SPD Writes Car Of The Week: Week 70 - Toyota Supra RZ (A80)
We know what it is. There isn't a car nut that couldn't answer the question unironically.
You had to say I'd be lying if I said the Supra didn't headline the sports car era of the 90s. But it only started off as Toyota's performance marque when they put a six cylinder engine in a Celica as the 80s came.
And before we go into the A40 to A70, I don't think they need to be covered, so we jump ahead 24 years, to the birth of what might be the first Supra that isn't shaped like a wedge. While back as the A70 it already split from its Celica roots, this one: the A80, is the Supra everyone and their grandkids talk about. From the outside you can see this iconic design that, while not obvious to the naked eye, actually is a throwback to the 2000GT. But I didn't catch any hint of any Jaguar E-Type in this sports icon.
First main fact for the car is that we all know that Toyotas are reliable.. a fact me and my dad can definitely back thanks to us owning a Toyota that still runs after 20 years. Though, the main selling point to the Supra was its engine: the still legendary 2JZ, a 3 liter inline six with a base 220 horsepower. The RZ carries the 2JZ-GTE: a variant that, when ignoring the 276 hp agreement, brought it to 320 horses and 315 foot pounds of torque thanks to a supporting dual turbocharger. It was the kind of engine any tuner would want their greasy hands on, due to its potential power of reaching upwards of a thousand horsepower. How that's done is definitely factoids and engineering tidbits I've yet to get my own greasy hands on.
Only priced at the $40,000 region, the Supra became a performance icon on the cheap, slaying sports cars in its predictive competitive range, and even select supercars. It had every statistic on a high bar. It can accelerate with its turbo working on all revs amazingly with a manual six speed. Exceptional handling with custom strut springs and ventilated disc brakes. Iconic styling from various design cues one can see mostly came from the rear rounded spoiler. And don't get me started on top speed, where the car's limited to 155 MPH. Take that off, and it's predicted the Supra can reach 180. And all that for 40k. No wonder they are sold out so fast.
And if you're not into cars, you're bound to know the Supra's presence that skyrocketed with the release of the original street racing flick: the Fast And The Furious. The orange Supra that highlighted that movie and comes in with its own DLC in Horizon 2 can be considered now part of the legends in movie cars from the beginning of when that dawned, to today. If we look at games, well, if Toyota's in it and an A80 Supra is missing, there are pitchforks and flames that I'm quite sure isn't missing.
This older Supra sits in the central areas of B class with a PI of 646, and lemme tell you, in its class of Retro Sports Cars, it is packed with some competition. From the R33 Skyline to the base FD RX-7, the Supra also has some COTW nominated machines to deal with in the Fairlady Z33 and the Porsche 944. Well, due to it somehow getting supply from some dimensional conundrum, one can get their own A80 Supra to mess with for just 38,000 credits. There's no way I can see anyone in real life today willing to part with it at that price.
To take out an old school domestic hero like the A80 Supra proper, we are pointed to prominent Irish Forza critic Shinyodd's Resort Street Circuit. It comes with a code of 123 704 907
, again for my use.
Guess what this reminds me of? Dragon Trail - Seaside, particularly the view after the high speed hairpin going downhill.. the turns preceding the Chicane of Doom. There's two things to consider in this. One: do I still understand the track even after a long time not running it? And two: when does the MINI Countryman get a go around it?
Hoping that Arabic Nokia ringtone doesn't come in to invade the peace, the prop built track consists mainly of a wide running track, but odd carries more than your usual amount of super tight chicanes. And these are turns that makes the Nouvelle Chicane seem easy to handle. It also has a tunnel exit chicane which is particularly nasty..
Overall, the twenty laps provided can sound daunting, but maybe I can turn that thinking around and say it's the amount of laps that can help you give an idea on the flow of the track. If there is. Being honest, I don't know if it's designed poorly, or my perception towards it is.
