2019 Toyota Supra and Michelin Sport: when it sticks

By Marc Bouchard | Thursday 4 July 2019 | BlogOn the road

(Mont-Tremblant) I have nothing of the race driver I imagined myself to be when I was younger. I have tried to push it on the track like Lewis Hamilton, and feel my pulse increase at the same speed as the car, when I embark on a track, I quickly find my limits. Even when the car, and the tires, provide the best.

A portrait that has not changed with my recent test of the all-new Toyota Supra. Nostalgic Japanese sports cars and some babyboomers remember with emotion the old Toyota Supra that has disappeared for almost decades.

When Toyota decided to bring it back, shouts of joy in the community of sports fans. Then a lull when we saw the design: we were far from the original Supra. And to make matters worse, it she was also an adaptation of the BMW Z4, instead of being an all-Japanese inspiration.

I was, I admit, one of those skeptics. It is therefore armed with these many prejudices, and with expectations diminished by the long delay since its first presentation, that I went to the Estérel to take get behind the wheel of the car.

The road

Before going sporty at the wheel, it was necessary to get to the track. The new GR Supra (for Gazoo Racing, a sports division of Toyota) proved much more comfortable than expected. It is true that my entry on board was more difficult than anticipated. My waistline, the lowered roofline and the widened door sill to give rigidity, require a little creativity to get on board and close the door.

But once properly installed, the seat is enveloping, and all fairly comfortable. The ride is nice, the steering precise, and the driving sensations rather fun. We have detected a little noise in the cabin, but it leads the way to engine sound as soon as we put in sport mode.

Multimedia system helping, the music plays at high volume, accompanying our impulses of dynamic driving … or simple hike.

The track

I said it, I have nothing of a race driver. The idea of ​​staying behind Jean-François Dumoulin, one of the Nascar Pinty’s drivers and trying to follow him, seemed a bit far-fetched. But it finally turned out to be more fun finally.

The Supra, with its 335 horsepower from the 6-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine (and its 365 lb-ft of torque transmitted by an automatic gearbox – not manual – 8-speed), struggles with ease on the track.

The accelerations are sharp, precise turns, and amazing braking. There are some suspension jolts in the most supported bends. But just push the machine a little more so that it clings to the track. Result: a speed of more than 205 kilometers per hour (which is not the maximum but the most that I could do on the track), which seemed to me enough to see the merits of the car.

The tires

We can not talk about the Supra without talking about its tires, the 19-inch Michelin Sport. Tires with sufficient profile to add to the pleasure of driving on the road, but which proved surprising on track.

Because the outside temperature was suffocating, the tires performed well from the start. Those who know the Mont-Tremblant circuit are familiar with the terrible blind tur number 1, the demanding S, or turn number 6 taken in full acceleration, three places where tires are largely put to contribution.

In any case, the car put the bends smoothly. And without too much rubber scream either. The rigid sidewalls of the tires allow precise control, and predictable reactions of the car. Even when the sun overheated the track, the tires maintained a perfect grip.

Conclusion

The Toyota Supra now has an aura different from its predecessor. And at $ 64,990 and limited to 300 in the country, it will certainly not be a volume car. But the driving was well worth the wait. I must say, I had to swallow a lot of my prejudices! In fact, to be honest, she almost (almost), made me a good pilot!

About the Author

Marc Bouchard is passionate about cars... and many other things. He started out as a general journalist and has been working on cars for the past twenty years. We see him on TV, hear him on the radio and read about him everywhere. Often called upon as an expert analyst.

Similar articles