Putting the new Supra through a test drive of tight turns and hard acceleration and braking, I realized the name truly fits Toyota’s latest iteration of its sports coupe.

In Latin, “supra” means “above” or “beyond.” Employing that spirit in designing the 2020 Supra, Toyota has created a car worthy of the beloved marque’s dramatic and much-awaited U.S. comeback after a nearly 20-year hiatus.

Picking up design cues from the sleek 1967 Toyota 2000 GT (double-bubble roof, for one!) and the fourth-generation 1993-2002 model with its rounded look and high performance, the all-new Supra GR exhibits a rakish exterior combined with a clean unfussy interior.

Under the long swelling hood crouches a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 engine. This power plant produces a whopping 334 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 365 pound-feet of torque at 4500 rpm. That translates into 0 to 60 in just 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. Remarkable for a slightly 3,397-pound vehicle? You bet.

Push the starter button to summon the twin-scroll turbocharger, and the rev-happy Supra emits a throaty exhaust roar.

Keeping that muscle on the road are a double-joint spring McPherson strut front end and a multilink rear suspension that provide a stable refined ride even on harsh roads and in bad  weather. An adaptive variable suspension instantly adjusts damping force in response to driver input and road conditions. The 8-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters in the all-wheel-drive vehicle is sprightly in any situation.

The sport-calibrated electric power steering — direct, responsive and accurate — gives extra confidence behind the wheel. Stopping the two-seater, which rides on 19-inch alloy wheels, are 13.7-inch ventilated front discs and 13.6-inch rear disc brakes. Four-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control join in to avoid any mishaps.

Safety is built into the Supra with eight airbags, and a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure and forward-collision warnings. The optional $1,195 driver-assist package fetches you dynamic radar cruise control (varying speed and maintaining a safe distance from vehicle in front), blind sport monitor, rear-cross traffic alert, and parking sensors with emergency brakes.

Appearances matter, too. The prominent triple-grille front fascia gives the car a hungry look and provides generous air intake. Above, sweptback six-lens LED headlamps have integrated daytime running lights and turn signals. Think muscular! Same goes for the rear with the tall retractable spoiler reminiscent of the 4th-gen Supra’s wing.

The cabin possesses all the luxury accoutrements expected in a Bimmer. No, that’s not a typo! Since it shares the engine, gearbox and steering rack with the BMW Z4, it’s not inappropriate that the Supra mirrors the BMW roadster’s interior with an 8.8-inch infotainment touch screen, shifter knob, and climate controls.

Our Renaissance Red test driver came with 14-way power seats upholstered in Alcantara, and a three-spoke steering wheel, and a function-packed center console, all in stunning black. Carbon fiber dash and door trim enhance the sophistication.

With a base price of less than $54,000 and gorgeous from any angle, the iconic marque has truly returned “above” and “beyond” all expectations.

SUPRA (premium)

Tires: 255/35R19 front; 275/35R19 rear

Wheelbase: 97.2 inches

Length: 172.5 inches

Width: 73 inches

Height: 50.9 inches

Fuel capacity: 13.7 gallons

City: 24 mpg

Highway: 31 mpg

Base price: $53,990

Price as tested: $56,140

Web site:

Nitish S. Rele, editor/publisher of Motoring Tampa Bay ( and Khaas Baat (, was an automotive editor/columnist for The Tampa Tribune.