Toyota has done it and produced the new-age Supra with a manual transmission, but what does the transmission feel like to drive?
The Supra name is one of the most iconic sports car names going back decades. So when Toyota revived the Supra a few years ago, there was a lot of hype surrounding the car.
When the new age Supra arrived, there were many things to like about it, but it had a glaring problem, and that snag was the fact that it didn't come with a manual transmission.
Manual transmission only available in 3.0-litre Supra
Well, it seems like Toyota has heeded the many complaints regarding this issue and has built a Supra with a stick shift.
The 2023 Supra which is now available with three pedals, is a godsend for the purist who has been loudest about this matter and to put a sweetener on this new option for the Supra, Toyota is offering it as a no-cost option on the 3.0 and 3.0 Premium models.
The new six-speed transmission is unfortunately only mated to the Supra's 3.0-litre turbocharged 382HP inline-six engine while the 2.0-litre four-banger remains automatic only.
We all know that the Supra is primarily based on BMW's Z4 Roadster and that car only comes in an automatic, so Toyota has had to create their own packaging for the manual setup, which has seen things moved around a little bit in the centre console, including pushing the infotainment control wheel out a bit further to the side. The pedals too are a snug fit, with the clutch pedal being placed close to the footrest.
According to Car and Driver, the "manual-equipped cars get a shorter final-drive ratio—3.46:1 versus the eight-speed auto's 3.15:1—but the manual's individual gear ratios are considerably taller than the automatic's and overall gearing for the manual is on average 18% taller."
Automatic rev-matching is on by default, but it can be deactivated if you configure the Individual mode, which is probably what drivers who like to get into a bit of heel-and-toe action will do.
First impression of the manual Supra?
According to Car and Driver, who's had the opportunity to test it, the clutch pedal has a long and linear travel action, making it easy for drivers to get the car to set off from a standstill. The shifter action also seems excellent as the small-diameter shift ball and narrow gates are reportedly precise. "Gears engage with satisfying resistance, like a greased ball joint popping into the socket."
The six-speed transmission is a ZF sourced unit with a large reinforced clutch assembly. Weight savings versus the automatic is minuscule, coming in at around 10 kilograms.
The only advantage, yet an important one of the manual Supra is, of course, the fun factor, because everything else is better done in the automatic including the 0-100km/h time. The manual Supra is a few tenths slower than the automatic and the 8-speed auto Supra also returns better fuel economy.