A COMBINATION of great handling and punchy performance mean Toyota’s two-door coupe is a joy to drive.

The Supra carries one of the truly iconic names left in production in the motoring industry – and the fifth generation model’s story is an interesting one.

The current model came about thanks to a partnership with BMW in the latest example of Toyota’s willingness to collaborate with other carmakers to make the economics work.

Toyota pinpointed BMW as a partner for the project in a bid to stay true to the Supra’s heritage, as it was capable of supplying the car’s traditional in-line six-cylinder engine.

Dunfermline Press: A long bonnet and big headlights give the car character A long bonnet and big headlights give the car character

While Toyota has history with the straight-six layout, it doesn’t build them anymore, and doing so would have delayed the project by several years because a new engine design and even a new engine plant would have been required.

So, that’s why the Supra shares a platform, running gear, engine and gearbox with the BMW Z4.

Despite that, it doesn’t lack individuality and personality - and is arguably a better looking car than its German cousin.

Under the bonnet, my test car was powered by a 3.0-litre unit, which sends a meaty 335bhp and 500Nm of torque to the rear wheels, boosted by a twin-scroll turbocharger.

There’s also a 254bhp 2.0-litre option.

The current Supra was launched in 2019, but the range was expanded recently with the addition of the manual gearbox option, tested here.

The slick six-speed manual box allows you to extract the best possible performance from the powerplant, making the drive even more engaging and providing the sense of a real drivers’ car.

Dunfermline Press: It's a good-looking car from all angles It's a good-looking car from all angles

The weight-power ratio is very much in the car’s favour, meaning acceleration feels immediate and very lively.

When cornering, the Supra’s sporty dynamics come to the fore, with the wide, short wheelbase allowing for a mix of agility, balance and grip.

In slippery conditions, the rear-wheel drive set-up provides a hint of enjoyable back end step-out, but nothing too severe.

Under acceleration, there’s a stirring engine note to bring a smile to the face, giving the Supra even more character.

For the price, you want a sports car that can be used every day if necessary, such as during a commute to work.

The Supra achieves an acceptable level of practicality for day-to-day use, with a decent, useable boot, reasonable leg room and a number of handy internal storage spaces.

It isn’t too rough riding over the bigger bumps and – although it wasn’t built with low running costs in mind – it achieves better fuel economy and lower emissions than many key rivals in this bracket.

Dunfermline Press: The interior of the Supra is well designed The interior of the Supra is well designed

In terms of looks, there’s a nod to previous Supra designs, with a long bonnet, large headlights and a tucked-in back end.

When it comes to the interior, the fit-out and build quality is impressive, while the infotainment system – including a 8.8-inch screen – is slick and intuitive.

The driving position is low, while the seats are supportive and comfortable.

It’s a personal choice as to whether or not the BMW partnership affects the Supra’s authenticity – but viewed on its own merits, it’s a superb piece of work!

The Lowdown

Toyota Supra 3.0-litre

ENGINE: 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo petrol

PRICE: £54,485.00

ECONOMY: 32 mpg and 198 g/km

TRANSMISSION: Six-speed manual rear-wheel drive

MAX SPEED: 155mph

0-62MPH: 4.3 seconds