Here we are, the new supra has finally arrived. Its been, and continues to be, an absolute media frenzy.
So as a long term owner and enthusiast of the previous generation Supra known as the JZA80 (Or Just A80 for short) The one question I'm being asked all the time is: "Are you upgrading to the new supra?" - Well huge spoiler ahead, (pun intended).. "No". The new Supra (known as the A90) isn't for this driver.
Now that should ordinarily be it, everyone moves on, end of article.... right?... not quite.
Unfortunately, the community is so divided on this car, that I find myself being constantly pressed by people wanting clarification of why, both from the highly split lovers and haters of the car. "No" isn't enough... not even close to enough. So much so, that its going to take multiple parts here to explain it all.
Before I go into the details of my "No", one has to understand that describing this car as divisive is an understatement. The car has received copious amounts of hate, as well as plenty of love, all which have created a chasm of split opinion on it, both a machine, and its future.
To understand just how horrible this split is, think the following "Monkey pit, Rival Baboons, Chimpanzees, and the odd BBC presenter, all throwing faecal matter at one another, plus any unlucky spectators who wander into range".. Yep its been quite ugly.
And that brings me to the topic at hand... ... why am I not moving to the new platform known as the A90? Because on first glance, it seems like a great idea to switch - out with the old Supra, in with the new one.... reboot, restart, new game player 1 ... right?
well unfortunately that idea all too often doesn't hold true ... and this is one of those times.
Before I delve into the analysis why, I want to stress right from the get go here, that this is entirely a personal view, based on my circumstances, which might not apply to readers of this article. That means my circumstances, my reasons, and my logic which that have discarded the new supra as a viable option, may not necessarily apply to anyone else. In fact many will find the new supra to be an amazing opportunity for them.... its just not for me.. at all.
Anyway, here we go. Gather your faecal matter in preparation for the round 1 comments.... "onward ho! into the monkey pit we go..."
LETS BEGIN - ROUND 1 - ITS NOT AN UPGRADE
The simply fact to start with is we can not consider the A90 and upgrade to the old Supra. Which is important - because it needed to be.
Upgrades are cyclic improvements to previous iterations of a product. They take the old, and build on it in some way. Some times that's for such very long periods, that the original is long gone by the latest iteration, but there is always an evolutionary pattern or progression. Like Clarkson's hair, Hammond's teeth, or James' dress sense. The multiple generations of the Supra up to 1993 all do just that, they built on one another.
The A90 Supra in 2019 however,... well its just not. Not at all. Its more like Toyota looking at the Old Supra and saying, "I'm having none of that, it just wont work for our profit margins." Like a 10 year old child, they then unceremoniously ripped off the badge, dumped the A80 in the trash, turned to BMW and said "We want to build a car, mind if we rummage around in your Lego bins for a bit? we could build one together!"
If only it was this innocent, because unfortunately this is where the dark side of Toyota's Business Conglomerate starts to shine through. You see, when Toyota was done playing with BMW and its Lego blocks, they used the A80 as a sacrificial lamb, descending on their own car (the A80) in both an uncaring and unappreciative way, in order to drum up support for the new one. They sold out, both willingly and deliberately, just to cash in the supra name for new profit.
They made highly questionable, if not ridiculous statements about their logic, rationale and reasoning for the car, and just expected people to lap it all up, like "good little doggy" car buyers. Most frustratingly, a huge amount of naive people did buy into the misinformation, completely and utterly. They still believe it even now in the face of clear contradictory evidence (many, many journalists included.). Yes I'll go through all of this in a later part.
Believe it or not though, I could almost accept all of that as being part of the business process - But only on the provision that the new Supra been genuinely good enough to back up the disrespect, the questionable attitude, and the buyer exploitation from Toyota .... only its not.... Its not even close to good enough.
Is a Supra? Is it a Z4?... no its a ..... its a ...errr........ it just not good enough is what it is.
Back on track with upgrade ideology, and importantly we need to recognise the A90 is an entirely new and different product that happens to share the Supra name. Toyota will tell you there is Lineage of the supra platform. Their isn't. Toyota will tell you it had to be this way to exist. It didn't. Again, more on that in another part.
In reality the truth comparing the A80 and A90 is Its like comparing a solid chocolate bar, with a slice of jam and cream sponge cake - one isn't an upgrade to the other because they both have "Dessert" written on the front. They simply share categorisation by name, there's nothing to class as an upgrade here ...
(excuse me for for a minute.) .
Now, whilst I'm eating, ...lets get back to the car. We can say the new supra is no longer in the same class as its old's name-sake. The old Supra was a 2+2 GT/Sports car. The new Supra is a 2 Seat Dedicated Sportscar.
The old Supra was a top tier car of its time, taking on the best of everything of its day, setting new performance records in the process. You needed hyper-cars of the day, like an F40 or McLaren F1 to take it down cleanly. The rest often lost out, including the 911.
The new supra is the opposite. Its an entry level/mid tier car, taking on cars such as the 370z, the baby M' series, Boxter's and Cayman's, and its certainty not setting any records .... its a different car for a different market, in a different world.
End Result - The A90 simply doesn't meet the eligibility criteria to be an upgrade let alone part of the Supra linage. Its a sideways shift, an alternative product if you will. So I have to consider the A90 in the same way as other competitors. Remote, distant, and incomparable to the A80 by that lack of lineage and design.
So by now your thinking "OK then fine.,.. you've point made in a long drawn out way..... Its not an upgrade..... so what?? who the hell cares?...... why is being an upgrade important? "
Well its like life and ambition, we are always looking to move up to bigger and better things, to build on the past and to progress to a bigger, brighter future. We want to learn more, to grow more, to get bigger, faster, stronger, we want larger homes, more challenges, more places to go..... we want a better future..... , and in the case of the new supra, that idea is lost ... its a sideways shift in a different direction, its not an improvement, it's just a different path in another direction with the same street sign ... its neither good nor bad to the A80, its just alternative.
And that's the problem. The New supra is promoted incorrectly by Toyota as having linage, and lineage implies that there be and inheritance of the old and be and evolutionary improvement. There is none. There is no benefits from old to new in their core reason for existing as a performance machine.
Simply - The new supra needed to be much better than the old. It needed to be lighter, faster, more powerful, more capable, more everything we expect from our process of building on the past... It should have been blisteringly better than the A80 .... and its not.
In fact, its nearly identical. What the A80 did 25 years ago, the A90 is doing today in no better fashion, in fact in some ways, its lesser in its performance which, (hear me out before you throw that wad of brown matter at the comments), I'll justify in another part of this series.
So end result - if its not an upgrade to the A80, why consider it over other cars, which for the same money, will give me that "faster, bigger, higher, stronger, improve things and grow" ideology that humans all crave? ... the answer of course leads us to to the next part:
COMING UP IN PART 2 - PURCHASE PERSPECTIVE.
PART 2 HERE - Stay Tuned/Follow for more, as over the course of each night for a week, we'll take a look at the complications when you consider purchasing the A90 against its rivals.... and obviously I talk further about the abundant reasons why I've come to the conclusion it would be a very bad buy for me, and potentially others in similar frames of thought and circumstance.