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Toyota Pretty Much Built The Supra To Be Modified

Interview / 37 Comments

Just like the last generation model.

After coming home from the launch event for the 2020 Toyota Supra, there are many people asking us whether or not the car lived up to the hype. Even after publishing our full review, there are still skeptics out there who refuse to believe the Supra could actually be fun to drive. "But, it only has 335 horsepower," the critics cry out. "The old Supra had 320, so why does this one have such a small increase? Why not 600 hp? The old 2JZ could make 1,000 hp."

Well, we can answer these questions a number of ways but it is best to remember that the previous fourth generation Supra only became a phenomenon long after it wasn't even on sale in the US and the aftermarket got ahold of it. Although this new car may not have a huge leap in power over the old car, Toyota knows tuners are eager to get their hands on, which is why it intentionally built in plenty of room for growth.

When we arrived at the track to drive the Supra, the car's chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, gave us a walkaround where he went over all of the areas his team left room for aftermarket tuners to improve upon. Speaking through his translator, Tada-san told us the car originally had a larger intercooler but that the team blocked it off because "it was actually overcooling." This is also why many of the vents and scoops you see on the car are blocked off. Tada-san assured us the vents are not "fake," but can be "opened for added cooling or downforce" by aftermarket companies or for race events.

Under the skin, there is even more evidence that Toyota knew the Supra would end up being modified by owners. Just take a look under the hood. There are clear mounting points for engine strut bars, including a cutout area on the airbox. "The car doesn't come with a differential cooler, but we added mounting points for one," Tada said. Even the old Supra's signature big wing can be added later since Toyota added mounting points for a larger spoiler at the rear.

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When a journalist asked Tada-san whether Toyota itself could add on all of these extra elements in a later higher performance version of the Supra, he simply replied: "yes, we can do that." Toyota clearly sees this new car as a beginning point. At our dinner later that evening, Tada-san told us "the Supra is almost like a birth, our first step," and that he would "love to have different variations."

When comparing the car to the Porsche Cayman S, Tada-san mentioned the Cayman GTS as an example of how Toyota could make this car even better in the coming years. So if the new Supra isn't exactly what you were hoping for, just remember that the fourth generation car had a lot of room to grow and that this new Supra was built with the same intentions.