In an event more than 20 years in the making, Toyota of Newnan celebrated the revival of the legendary Supra sports car on Monday.
Toyota of Newnan owner Walt Gutierrez was able to obtain one of only 1,500 “Launch Edition” models, which are based on the 3.0 premium grade with red mirror caps, black wheels and a red leather interior.
Each Launch Edition model is uniquely numbered with a graphic of Toyota Motor Corporation President and Master Driver Akio Toyoda’s signature.
The legendary sports car had been a fan favorite until its discontinuation in America in 1997, marking the last of Toyota’s true sports cars.
Only several years following its demise, the car became iconic in The Fast and The Furious movie franchise, in which Paul Walker’s 1990 Supra captivated audiences in a drag race that saw the Supra attaining altitudes never seen before during a bridge jump.
Recently, a 1997 Toyota Supra Anniversary Edition with fewer than 70,000 miles on its odometer sold for $176,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Northeast 2019 auction – besting a 2014 Ferrari California Convertible.
Several years ago, rumblings of the Supra’s return began, but only six months ago did Toyota confirm the specs. In fact, the exact day of delivery was just revealed to Gutierrez last month.
For the relaunch, Toyota teamed with BMW and outlined a platform that was split into two vehicles: BMW’s Z4 roadster and the fifth-generation Supra. While this Japanese sports car might have a slight German accent, its identity is entirely native.
The Z4 is described as a grand-touring convertible, while the Supra is a track-tuned coupe with a hard top. It’s built to handle – weighted 50/50 front to rear with a shorter wheelbase and wider track than any production sports car.
Under the hood, the new Supra boasts a modified version of BMW’s 3.0-liter inline-six with a 339 horsepower inline cylinder turbocharged engine and 427 lb-ft of torque.
With an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, it’s optimized for fun.
Some purists might frown at the idea of an automatic transmission in a sports car. Gutierrez disagrees.
“Trust me, no one can shift better than this car can,” he said, grinning behind the wheel during a test drive.
In a recent test by Car and Driver, the Supra hurried from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and crushed the quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds at 113 mph.
“It outperforms more powerful coupes such as the BMW M2 Competition and nudges into the BMW M4’s territory,” the review said.
While there’s only one Launch Edition available at Toyota of Newnan, two other versions will be available in the future, including the “base” Supra 3.0 and the 3.0 Premium.
And with a price point around $50,000, it’s a bargain for this type of performance.
“You have to give Akio Toyoda credit,” Gutierrez said. “He wants as many people to get their hands on this as possible.”