It’s a bit odd for us to report on another publication’s comparison test in which neither of the competitors are BMWs. However, the new Toyota Supra speaks German every bit as well as it does Japanese. In fact, its native accent is likely a Bavarian one. Under its skin is the same chassis as the BMW Z4, the same 3.0 liter turbo-I6 as the Z4 M40i and an interior that takes parts from several different BMW bins. So BMW enthusiasts should be proud of, and root for, the Supra. But are its BMW Z4 underpinnings enough to take on the best from America?
In this test, Car and Driver pits the Toyota Supra against the Shelby GT350, which has been given a bit of a refresh and is better than ever. These two cars are drastically different machines but they both represent what each brand(s) can do with a rear-drive sports car for around the same money.
While the Supra uses a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six, with 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, the Mustang uses a 5.2 liter, naturally-aspirated, flat-plane crank V8 with 526 hp and 429 lb-ft. That’s a big power disparity on paper. However, the Toyota Supra actually puts 339 hp and 427 lb-ft to the wheels, which makes its torque figures more than the Mustang’s to the wheels. The Supra is also a few hundred pounds lighter than the Shelby. So the BMW-powered Supra actually outruns the Shelby GT350 to 60 mph, doing the sprint in a C&D-recorded 3.9 seconds, three-tenths faster than the American.
But what about in terms of handling and dynamics? The two cars are even more different on the road than they are on paper and that’s really saying something. We won’t go into detail on what C&D found, as you should check their review out, but it’s very interesting to see just how different and fun these two cars are.