Toyota GR Supra 2021: what is it worth in winter?

Toyota GR Supra 2021: what is it worth in winter?

At Car guide, sports car testing usually takes place during the summer. Indeed, the majority of manufacturers wisely decide to store their sporty models during the winter season.

This winter, Toyota took the risk of continuing the experience in the snow with its GR Supra. On paper, the car is not really made for winter. A rear-wheel drive, a powerful engine and limited ground clearance don’t really work in its favor for tackling snow banks.

However, when we look back several decades, many Quebec motorists have driven propulsions powered by large V8s and “softwood” tires every winter. So why not a Supra equipped with the latest technology and modern tires?

Fearsome on dry ground, convincing on snow

Our test week went perfectly with cold but dry asphalt for a few days, followed by a snowfall allowing us to fully judge its winter capacities.

Despite a temperature slightly below zero degrees, the level of grip of the Supra was found to be excellent. Well served by its Pirelli SottoZero tires, the Japanese sports car always flaunts high-level dynamic capabilities, regardless of the outside temperature. This is particularly true for the front axle, with its remarkable guidance.

Photo: Julien Amado

And thanks to fast and sharp steering, the Supra offers excellent feedback to the driver. On dry ground, no evasion came to disturb driving, the Supra entering the bends with authority. She then remains unperturbed once entered on the curve.

Short and light, the car has a very high potential that it is impossible to probe on a road open to traffic. On the engine side, our test model featured the 3.0-liter in-line 6 cylinder now developing 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. A notable change since the 2020 model offered “only” 335 horsepower.

This unit is associated with an automatic transmission with 8 gears. The driving pleasure would be even greater with a manual transmission, but unfortunately it is not available. However, Toyota could introduce a third pedal, to the delight of purists.

While waiting for the possible arrival of this manual transmission, know that the automatic supports the engine very well. Gentle and considerate on a daily basis, she is quick to react when you adopt a more sporty driving style.

Toyota GR Supra 2021: what is it worth in winter?

Photo: Julien Amado

On a daily basis, the 6-cylinder is sufficiently torquey at low revs and allows traffic to be played without forcing. However, it is at the top of the tachometer that he gives his best. Once it has passed 4000 rpm, it rushes towards the red zone (6500 rpm) in a pleasant tone. It is in this speed range that we feel that the rear axle struggles to pass all the power to the ground when the grip is weak. When pushed to its maximum, the car swayed left to right when the road was snow-covered, even with the traction control engaged in the most conservative manner.

By adopting a more reasonable drive, the Supra never puts its driver in difficulty. The ride quality, which offers an excellent compromise between sportiness and comfort, is also to be emphasized. Even in the rutted streets of Montreal, the suspensions are firm, but nevertheless preserve a correct comfort considering the primary vocation of the car.

Parked in the snow, the car leaves its location without problem and without spinning its rear axle. The main limit is obviously the height of the snowbank. Indeed, the low ground clearance could force you to shovel where a RAV4 owner would have parked with one hand.

Despite a temperature oscillating between 0 and -10 °, consumption has never exceeded 10 L / 100 km, the average for the week being limited to 8.7 L / 100 km. A very good result for a car of almost 400 horsepower.

Toyota GR Supra 2021: what is it worth in winter?

Photo: Julien Amado

Narrow and dark

Entirely black (interior and exterior), our test Supra was not particularly original on the color chart side. It was especially noticeable in the cabin where everything is black, including the headliner! A choice which reinforces the feeling of confinement, in an interior which does not shine by its space. While head and legroom remain decent, the very high center console and narrow upper body width might get in the way if you’re beefy.

However, once seated, the driver will not find fault with the quality of finish. The materials are of high quality and the assembly of our test model was also satisfactory.

Toyota GR Supra 2021: what is it worth in winter?

Photo: Julien Amado

Since this is a winter test, know that the heated seats work very well and come into action quickly. The maximum position even quickly becoming too hot! The heating and demisting are satisfactory, which is a good point in cold weather. This is all the more important as the small glass surface greatly limits visibility. Whether it’s forward, sides or back, you don’t see much when you’re seated on board.

These irritants aside, the Toyota Supra has convinced us overall, including on snowy roads. A sports car that deserves to be known, summer and winter!

In video: Antoine Joubert drives the 2020 Toyota GR Supra

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