking the road a bit, but despite this, the car has phenomenal stability so as not to make me feel nervous.
I can confidently catch up to the visual feed with precise input on this raceway. It's great.
It's both communicative and dare I say, easy to take to the limits. That's my feeling, really in a nutshell.
Definitely a winner.
GT500 and TS020, and Nurburgring LFA Meister, Iida Akira takes a drive in the A90 Supra, and here is what he has to say.
We've enjoyed the return of the GT-R a decade ago, and now we are extremely happy to welcome a Supra returning.
It seems like an extension of the 86 in the best way. Added refinement and capability, with purposeful cabin, really lends to those who might graduate out of an 86, as the next step.
For those who feel the 86 is too youthful, it may be the best ticket.
For those who drive a Porsche or Mercedes Benz sports offerings, the Supra seems to have found enough class and refined luxury to give this Toyota a spin.
The steering is weighed nicely, with enough weight and road feel, unlike the lighter feel of stronger-assisted steer feeling of a typical BMW.
Interior is all hidden, but you can take a guess from the already released BMW Z4, and use your imagination.
His driving partner, Katsura san, feels that the throttle pedal weight and steering feel are a little different than a typical Toyota and through this project, hopes that this excellent feel is reflected in other future Toyota offering.
They both feel that the Supra has hit a point of refinement that should be well-deserving of praise, and despite the controversial topic of collaboration for a flagship, as a sports car, it's just on a different level.
They say the driver tactility is precise, and spot-on for this size and being what this is, a real sports car for drivers.
VSC is fine, safety is fine, and efficiency too is promising. And it is the driver who will have the ultimate effect on automobile safety, and for that, this is one of the best tools to engage that too.
They both will, buy one.
That's a good sign 😀
Manabu Kawaguchi posts a wet track experience in the A90 Supra
See it making a pretty good engine noise?
From the tone and note it sounds definitely like a straight six version.
It was a preview day so he wasn’t pushing it to risk but he was sliding the car out of composure to check for recoverability. Interior still covered but you can start to see this is a fun little car.
"It's a lively car, plenty of power felt despite the modest numbers on paper. This is a light car!
It's wet today so I'll be careful. It's an aggressive shape, but the driving feel is a much nicer, tactile, and well tuned balance with dose of comfort too.
It is truly a blend of what BMW does well, coupled with a strong feed of Toyota's current philosophy of car tuning.
The car can be darty with instant response when the driver wishes to flick the nose in, but and can be rocked loose, but will come back sharply with great corrective inputs of the systems within.
In normal mode VDC, the car will correct your aggression calmly and positively keeping you safe.
In sport mode, it allows you to hang a little looser but with a very good safety net where it counts.
With the VDC completely off, things seem to respond more tenaciously to driver's wishes. But do be careful, it is a very capable car, and as such, drivers will need a bit of skills too.
What a mature car... It's fun, docile, and refined. It is what the Supra should have been all along? Sure.
BMW flavors included? That too. But forget about that, we shall all celebrate that this definitely is a fine sports car."
And finally, without need for much translation, all of the premier Japanese tuner's reactions.
Masahiro Fujitsubo of Fujitsubo Exhaust Systems - "Damn it looks good, I wish we had it sooner so we could have a muffler ready by Tokyo Auto Salon, but we will in 2019!"
Ikeda of Trust/Greddy "Totally anticipated, and we will get right on it, we have to!"
Fujimura Auto - "Oh it's beautiful~"
Yokoyama of Phoenix Power - "It's great! I see it has potential, and they even left a bit of room for me to put my work into it, I see it! Hoping this will be the standard of next tuner car once again"
Yokomaku of VeilSide - "I'm so excited I wanted to just peel the making off the car! It's been years. I want to work on it again...Seriously"
Tarzan Yamada - "They didn't let me drive it, so I don't give a crap... Err, ok I'm kidding, It's SPECTACULAR!!!"
Hiroyuki Iiri - "Yeah I saw it, it's smaller than I expected, and I really see something here. It's a sports car!