The thing is about the A80 Supra is, while it sounds like it's every trait leads to the conclusion on how it's to be dominating, I can't help but get 2 more of the car since the only one I had was tuned up quite far into S1. With the spare model reserved for something you can scroll down to see, the stock one's time to shine is now, and it's the most important one to do so.
- I'm going to say that I'm very familiar with the insides of the A80 Supra
, because I used to daily drive a Toyota Land Cruiser of that era, so there are many parts that I see here that's also on that car. Things include the steering wheel's overall design, the speedo and tachometers, the window switches, the glove box.. umm, am I losing you? Hello?
- Another car with a lot of rear grip during launch? Sounds like the only way to launch it is to not be afraid and put it all down. That's where all my launch tactics are for this car. While I shift by the middle at the 7500 RPM region, you're welcome to go higher since the power can come from there too. Just watch out for it redlining just around 7900 RPM.
- So in comes another week where the brakes are yet again not a weakness. It's actually super good. I mean, not just for any domestic sports car. It's one of the best braking feelings I've ever felt in this game. Not horribly biased to the rear, locking up isn't punishing, and the nature of it merges well with it's overall excellent turning ability, which surprise surprise: is the next point.
- Like, it's blessed with the power of smooth turns, despite its bulky posterior. I am not afraid to turn this car all the way, and I will do it every time it needs to do so. The turning angle is deceptively small, and the speed loss is nearly non existent. Not to mention if you need to put the speed down a tiny bit and brake some more while turning, it's okay! In most RWD machines, that's a no-no, and in the Supra, it's a oh hell yes!
- You're not going to go past the high end of 4th on this track. So that does mean the gearing is a bit tall. For B class, yes, it is. But it does also mean you're going to be fine keeping the stock gearbox for the top of A class if, say, the game does adhere to the speed limiter being gone. I still go with the sports gearbox so I can change when I need that speed or not, but here's something to consider.
- Thanks to the dual turbos, the car's overall responsiveness is very good. Maybe this is lessened on a higher class, but for B it feels quick. Not, say, Auto Union quick, but you get a car that's a million times much nicer to be behind the wheel of. You can also note how well it reacts to bumps and unsettled surfaces in general, and this track is super bumpy.
- And maybe I can attribute the choice of putting a dual turbo to the overall traction. Outside going from a stop to your foot down, you're welcome to push the car's accelerator down hard if you're going to get it going from at least the 3000 RPM area. The Supra is even okay with you suddenly accelerating all the way in the middle of the corner: a controller racing habit that's a complete no no in any other case. Traction is one thing I expected this to be the weak factor of the car when that's the case with the J29, but it's not, and man is there more ink in my pen, and more pages on this notepad for me to list how many more amazing traits this car has for me?
- Does you like to do one of the following: engine brake, J turn, trail brake? Then congratulations, you won nothing but received the confirm that in the A80, you are completely able to doing the things.
- If I have to say one thing bad about the car... umm, it's not a race car. It doesn't handle like it's on rails. You have to consider it as you can find it going a bit to the side with that body roll.
- So, while the track has some traits of Emerald Circuit (coincidence I think not), one can see the initial turn and chicane of that track is now blocked off with a barrier. Not Barry R, mind you, he's instead part of the custom made route the circuit. Either way, that barrier's sole purpose is to reduce cutting of the insides. This is something I see a lot in competitive racetracks in GTA 5, so it's not a complete Week 34 moment for me.
- Though it might seem like a toy track, there are some turns that'll really grind your gears. I mean, catch you napping if you don't have the track's general idea living rent free in your head. There's a nasty right hander that's akin to Fuji Speedway's 2nd last turn. There's a tunnel that exits to an instant quadruple chicane hullabaloo wham bam thank you man. But aside the chicanes, you can take the car's power, and push it somewhere else. Considering all the traits the car has, you can say it's an idea crazy enough to get you killed or something.
- If one's having some trouble with the chicanes, it really comes down to when you brake. Brake too early, and you're going to hit the inside barrier. Brake too late, and you will shoot ahead, losing time. Any worse than that, and your lap times die. Test out when to brake is maybe the best first approach to the circuit.
