How does the Supra stack up against its competitor from Porsche?
The 2019 Detroit auto show marks the return of an icon, the 2020 Toyota Supra. Toyota’s rear-drive coupe was created in partnership with BMW, which made possible a key ingredient of the Supra formula—an inline-six. Now strictly a two-seater, the more compact, fifth-generation A90 Supra moves closer to the sports car end of the spectrum. As such, one of its key competitors will be the Porsche 718 Cayman, a two-seat, mid-engine, rear-drive coupe with a starting price not much more than that of the Toyota’s. Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada told us last year that Toyota benchmarked Porsche models during the new Toyota’s development
A full comparison test will have to wait until we can drive the Supra and Cayman back to back. But for now, let’s take a closer look at both vehicles and see how they compare on paper.
Immediately, you’ll notice that the 2020 Toyota Supra bears a resemblance to the FT-1 concept we first saw in 2014, especially up front. The rear end features chunky fender flares that add substantial width, and thin taillights that are nearly unchanged from the FT-1. The side profile highlights the car’s low-slung stance and its cab-rearward layout.
The Porsche 718 Cayman also features a low-slung, cab-rearward silhouette, but unlike the Supra, the Cayman follows a less-is-more approach. The first difference you’ll notice when looking at the two cars side by side is the Porsche’s cleaner lines. Up front, the Cayman sports rounded headlights and smaller air intakes on the lower front fascia. Out back, the thin taillights feature cool LED clusters and an LED light bar that spans the width of the car.
Like much of its underpinnings, the 2020 Toyota Supra’s interior is BMW derived. The cockpit features a version of the Bavarian brand’s iDrive interface complete with the rotary control knob and surrounding buttons. Likewise, the center stack, including the HVAC and radio controls, and the available 8.8-inch freestanding touchscreen should all look very familiar if you’ve seen the inside of any recent BMW. Notable tech features include a fully digital gauge cluster and an available full-color head-up display.
As with its exterior styling, the 718 Cayman weaves Porsche’s current design language into its cabin design, too. Analog gauges lend a more traditional vibe to the interior, but the 7.0-inch touchscreen integrated into the center stack makes it clear this is a modern Porsche.
At least at first, Toyota will offer only one engine for the 2020 Supra in the U.S., a 3.0-liter turbo I-6 with 335 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Other markets will get a 2.0-liter turbo-four, but Toyota has yet to announce that engine for the North American market. Although the 2020 Supra shares many parts with the BMW Z4, the drivetrain, suspension, and steering have all been tuned by Toyota specifically for the Supra. You can also opt for an active rear differential and adaptive suspension.
Porsche offers two turbocharged flat-fours in the 718 Cayman, a base 300-hp 2.0-liter and a more powerful 2.5-liter in the Cayman S and GTS. Unlike the Supra, the Cayman comes standard with a six-speed manual, or you can opt for a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission. Available performance goodies include active suspension, torque vectoring with a mechanical locking differential, a sport exhaust system, and carbon-ceramic brakes.
We drove a 2020 Supra prototype and were impressed by its smooth driving dynamics, linear acceleration, and high levels of grip. The Supra’s interior also proved quiet, and the ride was comfortable in normal mode. We’ve driven the Porsche 718 Cayman and also enjoyed its newfound performance despite the lack of a sweet six-cylinder exhaust note.
Toyota has priced the 2020 Supra starting at $50,920 USD for the base 3.0 trim. The 3.0 Premium model rings up at $54,920 USD, and an available Driver Assist package costs $1,195 USD. Finally, the Launch Edition will go for $56,180 USD and will be limited to 1,500 units. The first production 2020 Toyota Supra, a bespoke example, will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale on January 19. Despite its high price tag, the 2020 Toyota Supra is still less expensive than some key competitors.
The 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman with the base 300-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four starts at $58,150 USD, which is $7,230 USD more than a base Toyota Supra. The move up to the 350-hp Cayman S will cost you a whopping $70,550 USD, $19,630 USD dearer than Toyota’s reborn flagship sports car. A similarly equipped Cayman will cost even more, because some features that come standard in the Supra cost extra at Porsche.
The 2020 Toyota Supra goes on sale in the summer, and we can’t wait to get our hands on one to see how it stacks up against the competition.