Between these two, it’s the GM product which has pricked up the greatest number of ears, as its new layout and modern drivetrain mark a dramatic departure from the conventional formula that served it well for so long. The Supra retains its traditional layout, but its balance, agility, and torque make this fence-straddling car lean more towards the side of focused sports car than cushy GT. Both are known to be capable on track, but this astute comparison not only shows us how easily they get up to speed, but how the difference in layout effects their performances.
Minimal Modifications for Trackday Usage
It’s obvious that the Corvette brings a little more to the fight, but the two are evened somewhat by the additional modifications made to the Toyota. The Supra sports 275-section Yokohama A052 tires all around, whereas the Corvette wears a staggered set of 245/305 Goodyear Supercar 3 tires. Both have modified brake pads, and both are aligned for track usage. The Supra has a set of HKS springs and a snug, supportive seat, and that’s it. With neither powertrain touched, Gridlife stars Jackie Ding and Coby Shield can give us a fair assessment of these vehicles’ handling characteristics.
The differences are noticeable from the outset. The Toyota turns in crisply and carries more mid-corner speed than the Corvette, which is slowed with understeer in Second-gear corners. When Ding leads in the second battle, we can see how the Supra’s square setup and the attendant agility help eke out some speed through VIR’s fast esses (5:25).
However, it cannot match the Corvette on corner-exit acceleration. Torque, a stellar gearbox, and great traction make a major difference at the fast and flowing Virginia International Raceway; the Corvette is seven miles per hour faster at the end of the front straight. Ding, with characteristic humility and objectivity, elaborates: “I think Supra most likely had a tire advantage; it turned in that much nicer on entry. But at a high-speed track like VIR, the ‘Vette is crazy fast!”
Considering the Corvette has another hundred horsepower at its disposal, the difference of 1.5 seconds over one lap is reasonable. Some additional tweaks to the Supra might help it come within spitting distance of the punchier Chevrolet, and Ding, being the showman that he is, just happens to have one. Enjoy the battle between these evenly matched muscle cars in the footage below: