The new 2020 BMW Z4 and Toyota GR Supra are two non-identical peas for a single pod. The internet needs to know so here it is: Our comparison of the two.
Can anyone think of a more talked-about pair of cars at the very moment? With the exception of the C8 Chevrolet Corvette and Tesla as a whole, the Toyota GR Supra specifically owns the WWW. The hype surrounding the car is manifold as previous-Century JDM cars are skyrocketing in value and the current leader happens to be the MK4 A80 Toyota Supra. That, and the fact that Toyota outsourced the car to BMW, in a manner of speaking.
In this deal however, Toyota took what it needed from BMW, wrote them out a big fat check, went home and went to town on the car. They did such an impressive job that everyone is quickly finding out that the lesser may not be the offshoot of the original…
We’ve driven them both back-to-back and have come up with the following. First, however, let’s talk shop.
B58 twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-6-cylinder engine. 8-speed ZF. RWD. Big multi-piston brakes. Adaptive damper. Highly rigid structure. Perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Active rear differential. The spec list is not only nearly identical but reads like a recipe for incredibly good driving fun.
BMW’s B58 turbo inline-6 is a very gifted engine as, depending on the state of tune, produces between 322- and a little over 500-horsepower. Of these many versions, the Supra relies on the B58B30M1 iteration while the Z4 B58B30O1. The difference, on paper, is that the Toyota benefits from 335-horsepower (365 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,600-4,500 rpm) and the Bimmer basks in the glory of 381-horsepower (and 368 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,850-4,500 rpm).
Again on paper, the Supra tips the scale at 3,397 lb. while the Z4 is only marginally heavier at 3,457 lb. This would normally mean that the Z4 launches to 100 km/h harder than the Supra, and it does. On paper. The Z4 is rated at 4.1 seconds while the Supra will require only one or two extra tenths of a second.
According to the internet and the seat of our pants, well shorts, the numbers have it all wrong. The closed-deck block can handle lots of boost pressure and while BMW’s done its thing, it really looks like Toyota’s done their own thing as in various dyno tests are showing that the Supra is putting in excess of 375-horsepower to the rear wheels. This explains why numerous acceleration tests have shown that the Toyota is quicker, and by a considerable margin.
For the moment, Canada’s got it easy with these two cars. The 2020 Toyota GR Supra is offered in only one trim, with no options other than colors. Pricing is $64,990.
Included for this fee are an 8.8-inch display, navigation, Apple CarPlay, head’s up display, a 12-speaker JBL audio system, Toyota Connect services and much more.
The 2020 BMW Z4 is currently only offered as an M40i in Canada and pricing starts at $76,100. At this price, in order to match the Supra, it still needs the Driver Assistance Package to get active cruise control. This raises the price to $77,750. The Z4 has a heated steering wheel, other subtle upgrades and the power retractable soft-top.
The $12,000-ish difference comes down to brand value and the cost of dropping one’s top. The price gap in standing could be justified but not in all-out performance and exclusivity.
Our Thoughts On The BMW Z4 M40i and Toyota GR Supra
Both cars are exceptional. The major differences in the drive are as follows: The BMW Z4 seems a tad more refined and suppler, if by a hair. The Toyota GR Supra has sharper steering with better turn-in. From memory, the BMW felt as though it had stronger brakes. Here too, the gap is minimal, at best. Both sound about the same and are great places to cover long winding country roads. The Supra will soak in lap after lap on a track day event. The BMW Z4 will as well but the driver’s involvement and connection to the car will be lesser in the Bimmer.
The flaws are very limited. We could argue about the lack of a manual transmission, but we won’t. We could bring up pricing but wait five years. The BMW will probably be a better deal than the Supra tough.
Design? The 2020 BMW Z4 M40i is stunning. Wide, flat, without overhangs, hints of 6- and 8 Series, drops of 507 and Z1, it’s a masterpiece. On the other hand, the 2020 Toyota GR Supra is not. Its styling is distinct and unique – you love it or hate. We’ve warmed up to it by now.
In the real world, these two cars do not compete with each other. Both speak to different classes of buyers though an old man with some disposable income could be tempted by the Toyota GR Supra over the BMW Z4 as it appeals to a far younger age group.