Posted Tuesday, Aug 06, 2019
One of the criticisms of the new Supra is that it is really just a BMW Z4 in different skin; after all, they share the same drive train. However, the Z4 is rated at 382 hp and 369 lb/ft torque while the Supra is rated at 335 hp and 369 lb/ft. But, it seems Toyota underrated the Supra power and torque figures.
Although the two cars share the same drive train, each company was responsible for the tuning of their respective engines. That’s one reason it seems so odd that they have the same torque, but the Supra has so much less power. In fact, the 2020 Supra is only rated at 15 hp more than the last generation Supra that phased out in North America 2 decades ago. Twenty years and only a 15 hp gain? To begin with, that seems improbable.
Then, some YouTube channels got their hands on some Supras and Z4s, and the questions continued. One channel timed them for their 0-60 mph times; they found the Supra to average 4.4 seconds and the Z4 to average 4.5 seconds. Both times were a bit slower than advertised, but the outcome was clear: the lower powered Supra accelerated quicker than the more powerful Z4. Another channel didn’t record acceleration times, but they drag raced the Supra and Z4; every time, the Toyota beat the BMW. They then raced them from a flying start of 50 mph- the Supra pulled away steadily. It’s beginning to look like Toyota underrated the Supra, but a dyno would be the only way to tell.
Interestingly, Car and Driver put the 2020 Supra on a dyno a couple of months ago, and the results were pretty astounding: 339 hp and 427 lb/ft torque. Okay, so the 339 may not seem that astounding. After all, Toyota claimed 335, so it’s got 4 more than advertised. But what about that torque? That’s 58 lb/ft more than claimed- that’s pretty substantial.
But what’s really astounding about these figures is that the dyno was measuring the power and torque at the wheels. Manufacturers typically rate the power/torque figures at the crank. Normally, there is a 10-15% loss through the drive train. What that means is that the Supra should be advertised as making around 390-400 hp and around 490-500 lb/ft torque- wow! If that’s true, it would explain the Supra’s acceleration. And, if that’s true, the Toyota underrated the Supra by quite a bit.