https://www.motortrend.com/cars/toy...cayman-vs-bmw-m2-competition-comparison-test/ TOYOTA SUPRA VS. PORSCHE 718 CAYMAN VS. BMW M2 COMPETITION: WHICH IS THE SPORTS CAR CHAMP? Supra Bowl: The reborn Toyota sports car takes on titans from Porsche and BMW Here in Los Angeles, we know a lot about the sometimes fickle nature of football franchises. The Rams have returned from their St. Louis affair, and somehow we stole the Chargers from San Diego—although our onetime resident Raiders are once again the noisy neighbors to the north. So, you can say L.A. is a football town, even if the history is patchy. To continue the analogy, you could also say Toyota City, Japan, is a sports car town with an equally patchy history. It'll make performance cars, then stop, then start again. This year, we welcome a new hometown hero—albeit one with shared heritage with an old-school sports car town in Germany—in the 2020 Toyota Supra. With its shared German-Japanese DNA, the Supra makes a natural rival with a pair of league stalwarts with many championships between them: the Porsche Cayman and BMW M2 Competition. And they aren't about to let the new guy show them up. First things first: Does the Supra move like a German car or a Japanese one? It's not dead flat around a corner like a track car. There's body roll when you crack the wheel, but it's quick, perfectly controlled, and deliberate. Dashing though a slalom section of mountain road, the Supra shifts its weight side to side like a barrel racing champion. The steering is super quick and has absolutely zero dead spots, so every movement you make on the wheel directly translates into precision and accuracy on the road. It lacks the feel of the best sports cars, but that's its only concession. The standard adaptive dampers do a phenomenal Jekyll and Hyde routine, compliant and comfortable on the commute then appropriately stiff when you press Sport on the center console. Rather than fade, the brakes like heat, though the rear end gets light under hard braking from high speeds. Getting up to pace is easy, too, because the power delivery is smooth and linear all the way up. "This car requires quiet hands and a deft touch," road test editor Chris Walton said, "and this makes it fun to drive. You have to figure out how the car works to make it work near its limits." This is key. The Supra wants to be driven a specific way. You don't throw it into a corner, you lay it in. That quick steering will bite you if you aren't smooth and precise. When it does bite, though, the car becomes a Formula Drift champion. The car's balance and predictability while oversteering are entirely responsible for the longest drift I've ever completed on our figure-eight track. The BMW likes to hang its ass out, too, but like a drunk, not a drifter. "More work than fun," testing director Kim Reynolds said of the BMW's figure eight, but I knew that long before he told me. He'd blown the braking point and run off the west end of the course twice—and Kim never blows the braking point. The brake pedal is grabby at application then wooden as you add force. Assuming you've creased the floorboard deep enough with the pedal to get the car slowed for the corner, you then get to deal with terminal understeer that suddenly becomes wild oversteer as soon as you get the front tires to grip somewhere midcorner. Quick hands will stop it from spinning out, but it's no Formula Drift machine. "While the BMW feels controlled," Walton said, "it doesn't feel settled—ever." And he didn't even drive it on the track. The standard, nonadjustable suspension is track-day stiff, and all you get for it is a lot of bouncing up and down. Same with the engine, which feels monstrously powerful compared with the other two but isn't any quicker. The transmission needs another setting between two and three that's neither lazy nor neurotic. Road or racetrack, the M2 is like a shaken bottle of soda. You can see all the bubbles fizzing to the top, and you think if you crack the cap open slightly you might be able to bleed off the pressure without it exploding all over you, but you don't know for sure. All you can think about is how messy it'll be if you're wrong. (You might be asking now, why didn't we run the Supra against the BMW Z4 it shares its DNA with? Our Chris Walton has already done a back-to-back comparison of the two in prototype form, and besides, the Z4 is a convertible, so the M2 coupe is a more equitable match to the Toyota.) The Porsche Cayman, conversely, is on the complete opposite side of the handling equation. Confident, measured, and buttoned-down, it's everything the M2 isn't. The steering is light and direct with better feedback than either of its test-mates. The suspension is stiff but still compliant, soaking up road rot while keeping the body level and both ends firmly in place. The brakes are equally responsive. "Around the figure eight, I was fretting about the understeer," Reynolds said, "but on the mountain road, that same understeer sense gives it a reassurance and stability that's much appreciated." Understeer is all I remember about my own figure-eight laps in the Cayman. I can't remember another mid-engine car that so adamantly refuses to rotate. All you can do is wait for the front end to come back and try not to think about how much quicker the car would be if it would just bite. When you're not thinking about steering, you're thinking the car could really handle a lot more power. The base engine is quick enough on paper, but on the road, the midrange power is soft, and you're left with the unrelenting impression the chassis could handle so much more. Then you remember the Cayman S exists and start working on ways to justify the $12,400 price jump. Underpowered or not, the base Cayman is a hell of a dance partner. Despite their different personalities, their performance numbers are almost identical. We triple-checked the numbers to be sure. Zero to 60 mph: 3.9, 4.0, 4.1 seconds— Supra, M2, Cayman. Quarter mile: 12.4 seconds at 114.7 mph, 12.5 seconds at 111.2 mph, 12.6 seconds at 110.3 mph— M2, Supra, Cayman. Skidpad: 1.01 g, 1.01 g, 1.03 g— Supra, M2, Cayman. Figure eight: 24.0 seconds at 0.83 g, 24.0 second at 0.81 g, 24.1 seconds at 0.82 g— Supra, Cayman, M2. The only major deviation? Sixty to 0 braking: 97 feet, 99 feet, and 106 feet—Cayman, Supra, M2. Forget keeping up with the competition, the Supra is stepping on their toes, intentionally. Price is just the Yamazaki 12 Years Old whisky toast at this Supra party. For $57,375 fully loaded, the Supra puts down the same performance numbers for 10 grand less than the BMW and 15 grand less than the Porsche. Sure, the Cayman S has more power, but it starts at $70,550 and rings in at nearly $79,000 equipped with the same performance options. For that $21,000 extra splash on a comparably equipped Cayman S, you could buy a ton of Gazoo Racing go-faster parts for your Supra. Now, some of you are going to argue the Supra's value by pointing to equipment levels, but it's not a row you want to hoe. It's true the Cayman starts at $58,150, not $71,930, and you could knock some nonessential options off our test car, which is already light on amenities. In order to maintain performance parity with the Supra, though, you gotta keep the performance options, so you're still in the neighborhood of $65,000. Same with the M2, which could ditch a few convenience features and come down to about $65,000, as well. Problem is, this game works on the Supra, too, and it's already eight grand cheaper fully loaded. Strip it down, and you can save another five thousand bucks. Like Namath and the upstart New York Jets planting an AFL flag in the backside of the 18-point favorite NFL establishment's Baltimore Colts, the Supra wins this comparison not in a blowout but by grinding down the opposition with better strategy. Namath didn't throw a single touchdown pass in Super Bowl III, and the Supra didn't here, either. Instead, it carefully studied the other teams and exploited their weaknesses. It ran a touchdown at the test track taking down any on-paper advantage the opposition might have had, then finished off the second half by nailing its field goals on the road. The Cayman may have dispatched the M2 like the Colts crushing the Browns in the NFL championship game, but against the scrappy AFL, the outcome was a Supra Bowl.