Opinion: The new Toyota GR Supra was never going to be 'affordable'

New Supra pricing for Australia in line with history

2020 Toyota GR Supra Red Main Jpg
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Yesterday Toyota Australia announced local pricing for the new 2020 A90 GR Supra at $84,900 for the GT and $94,900 for the GTS, which translates to driveaway figures of $93,730 and $104,379 respectively based on a Western Australian purchase.

Social media has subsequently exploded with comments, the prevailing sentiment seeming to be either surprise or anger that the price is approaching six figures, but realistically Toyota’s new sports car was always going to occupy this space. In fact, the real surprise is that it’s not more expensive than it is.

2020 Toyota GR Supra
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It’s common knowledge that the A90 Supra is closely twinned with the latest BMW Z4, sharing the basic platform – though each was developed independently – powertrain and electrical architecture. The two cars are also built side-by-side by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria.

BMW lists the Z4 M40i at $124,900, so Toyota is offering essentially the same car, sourced from the same factory, for a $30K discount, or $40K if you include the lower-spec GT. The other key point to remember is that the Supra has never been an affordable car, sitting instead atop Toyota’s sports car line-up above the likes of the Celica and MR2.

In 1993, the last year the Supra was officially offered in Australia, a turbo, manual Coupe cost AUD$65,666. And this wasn’t even the bells and whistles 206kW 1JZ-powered model available in Japan, but the lesser 173kW 3.0 7M-GTE. Converted to 2019 money that’s $124,796, almost exactly equal to the current cost of the Z4.

It was a similar story in other markets. In 1994 the fourth-generation JZA080 Supra (again a turbo, manual Coupe) would set a UK buyer back £40,000 and a US buyer $US42,800. Converted to today’s money that equates to £77,508 and US$72,519, well in excess of the latest Supra’s pricing of £52,695 and US$49,990 respectively.

2020 Toyota GR Supra drifting
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Locally, the Supra was actually by far the cheapest of the high-end Japanese sports car, though as a product of the mid-1980s it was also one of the oldest. In 1994 a Nissan 300ZX (non-turbo) cost $76,230, a Subaru SVX $78,070, Mazda FD RX-7 $80,025 and Mitsubishi 300GT $99,248 (all 1994 figures).

Of course, the price will be much less of an issue if the new Toyota Supra is fantastic to drive, but to answer that we’ll have to wait until its local arrival in Q4 2019.

 

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