What is it?
Despite several notable virtues, the Toyota GR Supra is not the sharpest-handling or quickest device in the circa-£50,000 sports car clique.
Toyota may yet remedy this itself. Indeed, we very much hope it will. But in the meantime, the new Supra’s Bavarian roots (the hardware is mostly Z4-sourced) have left Germany’s pre-eminent BMW tuner unable to resist tinkering. And the result is an unambiguous improvement, if also an expensive one.
AC Schnitzer’s menacing package for the Supra costs £20,000 if you go for everything. Bodywork, chassis, powertrain: there are plenty of aftermarket avenues to go down.
However, the most salient element of the kit is the ‘piggyback’ ECU that takes BMW’s 3.0-litre B58 straight-six from 335bhp to 395bhp and from 368lb ft to an eyebrow-raising 443lb ft. Straightaway that makes the Supra look a little less benign on paper, which in standard form is sometimes look in relation to 400bhp+ rivals.
But AC Schnitzer also fits bespoke coilover suspension supplied by KW. It’s manually adjustable for both bump and rebound, and drops the ride height by 30mm, so there’s no confusing AC Schnitzer’s take on the Supra with the original product, even at a glance.
The car we drove also wore Schnitzer’s 21in wheels, which, despite their size, save around 3kg per corner compared with the regular 19in items. They also look surprisingly good in the metal, which is something even traditionalists would have to admit, with an increase in negative camber signalling extra intent.
Stick to the engine, suspension and wheels and your outlay will be around £10,000 – by forgoing the sports exhaust system and carbonfibre body addenda, including the new wing and front splitter.
What’s it like?
The most obvious improvement over the regular car is that, while the firmer suspension doesn’t completely cure the problem, the sense that the standard Supra’s initial steering response is too quick for the body’s more relaxed roll movements has mostly disappeared.
Combine this with greater body control across the board and you have a car that’s more immediate and confidence-inspiring, and not just at the limit of adhesion.
The aim hasn’t been to transform the Supra into an edgy, prickly thing designed to induce sweaty palms, and it’s for that reason that you still get the same gentle understeer balance and obvious weight transfer through direction changes.