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How 2020 Toyota Supra Compares to Toyota 86 in Real-World Driving
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Two sports cars. Both are rear wheel drive. Both have two doors. Both have the same badge Toyota. In vain none of them has a Toyota engine. You literally cost twice as much as the other. They are as diverse as they are alike. So when you drive the new Toyota Toyota Supra and the aging but still lovely Toyota 86 back to the back, what do you learn?
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( Full Disclosure: Toyota flew me to Virginia, paid for my hotel, liquor and food, and gave me sporting time with Both cars.)
Car enthusiasts are a deeply miserable party, almost endemic unhappy at all, even when their favorite riders are safer, faster, better and more efficient than they have ever been. Mazda Miata doesn't have enough power. The Subaru WRX is not a hatchback anymore. Nissan 370Z is old and GT-R is too expensive. The Honda Civic Type R looks less like a car and more like something, the Principality Zeon invented to take down Amuro once and for all. Dodge Challenger is full of old Mercedes-Benz parts. No one can look out of the Chevrolet Camaro. The Ford Mustang sometimes does murder.
I say immediately that these cars, both the new Supra and 86, have taken their fair share of criticism. The Supra has struggled for its two-person setup, BMW gut and lack of a proper manual gearbox (though I admit the last point.) 86, a joint venture with Subaru, has come across not having enough "horsepower" ".
As one who is a pessimist instead of being a few bad days away from going full-day prepper, I say this-look on the bright side! Both of these cars are fun and good. None of them existed a decade ago when the sportiest Toyota you could buy was a Scion tC. Please be glad they are here and here together.
I'm glad Toyota brought boats to West Virginia's Summit Point Motorsports Parks Shenandoah Course. Although the 86s probably only came to place hordes of people who want to run a very small batch of Supras. Driving the two together drove home the very sharp differences between these two cars.
At the same time, I would not pretend to come away with deep, surprising insights here. This Supra-versus-86 test went exactly as you think it would. One is slower, cheaper and easier for a beginner to steer into a place like Summit Point. The other is much more premium, much more comfortable, much faster and more of an advanced car the next time you spring to a day of track.
I took 86 first and was immediately reminded of two things: How much I like to run it and how much it does walks around. I have long been a fan of this car and its Subaru twin, but man it is an acquired taste. Everything is sad and rough, from the blaring boxer engine note to the driving quality and, for safety, the interior.
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86 has a hardcore character. Non-drivers do not need to apply. They did not like to drive it and they would probably not like to ride it. The trip is pretty tough on the back roads. The cup holders were these flimsy removable units between the seats instead of a full armrest. The rest of the cabin is sharp and the analogue meters show their age.
The steel gray, $ 25,000 test I was driving early on didn't even have navigation, which I think is a kind of crime for a new car in 2019. And that back seat? It is more to stashing a backpack or bag than putting in actual people. It's just a little much .
But those who look like driving are for a treat. The 2.0-liter 205-horsepower, naturally aspirated Subaru four-cylinder engine is not super powerful, but it is willing to work for dinner.
The pair with the car's small size and 2.776 pound damping, it can reach the fun speeds faster than people give it credit for, And the lack of turbo means a fine, linear power supply. Anyway, the boxer almost pays homage to the cockpit – I had forgotten how awful it is right out of the box.