A sporting legacy
Akio Toyoda is one of the most influential figures in the automotive industry of the last decade. President of Toyota from 2009 until the beginning of this year, he left the post of his own accord to take up the position of Chairman.
Toyoda is the grandson of the brand’s founder and has a deep passion for cars and competition. The fact that Toyota is competing (and winning) in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Dakar Rally and the World Rally Championship shows just that.
The very existence of the GR sports car department for the most enthusiastic drivers was his doing.
The Supra being a reality at this point in the industry would not have been possible with anyone else at the helm.
When the latest generation of the iconic Japanese model arrived in 2019, its ever-loyal fans immediately loved the car, but found it strange that the brand did not provide a manual-gearbox option.
Toyota has now chosen to rectify this, making a six-speed manual transmission available in its sportiest model and completely transforming the driving experience.
The GR Supra uses a BMW-original inline six-cylinder engine capable of churning out 340 horsepower and 500Nm of torque.
The Japanese engineers went to great lengths to give the model a personality of its own and openly distinguish it from its cousin, the BMW Z4. And they succeed. The Toyota does things its own way and does them well, instilling confidence in the driver and leaving room for fun driving when you want it and very refined when the aim is to enjoy its GT side.
The Supra’s aesthetic are completely different from the shapes traditionally associated with European sports cars. You have to look several times to understand the nuances of the lines and the message the designers wanted to convey with a model that carries such historical weight on its shoulders. A car’s pedigree is a big part of its appeal, but it also carries huge responsibility.
Testing a car also means testing the response it gets in the public, and the Supra, which is a rare model on Portuguese roads and draws a lot of attention, passes with flying colours.
The attraction of the passers-by for the car is notorious as is some envy from the other drivers.
Toyota has yet another winner on its hands and Akio Toyoda’s legacy is more than assured.
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