- It might be an EventLab week, but we're given such an excellent, beginner friendly, and highly potent RWD car for anyone to get themselves into. If you're a complete noob with no dexterity, don't worry: just stay out of 1st gear after the race begins, and you'll cruise home fine. You're already seeing what's coming with words and praise like these to conclude this analysis, right?
So, when I first tried out the track with the MINI, I couldn't get behind this custom road at all. It felt messy and there's no flow for me to make and follow. This is a very unusual track, and I even pondered if I want to even do these 20 laps at all.
Would you believe these negative thoughts pretty much magically disappear as I enter the venue again in the A80 Supra? I entered the venue with a meme! I did those 20 laps! I had a freaking good time! And most of all: it was one of the best driving pleasures Horizon has ever offered to me. As I kept on chugging, the road became more natural for me to take, and the Rewinds kept coming down and down. Overall, this combo was wack, but to me, it earns my Mark of Zen
, with this being number #17. Just like the J29, the A80 too takes an award for having me lose my senses and really want to take to the track again and again in earnest.
Before saying goodbye to Resort Street Circuit, I left behind a best of 1:31.275
with the A80 Supra.
While I'm not sure how to measure what is good or bad around here, this is the lap I achieved on the final lap. That's probably when I figured out how to get around properly. For sure, I can see the car genuinely surprised me. A machine capable of holding 3 times its power means I gotta see if there's more under its hood. Let's head to a familiar place..
It's not the same car, but it's a glare in the eyes that you're going to keep staring at.
It's proven to be one of the best, but I feel this Supra's gotta get through a Test.
A test has this week's nominee built up to the top of A road without any specific trait in mind, take it to the Horizon Mexico Circuit, and give a quick analysis from myself. Now, the most notable rule I place here would be no conversions. So there won't be a racing V8, AWD supercharged monster with an ugly rear wing and splitter to take the throne. I like to keep my cars on the normal side. However, aspirations are accepted, particularly when a car's quite far to the targeted 800 PI from where it began.
With a whopping 154 PI to fill in, I only have one thought to upgrading the car: have it do what it does best, but better. So I made sure to up a level on every part. The result I expect is a car that can handle good while retain its great acceleration and carry enough traction to keep that performance in check. The final result is our 90s Japanese sports machine carrying 554 horses with a 2793 pounds load. While it's a bit harder to handle, I wouldn't say it's impossible to achieve with it.
It has everything, but giving it more power is adding more fuel to the fire. But is this a wild fire, or is it one that man has mastered to using?
Living as a headlines of timeless RWD sports cars, the A80 comes in with a best of 1:06.702
While a higher power count means you have to start controlling your throttle better, the car on the whole isn't complicated or unpredictable. If you find yourself bringing the rear loose, I made the tune so that it's mostly caused by driver error. There's a lot of good I can say about the build, but maybe I can take more steps to add on the competitive edge of the car.
But we're not done yet. We got another Supra to test out. It's the Welcome Pack variant.
TOYOTA SUPRA RZ "WELCOME PACK"
No, this isn't round 2 for the car. It might look the same, but oddly here be a different car.
For this version of the A80, I decide to take it stock rather than tuned to the bum. Well, it's because the car already came in ready tuned. I like to see how well it is produced for people who want an initial edge for when the game first came out, as well as when one has a drought of cars on the first few hours. I managed to get an F40 on my first 2 hours, so I'm not sure what can't you achieve with a bit of in game effort.
Being the Forza Edition kind of car for the top of Retro Sports Cars, I wonder if this fully kitted out monster has the moves of a more modern package..
We unpack the car to find its potential peak at a 1:07.350.
One notable thing about the Welcome Pack version is that the car is much easier to drive. Like, considerably much easier, with things like all race parts or something. But I can note on how it suffers considerably in the straights. That sounds like it's got better tires on. However, it also suffers from mid corner understeer, which is nasty. Perfect if your skills are in development. Always assume that when you find yourself lacking.
