Toyota says that the new 2020 Supra is the “first global GR model developed by Toyota GAZOO Racing.” First, and pardon the editorializing, but shouldn’t someone have suggested a name other than GAZOO? More importantly, though, the statement suggests that more high-performance Toyotas are on the way. For now, the Supra must suffice. Developed in partnership with BMW, the GAZOO Racing (GR) Supra debuts in 3.0, 3.0 Premium, and Launch Edition trim levels when it goes on sale in the summer of 2019.
Inspired by the Toyota FT-1 Concept, and drawing upon the heritage of the original 2000 GT and fourth-generation Supra “A80,” the new 2020 Supra “A90” certainly is eye-catching. To find beauty, however, you must prioritize function over form. Like most modern Lexus and Toyota models, the new Supra looks best when viewed from the rear. And with this car, that’s the vantage point most others will get as you roar away. In addition to white, black, silver, and gray, the new Supra will be offered in Renaissance Red, Nitro Yellow, Downshift Blue, and Phantom Matte paint colors, the latter a gray hue.
Like the BMW Z4, the new Supra is a 2-seat sports car. Open the doors, and the Bavarian connection is made clear though German-sourced displays, systems, and switchgear. It probably smells like a BMW, too, given that both cars are built by Magna Styr in Graz, Austria. Toyota says it took a unique approach to the centre console design, though, in order to create a more driver-focused, cockpit-style look and feel. Soft kneepads help to ensure comfort when the Supra is driven in the manner for which it is intended. Racing-inspired sport seats feature integrated head restraints and wide shoulder bolsters designed to grip the driver and passenger in corners. Alcantara suede is standard, with heated leather seats available with the Premium trim. Toyota did not define which upholstery it applies to the Supra Launch Edition. Cargo space is generous enough for two people on a weekend trip, according to Toyota. It is also long enough to accommodate a track-day toolkit.
Under the Hood:
A BMW drivetrain powers the new Supra. It’s the same turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that you’ll find in the new BMW Z4, making 335 horsepower and 365 lb.-ft. of torque. The torque is available from low rpm, making the Supra feel especially responsive. Sport-calibrated 8-speed automatic transmission power the rear wheels, and drivers can choose between Normal and Sport drive mode settings. Paddle shifters add to driver engagement. Toyota says the 3,397-pound car will accelerate to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds when you engage the Launch Control feature, and top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. Though the Supra and Z4 share commonalities, Toyota says its sports car has unique driving characteristics. For the Supra, specific structural reinforcements, suspension tuning, and stability control settings give the car its own feel from behind the wheel. Boasting a perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution, the Supra features an adaptive damping suspension, variable ratio and variable assist steering, and high-performance wheel hubs. Forged, thin-spoke-aluminum wheels get staggered width Michelin Pilot Super Sport performance tires sized 255/35R19 in front and 275/35R19 in back. To further enhance the Supra’s handling, Toyota employs a standard active differential using an electric motor and multi-plate clutches to control torque distribution between the rear wheels. The system can put up to 100% of power output to a single wheel, and Toyota says it helps to maintain speed in corners while reducing oversteer and understeer.
Standard safety equipment includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control is available, along with blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and rear collision warning.
The Supra 3.0 is equipped with a standard 6.5-inch infotainment display operated using controls on the center console. It can be upgraded with navigation and a 12-speaker JBL premium sound system. Navigation and JBL sound are standard for the Supra 3.0 Premium, which features an 8.8-inch touchscreen display, wireless Apple CarPlay integration, wireless smartphone charging, and Supra Connect telematics service. This same setup is likely included in the Supra Launch Edition, too. Road sign recognition technology is standard in all Surpass, and a head-up display is optional.
2020 SUBARU OUTBACK PREVIEW
An optimized Subaru Global Platform graces the Outback for 2020, creating a stiffer frame to improve responsiveness, crash safety, and noise reduction. Subaru also used what it calls an “Active x Tough” design that focuses on a bold, rugged look with wide fenders, a raised tailgate, and boot-like accents on the lower sides of the SUV, all of which is meant to make the Outback look as capable as it is. With a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, the SUV is ready to hit the road or trails. Overall, the Outback kept its famous wagon-like body shape that’s catered toward off-roading and adventure. The 2020 version will also return with standard roof rails and its tell-tale hexagonal front grille.
The inside of the 2020 Outback is where you’re likely to notice the most significant changes, the first being its wider windshield that gives a more open feel from the cabin. An 11.6-inch touchscreen found in all models, but the base trim level is also an eye-catching feature that offers a crisp, clear, and conveniently-placed infotainment center. Start driving the Outback and you’ll notice that it’s a bit quieter than its outgoing version – about 3 dB quieter, to be exact – thanks to its newly-optimized platform that reduces noise from the road, thicker sound-reducing glass, and door weather strips. The new Outback has the interior space drivers have come to expect from the ready-for-adventure SUV, too. Subaru widened the rear gate for more effortless loading and unloading and gave the cargo area up to 75.7 cubic feet of space with the rear seatbacks folded down. Most models will include a hands-free liftgate and a one-touch cargo cover for added convenience.
With a lineup of seven trims, the new Outback will have something for everyone, although most standard features are yet to be released. The SUV will include EyeSight Driver Assist Technology in every trim level to offer perks like adaptive cruise control with lane centering, driver fatigue alerts, and lane keeping assist. Drivers can add onto the system on upper trims with additional features like a front-view camera, blind spot monitoring, and reverse automatic braking. A high-tech 11.6-inch touchscreen also comes with all but the base model for drivers to control climate, audio, Bluetooth, and more. The infotainment center will also come with Android and Apple integration. Drivers will also be able to add up to four USB ports and two 12-volt power outlets on upper models. A new Onyx Edition XT trim adds sportiness to the lineup with 18-inch black alloy wheels, upgraded all-wheel drive, a two-tone interior color scheme, and water-repellent seats.
