Scoates Drives...

Discussion in 'Supra versus... (no street racing stories)' started by scoates, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. scoates

    scoates Well-Known Member

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    #1 Jun 14, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
    So with the Supra UK test drives coming up soon I thought I'd post a thread on my personal thoughts on the Supra and some other cars I've driven as a comparison. I have owned a GT86 since March 2015 and am using that as a basis for my comparisons initially. I have already driven the Z4 M40i and posted about it (I'll paste that below, with slight edits) and have a drive booked in a 718 Cayman tomorrow, along with the Supra drive on the 24th so I'll post my thoughts on them as well. If anyone has any questions or things you would like to find out (especially on Cayman or Supra) let me know and I'll do my best to answer.

    GT86:

    The basis for my comparisons. I've owned it for 4 years now and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the handling of it and that you can feel everything that the car is doing underneath you, good feedback from the steering, fun to rev out and easy to slide a bit if you feel like it.

    Power in the 86 is lacking, you can really feel it when regular driving. It doesn't have much get up and go from a stop, and when overtaking you need to really prepare and make sure there is room. On an open road however with the revs kept above 5k it is plenty quick and the steering and chassis work very well with the power available to make it an engaging and fun drive. Although not much power it is almost too easy to slide in the wet, meaning you have to be very careful on the stock tyres to avoid a slide.

    The GT86 is also surprisingly practical. I've used it when moving house twice and it has always surprised me with the amount it can hold, especially with the ability to fold the rear seats for more space, and I've had 4 adults in for a roughly 30 min journey with only minor complaints, so it is doable! The seats are very comfortable with good support whether on a spirited drive or a long journey, and I find the driving position excellent.

    Overall I love the car but just want a bit "more". More power, better refinement and a nicer interior would be great, but without costing the fun factor and the engagement it gives.


    Z4 M40i:

    Power wise it was really good, plenty of grunt and seemed like a strong engine, lots of torque. For road driving (UK twisty back roads) it was perfect. Even though it "only" has 335hp I felt it was enough.

    The car felt stable and I had plenty of confidence in it, however when going back into the 86 I felt I could tell what the car was doing a lot more in it, you get a better feel for the road in the 86. The steering was also better in the 86, it felt more direct than the Z4, although the Z4 definitely firms up at higher speeds and in Sport mode.

    The cabin was very nicely done out, seats comfortable with plenty of adjustment but with the roof up felt slightly claustrophobic due to small rear window and a wind deflector behind it too meaning very little rear visibility. I think this would be improved in the Supra with the glass in the rear hatch. The boot space is surprisingly good, seemed similar to the GT86 with the seats up and with an optional cargo passthrough it could be used for the likes of skis if needed.

    Overall it felt very capable, and the drivetrain (which was the main point of the test-drive) felt great. I hope the areas that I didn't enjoy as much like the steering will be some of the parts that are tweaked by Toyota. In one pre-production review they likened the Supra steering to the 86 so I hope this is the case. Surprisingly I didn't miss the manual too much, it did feel slightly less involved but at the speeds the box can change with the speeds the car can carry on the road I felt to have a manual I would have to slow down much more to drive it confidently. The platform I would agree with some of the comments that it is very easy to drive, and easy to drive fast.


    Cayman:

    The Cayman that the garage had as a demonstrator was the base model with the 300hp 2 litre engine, equipped with the PDK. The car looks good and overall feels premium, looks better in real life than in pictures in my opinion.

    I felt the power a bit lacking compared to the Z4, you could definitely feel that it had less torque especially, almost running out of puff when flooring it from a junction once it got to 3rd. Definitely more power than the 86, but not so much more that I feel I could get the same raw performance with a turbo or supercharger kit which would be a hell of a lot cheaper too!

    The gearbox overall was great. My first experience with the PDK and it was definitely better for sporty driving than the ZF in the Z4. I say for sporty driving because when just cruising along in normal mode it seemed to not make its mind up between being in 6th or 7th gear, constantly changing between them with any slight throttle input and I didn’t notice this as much in the Z4. In sport mode it holds the gears better and there is no issue with it constantly changing. In manual mode is where it is its best, very fast changes up and down, and when under hard acceleration a satisfying pop on upshifts. I didn’t notice any refusal to change which I did in the Z4, but that was likely to be due to being at higher revs than I felt it was and the Cayman’s higher redline.

    Handling is where it comes into its own, absolutely blew the Z4 out of the water. The steering weight was good, lighter in normal mode but not overly so like I felt in the Z4, and once in sport mode it weighted up nicely and was always consistent unlike the Z4 which seemed weightier the faster you were going. Overall I think I liked it as much as the 86 steering, the 86 felt like maybe slightly more feel through it which might be because it doesn’t change weight with different modes which might lose something in pure feel. The Cayman always felt direct and in control. It also was very easy to throw into corners and very balanced when doing so, it felt like it would grip for days. I think it is one where to get 10/10ths out of it you would need to push it on track unlike the 86 where you can get most of the performance on the road too.

