People talked a lot of crap about the Toyota Supra using a BMW engine. “Why didn’t they make their own inline-6,” they said. “That’s not a real Supra,” they added. However, it turns out the BMW 3-liter turbo was the best thing that could happen to the Japanese sports car. And to prove this, we’ve got a drag race featuring a V8 import, the Lexus RC F.
Now, the RC F isn’t Toyota’s best-ever engineering project. The coupe is made from bits of other Lexus models and it’s quite heavy. However, let’s not forget we’re talking about one of the largest V8 engines of any luxury vehicle, at least excluding Detroit’s finest.
The 5.0-liter under the hood of the RC F delivers 467 horsepower and less torque, as a sports car should, 389 lb-ft. It’s sent to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic.
If you judge it by the numbers, the Supra is at a severe disadvantage. Even after the 2021 updates, the 3.0-liter turbo “only” makes 382 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque. Would you comfortably race a V8 with 85 more horsepower?
Check Toyota for doping
Sam CarLegion was, thankfully, brave enough to do that. After witnessing the acceleration of the new Supra on a few occasions, he believed it had what it takes to rival the Lexus. And rightfully so.
The first couple of races shows pretty much the same thing. Just like BMWs, the Supra doesn’t launch that well. But once it’s going, the Toyota seems to have all the advantages. You can tell the gearbox responds better, delivering quicker shifts. But for the most part, it’s the power and gearing at work.
So what’s going on? When Car and Driver dyno-tested the 2021 Supra last year, the revised 3.0-liter turbo made 388 horsepower at the wheels. So it might be making closer to 440 hp at the crank. Who needs a BMW M4 anyway?
We searched for RC F dyno tests and found some owners were getting about 360 hp at the rear wheels. So it’s actually under-delivering. Can you see the disappointment on the face of the Lexus owner? He didn’t want to pay more to go slower. That V8 sounds amazing, though.