To say that in 2002, Toyota killed the Supra isn't particularly comprehensive. They're just as responsible for all those JDM enthusiasts who died shortly afterwards of a broken heart.
And yet even with them gone, I think it's safe to say the thing car lovers have been crying out for the most in the last 15 years, is a good and exciting Korean car, and the return of the Supra. I don't even remember a Supra, but I've added my name to every petition ever.
So here we are in 2018; Kia has a great-looking four door car with the same power output as a Porsche 911 Carrera, Hyundai makes a hot hatch, and a hot fastback, and with the news that there will be a Supra in Toyota yards next year, it follows that there’s rejoicing not seen since VE Day.
But there isn’t, really.
I named the Kia Stinger GT as my favourite car – or the best, actually, because they’re both the same thing – of 2017. Of course it wasn’t technically a better car than the Aston Martin Vanquish or the Giulia QV that came out that same year, but as an event, a momentous occasion, it was. And I made that criterion very clear. Yet Kiaracists mailed me dolls with pins stuck through them, and I still cannot go to a convivial BBQ without being mocked by my own family.
And then there's the Hyundai i30N. If what we were looking at was Hyundai’s botched attempt at hot hatchery, not worth considering unless you wanted something to kill on a racetrack, we would still have to congratulate them for trying anyway. So if we’ve agreed that in fact, the i30N is a seriously good hot hatch, which we have, why am I still hearing negativity?
I’ve heard the foolish, foolish sneer, “It’s a Hyundai.” Yes, it’s a Hyundai. It’s the Hyundai we’ve been wishing for years that all Hyundais would be. And I have no problem with mobilising the Golf GTI comparison if the aim is to prove who’s still the benchmark. But it’s being used dismissively. We need to realize that 20 years ago the GTI was perfect. And Hyundai was making the Xcel.
It’s sad, and irrational, but nothing compared to the wrong that's happening to the new Supra.
I thought in light of the impassioned cries that have fallen on Toyota’s deaf ears over the last 16 years, that no one could possibly say anything bad about a new one. But from the very beginning there’s been whining on stagnant forums about how it’s based on the BMW Z4 platform, like that was a bad thing, and in this last week I heard someone call it ugly.
Yes, haters gonna hate and all that, but in fact, the overall vibe is not positive. It's that this new Supra will probably prove a disappointment, and certainly won't walk in the glory and legendry of the Supras of yore. “I’m not young anymore and I don’t know why they bothered” is the insinuation.
Well, if you’re one of these people, let me tell you something. You have a rebellious child. She – because it’s inspired by a real-life example – is wicked, and in short, you’ve given up all hope and are resigning yourself to having the family name on an orange shirt, given 10 years.
Then one day, she hangs out the washing for you. You could go and hug her, but instead you throw open the door and scream, “That’s not how you hang shirts, stupid!”
You ungrateful wretch.