Under the Hood
This is the first year for Subaru to gift turbocharged engines to its Outback. The 2020 Outback gets a mostly-new standard 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine with direct injection for up to 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. For XT models comes a 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine with 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque and slightly better fuel efficiency than the standard engine and up to 3,500 pounds of towing capability. Both engines come mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with an eight-speed manual mode.
Although final EPA fuel economy estimates have yet to be released for the 2020 Outback, Subaru estimates that models with the optional engine should receive 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway. Models with the standard 2.5-liter engine will notice a slight dip in fuel economy with an estimated 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway.
Previous Outback models have used the Subaru Global Platform, although this frame has been optimized for the current model year to not only provide a more responsive, comfortable, and quiet ride, but also to offer a stiffer construction with improved crash protection. Subaru estimates that this improvement alone should earn the 2020 Outback a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) like its outgoing model. Other standard safety features include a suite of eight airbags and EyeSight driver assistance technology. The EyeSight system includes adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, crash avoidance, lane departure warnings, and other helpful features for accident avoidance. A Driver Focus Distraction system will also help drivers avoid fatigue through facial recognition detection and relevant alerts. Blind spot detection, a head-up display, lane change assist, and reverse automatic braking are a few available safety features for the new Outback.
Standard on all Outback models this year is Subaru’s prized EyeSight Driver Assist technology, which includes an impressive facial recognition feature that detects with a driver gets fatigued or distracted on the road. The system will alert the driver and passengers if it spots anything potentially hazardous by using the driver’s facial features. The technology will hold information for up to five drivers of your vehicle to trigger that driver’s memory settings for audio, seat control preferences, and more. Not only is the Nissan Versa known for being the automaker’s most affordable model, it’s also one of the least expensive models available, period. For 2020, the Versa continues to offer a compact package but with a surprising amount of interior space, as well as new safety technology that makes it more competitive with others in the segment. The redesigned 2020 Versa debuted at Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival with a notably new look that seems much more Altima-like than Versa. With its newly standard and available tech and safety features, the 2020 Versa is in even better position to battle its main competitors, the Toyota Yaris and Ford Fiesta. Nissan also has announced that the hatchback-bodied Versa Note has been discontinued, leaving the sedan as the only body style available for the Versa for the 2020 model year.
The 2020 Nissan Versa is lower, longer, and wider than its predecessor, giving it the most generous interior space of any Versa to date, according to the automaker. Nissan notes that the new Versa is “all about proportion and stance,” continuing to offer a compact body but with an all-new look. The exterior of the new Versa has indeed received a significant makeover for the new model year, inheriting several design elements from the stylish Maxima and Altima, both of which received recent redesigns. The result is a look unlike any previous Versa. The grille and headlights are among the new-look items, while Nissan also added some sharp lines and sleek curves to the body, along with a lowered and sloped roofline. The 2020 Versa will be available in a new SR trim level, adding several sporty elements to the body. LED headlights, a body-color rear spoiler, and an exclusive wheel design also come with the SR.
The interior of the new Versa also looks noticeably different, again taking after its larger siblings, the Altima and Maxima. Nissan focused its attention mostly on the instrument panel, giving it a larger area with a “winged” look that the automaker says creates a more upscale feel than previous versions. Inside the cabin are upgraded materials that lend the car a more refined look, Nissan says. Also, what Nissan calls a “horizontal architecture” will make the car feel even roomier.
The 2020 Nissan Versa will be available in three trim levels: S, SV, and SR, each receiving some new features. The base “S” model will come with air conditioning, power locks and windows, a 7-in. touch-screen interface, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, and Bluetooth. The mid-level SV trim adds a touch of luxury with upgraded upholstery, split-folding rear seat, fog lights, and smartphone integration for Apple and Android devices. The new SR trim, previously offered only on the Versa Note hatchback, gives the Versa sedan a sporty look and feel that it’s never had. The range-topping SR offers LED headlights, body-colored rear spoiler, halogen fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, black heated exterior mirrors, exclusive 17-in. wheel design, and a 6-speaker sound system. Available tech features for the 2020 Versa are mostly safety-focused and include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert, but drivers will reportedly be able to add some other features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, customizable gauges, and automatic climate control to trim levels that don’t include them as standard equipment.
Under the Hood
Unline the exterior and interior, the Versa’s powertrain is mostly unchanged for 2020, but it will come with a bit more power. All versions of the 2020 Versa come standard with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, which makes 122 horsepower and 114 lb.-ft. of torque—a slight boost over the previous model’s 109 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque. Drivers of any 2020 Versa can choose between a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Safety was Nissan’s primary focus for the Versa for 2020, the automaker upgrading the car with an impressive array of standard and available driver-assistance technologies typically found on higher-priced vehicles. Beginning with the 2020 model year, every Versa will come standard with automatic rear braking, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, and auto high-beam assist. Optional safety technologies include blind-spot warning; rear cross-traffic alert; front, side, and rear safety monitoring; and intelligent driver alertness. Smart cruise control, which is also available on any trim level, automatically senses other vehicles when using the cruise control system to keep the Versa at a safe following distance.
In addition to the safety-related items discussed previously, the Versa’s new 7-in. full-color display allows drivers to customize the instrument panel gauges to show information related to music playlists, tire pressure, fuel economy, engine RPM, and more. With the tablet-style touch screen, drivers can also connect their Android or Apple device for convenient access to hands-free texting, calling, and listening.Read More »