2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 vs 3.0 – The specs and a tough decision

Chris Davies - May 13, 2020, 9:22 am CDT
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2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 vs 3.0 – The specs and a tough decision

Toyota’s new 2021 Supra is about ready to arrive, and it brought a more affordable Supra 2.0 version with it too. With more power from the 3.0-liter engine, and a new 2.0-liter inline-4 for a cheaper entry price, it’s an altogether more comprehensive line-up as the Supra carves out its niche in the sports coupe segment.

2021 Supra 3.0

For the new model year, BMW finally allows Toyota to play with the engine from the Z4 M40i. It’s still a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six, no surprise there, but power and torque are both up over the 2020 car.

Now, you’re looking at 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque in the 2021 Supra 3.0. The current car does 335 hp and 365 lb-ft. There’s more to it than that, mind: peak power used to arrive at 5,000 rpm, but now you’ll have to wait until 5,800 rpm for it; similarly, peak torque now comes at 1,800 rpm, rather than 1,600 rpm.

It’s enough for a 0.2 second cut in the 0-60 mph dash, with Toyota suggesting that will take 3.9 seconds. Top speed remains 155 mph, thanks to the electronic lock. Fuel economy, meanwhile, dips a couple of points: 22 mpg in the city versus 24 mpg; 30 mpg on the highway versus 31 mpg; and 25 mpg combined versus 26 mpg.

Those who hoped that Toyota might relent and drop in a six-speed manual will have to deal with crushing disappointment. The ZF eight-speed automatic remains your only option, though given how well it held up in the 2020 Supra we suspect it won’t be too big a hardship to live with.

2021 Supra 2.0

The big news for the MY2021 is the new entry-level Supra 2.0 in the US. Toyota drops a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four under the sculpted hood, also snagged from BMW’s parts list. That’s no bad thing, mind.

Horsepower clocks in at 255 hp at 5,000 rpm, and torque at 295 lb-ft from 1,550 rpm. That means maximum torque actually arrives earlier than in the Supra 3.0, and though you’re still getting less to play with, the 2.0 car is lighter as well. More than 200 pounds so, in fact.

0-60 mph should come in 5.0 seconds, Toyota says, not earth-shattering but nothing to be ashamed of either. The cheaper Supra also gets the same ZF transmission as its 3.0 sibling, and it should be more frugal too. Final EPA economy numbers are yet to be confirmed, but BMW’s Z4 sDrive30i with the same engine clocks in at 24 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined for some context, and it’s a little heavier than the Supra 2.0.

It’ll come with 18-inch wheels rather than 19-inches, and it’ll have slightly smaller brakes too. The 3.0-liter gets 13.7-inch discs and four-piston calipers, versus the 13-inch discs and single-piston calipers on the 2.0-liter. That’s probably not going to present too big an issue unless you’re hunting down your nearest track day.

2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 vs 3.0 – Which makes most sense?

We still need to put both of the 2021 Supra versions through their paces, and Toyota will only confirm pricing for the new 2.0-liter model later in the year. Still, this may well end up being one of those cases where “more” isn’t necessarily “better” day to day.

There’s a lot of appeal in having the most potent version of a car, absolutely, and there the 2021 Supra 3.0 is shaping up nicely. However there’s also a lot to be said about having power you can actually use day to day, and there the 2021 Supra 2.0 may end up hitting the sweet spot for eager drivers not looking to run into tickets.

Given both models are almost identical outside – look for key differences in the wing mirror caps and tailpipe finishes – there’s even less of a reason to feel swayed to the more expensive car. Inside, though, might make the difference. An 8.8-inch touchscreen is standard, as is Apple CarPlay, but you’ll need the bigger engine if you want things like full leather seats with heating, a head-up display, and better audio systems.

We’ll know more about the value proposition when Toyota confirms the 2021 Supra 2.0 and 3.0 pricing later in 2020. The cars will arrive in showrooms over the summer.


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