2021 Toyota Supra versus 2020 Nissan 370Z

Z Concept 2001

Supra versus 370Z. No contest?

Nissan has announced a new Z. This is always big news, as sports cars seem to be a dying breed. The Z in its current form has been around since 2001 on the auto show circuit, with a fairly substantial update for 2009. That’s long in the tooth by any measure. There aren’t many details about the new Z, but we do know that the prototype is about 5.6 inches longer than the current vehicle.

Which got me thinking.

Toyota reintroduced the Supra in 2019, with its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 2019. Toyota partnered with BMW to build both the Supra (Toyota) and the Z4 (BMW), given the low volume of sales for these kinds of vehicles. Toyota has had success with this kind of arrangement in the past with the Toyota Scion sub-brand’s FR-S (now branded Toyota 86) and the Subaru BRZ. They’re essentially the same vehicle with trim and some front and rear facia differences.

Is this unfair?

In these waning days of summer into autumn, we’ll be parking our sports cars and starting to think about getting snow tires on our SUVs. The existing 370Z is also in its final days. But let’s think about putting that new Supra against the classic 370Z.

What does essentially an almost 20 year old design (370Z) have to enable it to compete with a new, clean sheet design (Supra) that’s shared with BMW?

We’ll put the 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing Supra Coupe up against the outgoing 2020 Nissan 370Z Sport Touring Coupe.

2021 Supra vs 2020 370Z vehicles

Supra versus 370Z: Common Equipment

2021 Supra vs 2020 370Z Common Equipment

At $40,000, you’d expect a lot of equipment on these vehicles, and you wouldn’t be wrong. Having two fewer doors than most vehicles on the road doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on features to be comfortable while carving corners. Big fat staggered tires, exhaust finishers, leather seats, automatic temperature control, and a full complement of safety features determines the point of entry for these vehicles.

Supra versus 370Z: Feature Difference

2021 Supra vs 2020 370Z Feature Difference

This is where the age of the 370Z starts to show. No lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, LED headlights or forward collision warning. Supra has more torque, slightly wider tires and an 8-speed automatic transmission versus the Z’s 7-speed.

But, do you want to go fast? 370Z has 77(!) more horsepower than Supra. Navigation is standard at this trim level. A killer Bose audio system with dual subwoofers will keep you company. A six cylinder engine that has won Ward’s Auto World’s Ten Best Engines honours year after year versus the 4-cylinder engine in Supra. And when you press the loud pedal, the mechanical limited slip differential (no brake actuated controls on this rear end) will keep putting the power to the ground.

Z has an Automobl Value Advantage of more than $5,000. Most of this is on price, but there’s still about $1,500 in Automobl Value over Supra, and half of that is in horsepower. In a sports car, is there a more important value feature than horsepower?

Supra versus 370Z: Measurements

2021 Supra vs 2020 370Z measurements

Despite being shorter in overall length, Z has a longer wheelbase, so I’d venture that the Z has a better ride around town than Supra. 

So, what got me thinking? When we look at the Measurements, we see that Supra is five inches longer than the current Z. The prototype for the new Z is, yes, 5.6 inches longer than the current Z. Nissan likely took a tape measure to the Supra before building this prototype. Size matters in this class of car. Nissan will upsize Z to meet the challenge of the new Supra.

The Upshot

As summer winds down, you might be thinking of one final blast in a sports car. Prices do tend to be a little softer for these kinds of vehicles at this time of year. They’re best tucked away for the winter, but if you can swing it, you might consider the senior citizen of these two great cars to put in your driveway rather than the new kid on the block.

We can help you decide for yourself with the Automobl Comparison Tool. And if you’re considering purchasing sometime in the three months, sign up for our New Car Buying Course which includes unlimited comparisons on our site.

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