The journalist have had their go in Toyota's new sports car and from what I can gather its a unanimous thumbs up! Almost all the independent Youtubers have praised the car. From Matt Farah to Engineering Explained and many more. They claim it perfectly neutral, has more than enough power, and the transmission fits it well. Most also had a chance to speak personally to Tetsuya Tada (the chief engineer for the Supra Project) and they praise his passion and genuinness towards this project given the circumstances they had to work with.
Some thoughts on the philosophy of modern sports cars. Should you follow your roots or change with the times?
If Toyota wanted to build a Supra themselves this is what it would be. Take a Lexus LC500 and place a body kit on it, strip out the nice interior and you'd probably see one of two engines, the Twin Turbo V6 from Lexus's new LS or the V8 that's currently in the LC500. Add to that it would most likely cost around $70-100K and probably be a very compromised driving experience. Would you call this a Supra? Just curious because I think I would but I don't matter potential buyers do and would a $80K Toyota work for anyone besides the internet fanboys? I also think this (along with the NSX) is/was a difficult but necessary experiment for auto manufactures of the world. The Supra and the NSX represent two sides of the same coin as far as developing a sports car goes. With the NSX Honda wanted to do something bold and inline with the heritage of the NSX of before. Boundary pushing, and truly a supercar killer but in doing so they produced a product that maybe didn't fit with what their customers truly wanted and ultimately came down to the fact that it cost almost $200K. Now lets ignore the fact that Toyota used BMW parts and see how the Supra differs just on specs alone. Instead of trying to create an evolution of the previous car they downsized it, striped some wheelbase, trimmed some length, ditched a few seats, and didn't try any exotic weight savings or tricks on it. As a result a car 20+ years down the road is only 15+ on horsepower, weights just a couple hundred pounds less despite being SIGNIFICANTLY smaller, and cost a mere 8,000 dollars more than it did in 1998.
Toyota basically chose to change with the times and move the Supra down market in an attempt to sell more of them, and in doing so they had to cut cost by partnering with BMW and as a result they produced a very good sports car. Arguably going to be the best in its segment as far as a driving device goes.
My question to you is was it worth the sacrifice of their Halo product. No doubt they will sell leaps and bounds more than if it was a $80K Lexus. But why should it when its your golden child? Audi doesn't sell a lot of R8's but that's the point, its supposed to be special. If you graduated College only by paying your roommate to complete all of your assignments would you still feel accomplished?
I go back and forth on this all the time, its strange to me because I'm happy it exists, the world needs more great sports cars but its almost as if I just wish It wasn't called a Supra because a Supra is supposed to mean something that this car might not be.