    Interior wise it was very nice, but some of the materials were a little poorer than I was expecting, especially at the price point. The interior door handles were very plasticy for example. This may be rectified with further options and may be just how this car was specced. Overall nicer than the 86, buttons and switches feel nice but some materials could be better. The Z4 though in the spec I drove it in definitely had the better interior, although the Cayman was less claustrophobic. Materials in the Z4 felt higher quality, and comfier seats as well. I actually got out of the Cayman with a slightly sore back (2.5 hour test drive) but that might be due to being more tense due to driving someone else's car. Out of the 3 driven so far I feel that the 86 has the best feeling seats for comfort and support, but the Cayman seemed to have larger side bolsters. If the car was specced with some of the further interior leather options it would take it up to the next level, but as tested I feel it is between the 86 and Z4.

    Practicality is fine, a boot in front and rear means plenty of storage as long as you don’t need to carry anything large. Regular shopping or packing for a road trip would be no problem, but anything larger like a set of golf clubs you would really struggle with. The front is plenty space for the typical airplane hand luggage cases (I think 2 could fit fine) and a decent sized soft bag would fit in the rear.

    Overall it was a great car. I really enjoyed my drive and would definitely choose it over the Z4. Handling beats the 86 and Z4, although not as practical as either. I feel the base model Cayman could do with more power but whether it is worth the premium to pay for it I’m not sure, would have to try an S or GTS to be sure.

    I’m now excited to try the Supra, it potentially can slot right in between my criticisms of both the Cayman and Z4, but I worry that it will be much closer to the Z4 steering feel wise than the 86 or Cayman despite Toyota’s tuning efforts, which is the main thing that sets them apart to me.


    A90 Supra:

    Just finished the Supra test drive event and thoroughly enjoyed the event overall and especially the car itself. Performance and delivery of it was pretty much identical to the Z4, there may be changes between the two but to see them you would really have to drive them back to back to compare. That said, it was the best part of the Z4 and so it translates very well to the Supra. Very fast, great acceleration and it just keeps going until at speeds not legal on the road (didn’t go faster than that on road… well, much faster!). When on the track and pushing it further it started to run out of steam slightly but by that point you’re doing 120mph and coming very quickly into a corner! Very little turbo lag, although putting the foot down in 6th at about 60mph there was lag, but I was in manual mode so it didn’t shift down like it would normally, even then the lag was only slight. I can easily believe that the dyno results of around 380bhp at the crank are accurate, and some of the Toyota representatives agreed. For a stock car I don’t think you will be wanting for power, and since a BMW engine you can easily get more with a reflash if you wanted.

    The gearbox, again very similar to Z4, which isn’t a bad thing. Fast changes up and down and very responsive. There are times when it will refuse to downshift but likely because it will over-rev the engine. There wasn’t much of a “pop” like the PDK in the Cayman and I didn’t notice any of the “farting” sounds like in some of the videos Toyota put out (e.g. the Sound of Supra video) but that may be due to it being a European Supra with the quieter exhaust. In automatic mode it didn’t hunt around for gears like the Cayman’s PDK did, it stuck to them nicely and when flooring the accelerator shifted down to where was needed and took off quickly. In Sport it holds the gears longer, allowing to get right to the redline before shifting (I didn’t actually think to check for definite what the absolute redline number was though!) and pretty much does what is needed well, but manual mode is definitely the way to go for more engagement and enjoyment.

    The handling was fantastic, comparing to the Z4 is no contest, the Supra feels stiffer, more sure of itself, more confidence inspiring. Shifting the modes has a definite noticeable difference, mores than the Z4 did, suspension stiffening and steering weighting up well. Normal mode is comfortable, good ride on the rough UK roads and easy steering for just going about town or whatever. Going to Sport mode it is definitely rougher but still rides better than the GT86, less crashy of a ride. I’d say the ride is more similar to the Cayman than the Z4 overall. The steering in Sport mode gives good feel, definitely more than the Z4 which was my major criticism of it, probably similar to the Cayman, slightly less than the GT86 I think but it is all very close. Driving on the track it just gripped for days and you could feel the car moving underneath you, great chassis feedback and you know exactly what is happening. When having a passenger lap with a professional driver even then you can feel how the car shifts around and grips under high-speed cornering, very predictable handling, you can feel it start to slide, then it grips some more, before eventually giving way again. Braking was crazy, comparing it to how I drove on the track the professional driver took it much further than I did, and when you really get on them it stops really well.

    The interior was great. Being that a lot is borrowed from BMW there are some parts bit things as we all know, but actually sitting in it, it all works very well together. iDrive is one of the best systems in the industry and the configurable preset buttons will be very handy. The gauge cluster is very clear and easy to read and the heads-up display is great for making sure you are at the speed limit as you will blow past it very quick! Seats are very comfortable and driving position similar to the GT86. Headroom isn’t great, I’m about 6ft with a longer torso and with the seat fully down I have probably less than an inch, and when in passenger seat with a helmet for the hot laps the helmet was scraping the roof. The dashboard is all “leather”, unsure if real leather, plastic, or an effect, but it has nice stitching which adds and pushes the quality and fit/finish above the base Cayman, but as said before it can be improved with options, which would make the Cayman the best.

