Motor Authority Best Car to Buy 2020 nominee: Toyota Supra

The legend has returned. It took 26 years, but a Toyota Supra is finally back in dealer showrooms.

The formula for the fifth-generation car is the same as it was the for the beloved fourth-generation: a turbocharged inline-6 with power going to the rear wheels, room for two adults and some of their things, and a long snout with a short rear deck.

While the car wears the Supra badge, the fifth generation is very different.

2020 Toyota Supra - Best Car To Buy 2020

2020 Toyota Supra – Best Car To Buy 2020

The differences arise from the development process. Essentially, the new Toyota Supra is a BMW Z4 coupe. It drives like a modern BMW, sounds like a modern BMW, has a BMW engine, and its interior bits are right out of the BMW parts bin. None of this is bad, but when the Toyota badge itself carries a BMW parts number, it’s hard to truly think of the new Supra as a Toyota.

The BMW B58B3001 turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 isn’t a 2JZ, but it’s more powerful. It produces 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque that flows through a smooth and quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The 8-speed is fantastic, but a sports car should be offered with a 6-speed manual, which isn’t on the options list.

The B58 likely makes more power than its figures suggest. It launches the car from 0-60 mph in a scant 4.1 seconds, according to Toyota, on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Along the way, that high-pitched sound of a turbocharged inline-6 can’t be mistaken for anything but what it is. It may be a BMW engine, but it’s right for a Supra.

The Supra is shorter and wider than it appears. With a short 97.2-inch wheelbase, it’s actually 4 inches shorter than the small Toyota 86 sports car, but it’s about 3 inches wider. The kicker is the 50/50 weight distribution and a center of gravity that is somehow (black magic perhaps?) lower than that of the 86 with its low-slung boxer-4.

Up front, the Supra handles the road through a double-joint spring-strut setup, while the back features a five-link independent suspension. Adaptive adjustable dampers sit at all four corners with two modes: Comfort and Sport. That’s the right hardware to help the Supra corner at the limit with incredible agility and stability.

Brembo rotors measuring 13.7 inches up front are grabbed by 4-piston calipers. The rears can be upgraded from 13.0- to 13.6-inch discs, but both are clamped down upon by single, floating calipers.

2020 Toyota Supra - Best Car To Buy 2020

2020 Toyota Supra – Best Car To Buy 2020

Inside, the Supra has a steering wheel that might as well be out of the E39 M5 but with a Toyota badge. The digital gauge cluster and temp and fuel gauges are unique to the Supra. The rest of the controls are straight BMW. There’s even BMW’s iDrive infotainment system.

Priced from $ 50,920, the Toyota Supra competes in the heart of the sports car market and throws down with everything from muscle cars to European sport coupes.

Does this resurrected icon have what it takes to be become Motor Authority‘s Best Car To Buy 2020?

Check back on Jan. 2 when we reveal our winner, along with the champs from our sister sites, The Car Connection, and Green Car Reports. The Car Connection will also reveal the best vehicles in 15 categories to help you choose the best the cars, trucks, and SUVs for your needs. Finally, be sure to vote for our annual Driver’s Choice awards and tell us what you think is the best in every category.

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