Comet hunt in a bolide

A comet, a journey, and an unknown destination. With the Toyota Supra, the sky is open. In this case, we weren't following the Star of Bethlehem, but "Neowise" which threw a bright "hello" to Earth last summer.
Text Marko Knab
Photo Marko Knab · ramp.pictures

Supra: the Latin local adverb means something like »over«, »above«. Or as Toyota confidently translates it on its website: »to surpass.« Fits their flagship. The classic sports car with a long hood and coupe proportions had made itself scarce for a while. The last model was a big gun at the end of the 1990s. Back then, everything was somehow a bit »Supra« - after all, the comets Hayakutake and Hale-Bopp were lighting up the sky at the time.

The last model was a big gun at the end of the 1990s. Back then, everything was somehow a bit »Supra« - after all, the comets Hayakutake and Hale-Bopp were lighting up the sky at the time.

Coincidence? Maybe. But in any case, an inspiration, because in my hand I hold the key for the Toyota Supra also known as »A 90«. In turn, the comet »C/2020 F3« is supposed to appear in the evening sky. Its call name is »Neowise«. The view goes in the direction of the northwest. There the tail star should appear after sunset. But where is the best place to observe the interstellar object? The Milky Way is certainly not the worst address. So, here we go. In the Supra.

But where is the best place to observe the interstellar object? The Milky Way is certainly not the worst address.

The first realization at the wheel of the sporty Japanese car: Taking over from the Supra Mark IV is no easy task, but the new car takes it in its stride. An unladen weight of just 1,570 kilograms meets 340 turbo horsepower. Good starting conditions for the planned comet hunt. It feels very crisp in the twilight and on the country roads. But the first disillusionment comes quickly: not because of the futuristic design of the car, but because of the Milky Way. It turns out to be a winding pedestrian zone. And »Neowise«? There's no trace of its tail to be found between the street lamps and bright shop windows.

So let's get out of town. Because this is where this sports car and the celestial vagabond belong. The comet still does not show up. Then just further through the blue hour and up on the highway. The very quick realization: in human terms, 250 kilometers per hour is pretty damn fast. That's how fast the Supra can run on demand. In interstellar terms, however, that's nothing. Neowise and its 77.6 kilometers per second are more worth talking about in that context. Good, then we'll just let it lap us or catch up with us if we can't follow.

So let's get out of town. Because this is where this sports car and the celestial vagabond belong.

The interior controls and soundtrack of the Supra have decidedly Bavarian roots. With its operating concept and as a hearty inline six-cylinder, they seem to follow the best traditions from the Munich foothills of the Alps, rear-wheel-drive included. But seriously: The Supra sings its very own song! The new interpretation of the sports car icon has character. Its very own. And that's a good thing, because it's fun.

But back to the road, a winding one on the edge of the Swabian Jura. As we all know, the truth lies on the asphalt. And the fifth member of the sports car series, the A90, is extremely pleasant to drive. The Supra can be maneuvered with good control. Thanks to its 50:50 weight distribution and rear-wheel drive, it cuts through the falling night with its LED headlights. It climbs the curves in a sporty manner, but above all it is always easy to control. Left, right, left. But always higher. The journey is the destination and also the reward. And so is the view. Because finally »Neowise« shows itself above the horizon.

The journey is the destination and also the reward. And so is the view. Because finally »Neowise« shows itself above the horizon.

Not only is the night air refreshing, the Supra also seems pleasantly clear and honest: two driving modes with »Normal« and »Sport«. No more, no less. Well-cut sports seats, pleasant feel, no unnecessary frills - the stabilizing cross strut between the trunk and passenger compartment sends its regards. We also turn a blind eye to the dummy air intakes in the body. But that happens anyway with every joyful grin in the acceleration phase. On the other hand, we open our ears. Kickdown!

Back home via the four-lane. I let the icon coast to a halt, one last juicy »pop« from the sports exhaust. Suddenly, wild waving, whistling, and shouting at the traffic light next to us, shortly before midnight. The window rolls down. Obviously a native-born American and his girlfriend. With a mixture of curiosity and enthusiasm, they ask:

»Is that a Supra?«

Hell yeah, it is.




Toyota GR Supra
Engine: Inline six-cylinder turbocharged
Displacement: 2998 ccm
Power: 250 kW (340 PS)
Torquw: 500 Nm
Acceleration: 0-100 km/h in 4,3 s
Vmax: 250 km/h


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