Let's not waste any time and move on to this week's Reschedule. Being honest, it's pretty predictable. Or rather, they are pretty predictable. I've actually savored the moment for them to get on the Reschedule list, and this week's nominee pretty much have their names shot up to the fast lane.
RESCHEDULE 1: WEEK 33 - TOYOTA GR SUPRA (J29)
If you didn't see this coming, I don't know what else to say.
Succeeding this week's nominee is are 2 modern sports machines that suffered in terms of how every car enthusiast has played on the joke. They did very well on the Showcase, particularly the Z4, but how has it translated to a much more technical circuit?
The GR Supra might not be the perfect successor, but it is in many ways an excellent one. Bringing the Supra name to a current era means it has big big shoes to fill, and so far, it's wearing them remarkably. In Mini Mexico, it's earned a Mark of Zen too, but the only issue I can find in the J29 was its traction being a bit lacking. Wait, this is something the A80 also has in a much lesser form.. An investigation is pending, and I have my magnifying glass at the ready!
It's obvious that the son's got some of the father's genes. But how much of it is the dominant ones, and how much of it is the recessive ones?
With a bit of Gazoo flair, the GR Supra finishes the track with a best of 1:06.740.
The GR Supra comes in with something I didn't expect: it inherits a lot from its predecessor. Great handling, issues in traction, and in many ways satisfying to go around with. However, a lot of the drive is adopted more from the Welcome Pack car that's easy to drive. Only difference is that this car has a more rear heavy setup that makes cornering feel much more effective. It's a fun car to drive as well. Will the A70 Supra round this up nicely eventually? Because I know that car's a straight up quack.
RESCHEDULE 2: WEEK 33 - BMW Z4 (G29)
Yes it's the fourth Supra, and it's not the one branded as a Toyota.
The only non-Toyota in the Test lineup this week is this: the GR Supra again. Or rather the kind of memes that bring that name to terrible joke levels. The Z4 is BMW's return to the Z brand as a soft top, and it shares a lot with the GR Supra. But as we've covered on Week 33, there really are difference between the cars. In fact, I didn't like the Z4 as a first impression, but it managed to take out the top car in their week's Showcase, which actually saved it from my nomination of it being a Beater. This emerald shined tuned Z4 can go, but here's a different environment to give it a run for it's Euros.
This isn't the weird competitive back and forth between the A110 and the Starion, but yes: it is tempting.
While a Supra in another name, the Z4 brings its own best that looks like a 1:06.820.
A bit behind the Supras, but it's still competitive to their times. If there's something the Z4 has over those two (and the Welcome Pack too actually), that would come in with its traction. You cannot be afraid to take the corners if you have a small ounce of discipline in your gas pedal. How it lags behind is mainly due to the gearbox: I didn't get a fully adjustable one and thus has a very poor top end. It's definitely the most user friendly car with the best handling.. a far cry to its stock variant.
Hey, we got to the end of another Test, and just about every car in it's a joy to drive. Let's keep this vibe up going to the conclusion.
What is the Toyota Supra RZ? It is..
The be-Supra and end-Supra.
This is the exact same feeling I had a year ago, when I got in the Corrado for the first time. Just joy all around even though I was infected with COVID. To me, I might have probably found that feeling again in the A80, sans the COVID of course, that can just eff right off. It's not FWD, and we didn't do it on a dirt trail, but if this and the Corrado can say something: it's that there are hidden lustrous gems all over this game. I would not mind finding these treasures again, especially if it's right there standing in your face, not realizing the value until you get close enough..
Even I am unsure if it is, but to me, it's a Sleeper
, and for this second year of COTW, it's my first one I want to put in the list of top Sleeper cars.
I never really had a connection with the Supra car line at all, but at least after today I can really respect it.. in a Forza Horizon sense. Maybe an opportunity can arise for another way to appreciate the car. But for now, just like the general rule of thumb of one Thanos, the A70's inevitable.