The 2020 Toyota Supra Makes More Power Than Toyota Claims

  • Results of our recent test of the 2020 Toyota Supra were impressive, but now we’ve determined that the new fifth-gen Supra is even more powerful than advertised.
  • We found something similar in testing the BMW M5 Competition, which got us thinking.
  • We found that the Supra puts down 339 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, which helps to explain its impressive accelerative ability.

Usually when we catch an automaker fibbing, it doesn’t bode well for the company. But for the second time in a month, Car and Driver has discovered that a manufacturer is understating the power delivered by one of its hottest cars.

In our recent test, the 2020 Toyota Supra hurried from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and crushed the quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds at 113 mph. The fact that it outperforms more powerful coupes such as the BMW M2 Competition and nudges into the BMW M4’s territory got us thinking: Might the Supra’s BMW-sourced turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six be underrated in a similar way to the twin-turbo V-8 in the BMW M5 Competition, which just tried to spin the wheels off the dyno?

After lashing down Toyota’s new sports car, we discovered that, even with the power-sapping driveline losses of its transmission and rear axle, the Supra puts down 339 horsepower and 427 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. That’s slightly better than the 335 horses Toyota said the car would produce at the crank and a considerable jump from the 365 lb-ft the company promised. While modern drivetrains have become highly efficient at transferring power, the extra power that the Supra is putting to the ground helps explain its impressive accelerative ability.

For our test, we headed to Livernois Motorsports and Engineering in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. We strapped the Supra to the Dynojet all-wheel-drive dynamometer, as the car’s stability systems only play nice when all four wheels are spinning. For this observation, we ran the test in the eight-speed automatic transmission’s fifth-gear ratio of 1.32:1 to achieve a full sweep of the tachometer. We experimented with the 1.00:1 ratio of sixth gear but were unable to reach the engine’s redline. The power output in sixth gear, however, matched our results of those in the higher gear.

Reviewing the results, we think there’s a chance the peak torque output may be slightly inflated, as the transmission’s torque converter likely isn’t fully locked until higher in the rev range. Nevertheless, this engine produces more thrust than advertised, which further explains the Supra’s rousing acceleration.


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