    It is probably the most practical out of the Cayman and Z4 due to the hatch and lack of the convertible roof, but not as good as the GT86 as it has a wider boot opening and the ability to fold the seats. The Supra has an always open to the boot design which is good for carrying longer things, but if you have bags of shopping in there and slam on the brakes it might come forward easily. There is no further storage under the boot floor as that is where the battery is, and it is huge!

    Overall as a complete package I think it is the best of the lot. As good handling as the Cayman with more power and speed, but can also be as comfortable as the softer Z4 for cruising around. It really is almost a story of two cars, the soft GT cruiser in Normal, but switch it to Sport it becomes a proper sports car, my passenger described it as “angry” when going for it in Sport! Also has practicality when you need it with the good sized boot, and looks amazing! As others have said the pictures don’t do it justice, you need to see one in real life if you are on the fence about the looks.

    After driving the main rival in the Cayman and now the Supra as well, I am very happy to go ahead with my Supra order and will be confirming it today.

    If anyone has any questions about the Supra or the driving experience with Toyota please ask! I’ll try and add some of the pictures I took later on as well.
     
    DevonK, SunnyScott, j20eyk and 8 others like this.
  2. kona61

    kona61 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent! I look forward to your comparison.
     
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  3. XtremeMaC

    XtremeMaC Well-Known Member

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    Much better review than reporters :headbang: looking forward to others
     
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  4. MA617M

    MA617M Well-Known Member

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    If you could drive a W204 C63, and compare to A90, I'd be interested.

    I realise they're not even remotely in the same league - but I have to sell my C63 to fund an A90, and I would like to hear what gives you the biggest smile.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    scoates

    scoates Well-Known Member

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    Updated with my thoughts on the Cayman.

    I'm not sure if I'd be able to get my hands on one of them for a drive but I could potentially get the newest version if the dealer has a demonstrator but not sure if that comparison would be of much use I'm afraid.
     
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  6. Mazdryk

    Mazdryk Member

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    Review the Jaguar F Type R. I need to choose between that and a Supra.
     
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  7. OP
    OP
    scoates

    scoates Well-Known Member

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    Updated with A90 Supra.
     
  8. kona61

    kona61 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent review! I really appreciate the viewpoint as you went through and reviewed the car objectively with clear and thorough knowledge of all vehicles you mentioned.
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    scoates

    scoates Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! :) I'm no writer so it probably doesn't read that well but I tried to be as honest as I could with what I've driven.
     
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  10. Jabba

    Jabba Well-Known Member

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    Really good to hear you enjoyed the A90 at the event. Couple of questions:

    - How would you compare the steering of the A90 to the 86? I've heard there's a bit a steering deadness in the Supra, and I was wondering how noticeable is that compared to the 86?

    - If they're would be anything else you could nitpick at the Supra what else would it be?
     
  11. OP
    OP
    scoates

    scoates Well-Known Member

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    The steering is better in the 86, I think it is even better than the Cayman. That said the Supra has better steering than the Z4, about the same as Cayman. In Normal mode it is a bit too light and lacking in feel, but in sport mode it is exactly what I was hoping. Good firmness but slightly less feel than the 86. Compared to the Z4 and "typical BMW" steering it has much more feel and feedback.

    Nitpicking the Supra I'd say slightly more headroom would be nice, but that would mean raising the roof which isn't good. Again the steering feel could be more like the 86 but I don't think that's possible with switchable modes, as the Cayman is similar and it's often cited as one of the best. I also didn't like the rear view mirrors much, not from design but the actual mirror part wasn't as useful as my 86, but that's getting really picky now. There might be other things I'll find out through ownership but that's all I've got for now. And if that's the main complaints, they're so minor, other than maybe steering feel, they're basically non-issues.
     
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  12. kona61

    kona61 Well-Known Member

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    Taking into account the type of car, refined steering feel is preferable to me. It can get tiresome driving a very communicative car long distance.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    scoates

    scoates Well-Known Member

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    That's the beauty of the Supra, in Normal mode it's comfortable, easy to drive, light and simple steering. But then when you want to go for a proper drive it's all there as well, good weight and communicative. It really is like 2 cars in 1, a comfortable GT and a proper sports car.
     
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  14. Half Vast

    Half Vast Well-Known Member

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    Very nicely written. Definitely appreciate your honest opinion and comparison. Very well balanced. Thanks for taking the time to do this and sharing your thoughts..
     
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  15. MA617M

    MA617M Well-Known Member

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    I ask everyone the same question - but the exhaust sound. What was your take? In a lot of videos it sounds rather bland and muted.
     

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