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Their has been much discussion on at least two threads about the new Corvette but little to no convo about the the new BMW, er, Toyota Supra. Dealers in my area took delivery of their first allocation yesterday. I would like to make a few observations about my experience. One must first realize, FRS (86) not withstanding, that Toyota hasn't had a niche sports car in inventory since the last Supra here over 20 years ago. One manager left this message on my phone: "Nobody can drive it, it's already sold, just somebody who works here so it might be around. If you're here to see it, amen, if not, we should get two or three more in a couple months". Then when I called yesterday to confirm arrival, he repeated that statement and before I could ask him anything he said sorry I have another call and was disconnected. Really great customer relations there. Later I'm told through a different dealer, it wasn't sold, they are going to auction the car.

This other dealer verified that they had two that just arrived on their showroom floor. Both units unsold. I told the salesman I would just like to take a look and set up a time. Upon arrival at the dealer sure enough two units on the floor, one a Launch Edition and the other a base 3.0 model, both the same pearl color, called Absolute Zero. This is contrary to Toyota's own literature that the premium and base models wouldn't be available until the fall. The only outward appearance differences were that the LE had red mirror housings and red brake calipers and different wheels. All other exterior trim is identical. What seemed rather odd is the discs are not slotted or drilled. Both cars of course included dealer markup added to MSRP. IIRC, $4500. After introducing myself to the saleman and asking several questions, I asked if I could see the interior and other features as both cars were locked. To open the door required the manager be involved so he comes over and is very defensive saying he was wary of having anyone look at an unsold unit. Yes, it sounds crazy but I guess you had to be there. No, I was not dressed like a bum. After being asked to check my pockets for sharp objects, I was allowed to sit in the car and actually it is quite nice, that is if the BMW switchgear doesn't deter you, but the manager said he preferred not to open the engine compartment for fear that it would not be closed in the proper manner having an aluminum hood. No, I'm not making this up. He wouldn't even do it himself. I'm now wondering if maybe he might have brought his sleeping bag with him for the night.

The Supra at least does have rather polarizing but distinctive styling and according to dyno testing by Car & Driver, Toyota has greatly underrated horsepower figures on the car. Another publication tested the quarter mile at 12.0 seconds flat, quicker than the Z4 on which it is based. What's more is that the car was intended from the manufacturer to be easily upgraded. Being a front engine design it's not a Lotus nor a Corvette but it's not trying to be either. Now what could hold back sales might be a totally clueless sales staff judging from my experience but don't let that deter you from checking one out before these early arrivals are all sold in your area. Just be sure to check your pockets first.
 

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Being a front engine design it's not a Lotus nor a Corvette
That is funny to me for some reason.

I can't believe how weird they are with their cars at that dealer. How long before we can expect to test drive one? I'd never buy that without driving it a bit to make sure....
 

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Honda was having the same issues when the Civic Type R was released. Salesmen used to offloading minivans now had something interesting to sell and treated the CTR like a limited edition exotic, with no touching allowed. It's all very silly when you're viewing from afar, but I can imagine how aggravating the situation is when you're a potential buyer.
 

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This is the same situation as the Civic Type R. Many dealers STILL won't allow test drives and are STILL applying markups of several thousand dollars. It's been like 2 years now. Ridiculous. I really considered one but have given up out of annoyance. The Supra is going to be just as bad - at least until the mid-engine corvette shows up.
 

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If it makes them feel important, let them have their day. After all, they have on their hands the most disappointing car of their generation. Some who require the latest thing will want them. Many waited for what they expected to be a game changer. But most of us could not imagine one in the driveway.
 
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I'm going to play devil's advocate here because I was a new-car buyer for a similar car a short few years back: a Lancer Evolution IX.

Lots of buyers, myself included, are kind of wary of purchasing a new example of a vehicle where a test drive by an irresponsible person could spell serious issues down the line. As a result, many buyers would refuse a vehicle that has been on a few test drives. I would have refused a new vehicle with more than 40 miles on it.

In addition, these vehicles attract a lot of attention from tire kickers. With that in mind, I'd argue that there's an additional challenge where the demographic overlap between some of the most abusive joyriders (e.g. younger guys like I was) and actual buyers is pretty high, so it's a little more difficult to separate the two.

Regardless of the fact that it's a ~$60k car (with the fact that the same dealers regularly sell SUVs that cost more), I'm sure they're also kind of wary of the first units they get, where they're incentivized to keep them pristine to justify their markup.

Let's at least be honest: would you purchase a vehicle at full asking price (or at least whatever the cars are typically negotiated to) if you knew that a few teenagers had been hooning them around beforehand?

I just want to impress upon everyone the fact that while some of it is clueless dealers and greed, there's also a cautious-customer element to the process that leads to this behavior.
 
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