You don’t have to dig far to find the BMW roots in the Toyota Supra.
But that’s not a bad thing.
The Japanese coupe is part of a sports car collaboration between Germany and Japan that has brought the droptop Z4 back into the BMW line-up while reviving everything that is good about the hardtop Supra.
This Supra is sharp and responsive, good looking and, considering its potential rivals up to the Porsche Cayman, relatively good value from $84,900.
Toyota has provided the crisp styling that sits it comfortably alongside the latest CH-R and BMW is responsible, according to a German product planner who was in from the start and says Toyota arrived much later, for the chassis and engine and all the other running gear.
That means a turbocharged six-cylinder engine with rear-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic gearbox, 50:50 weight distribution and 18-inch wheels with Michelin tyres and a limited-slip differential.
The creamy six – there is also a turbo four in the Z4 – makes 250 kiloWatts with 500 Newton-metres of torque and the combination gives a 0-100km/h sprint time of just 4.3 seconds.
It’s a pure two-seater with a tiny boot that’s tough to load, just as you expect in a real sports car. Inside, the BMW influence cannot be ignored as it’s in the instruments and infotainment package, even the look and feel of the trim.
But is that a negative? Not for me.
The handling is responsive and sharp, it stops well, and performance is everything you need with a crackling soundtrack if you choose the sportier of the engine settings. The balance in turns is brilliant and there is strong torque from the bottom of the rev range to keep the car flowing along.
The car is far sharper than any of the earlier Supra coupes, which began as six-cylinder Celica and morphed into a car that was ponderous and bloated in the styling and better for cruising than carving through curves.
This 21st century Supra is easily the best of its breed and a car to enjoy, for both cruising and carving.
The low-slung cabin can make it tough to get in and out, but – like the boot – it’s what you expect in a sport car. It’s the same with the pinched-in visibility at the rear, which is only a problem when going thanks to the usual rear-view camera and sensors.
The Supra can be a bit noisy on some surfaces at highway speeds but, once again, that’s what you expect even in a thoroughly modern sports car.
And if you would prefer a bit more open-air enjoyment with your new whip-quick two-seater there is always the Z4 from BMW.
Transmission: 8-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Position: sports car
THE TICK: Yes