At the moment, BMW sort of has two small coupes powered by its B48 engine; the BMW 230i and the Toyota Supra. Okay, so the latter isn’t technically a BMW but it actually sort of is. Car and Driver recently compared the two cars and the results are rather interesting, I think, and worth taking a look at.
By now, you’re probably well aware of the Toyota Supra’s BMWness but, just in case you aren’t, here’s a refresher. The Supra was developed alongside the BMW Z4, as part of a joint venture between both brands, and shares about 90 percent of its mechanical components with the Z4. Toyota claims the Supra’s components have been uniquely tuned and tweaked, and that’s likely true as the cars feel a bit different, but they’re mostly the same cars.
What does that mean for the BMW 230i? Well, the 230i has been touted by many of us in the industry as the most fun little Bimmer you can buy. But is that actually true? Might the Toyota Supra actually be that car?
In this new comparison, it compares the two cars to see which is the better sports car. Sure, the 230i is a bit more practical, thanks to its back seat and slightly larger trunk, but that’s not what this comparison is looking at. Instead, driving dynamics and fun were put front and center.
Both cars share the same powertrain: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic, and rear-wheel drive. Interestingly, Toyota seems to have tuned the Supra’s steering and handling better than BMW did with the 230i, but BMW seems to have nailed the powertrain calibration. The Supra also has an advantage, thanks to its superior chassis. The joint sports car chassis of the Supra and Z4 is lower, stiffer, and lighter than the 230i’s basic CLAR chassis and that shows in its superior handling dynamics.
Which is the better sports car? I don’t think I need to spell it out for you but check out C&D’s comparison to really learn about the differences between the two cars.
[Source: Car and Driver]