Car News

Toyota Answers Demands for Manual-Transmission Supra

One of the loudest criticisms when Toyota launched the all-new Supra in 2019 was that it didn't offer a manual transmission. Toyota has just fixed that, offering a stick-shift on six-cylinder models as well as a very limited special edition version of the car.

Putting a stick-shift in the 2023 Toyota Supra forced the brand's engineers to develop a gearbox specifically for this car, full of components designed for the power delivery characteristics of the 382-hp 3.0L turbocharged inline-six motor. Toyota says its team modified an existing transmission case and fitted a new driveshaft and gearset. The team dropped the sound insulation package and instead fitted a bigger clutch to manage the torque.

The six-speed gets "Intelligent Manual Transmission" programming, Toyota's rev-matching software that smooths out shifts. In other Toyotas, you need to activate it, but in the Supra, it's on by default.

Other details Toyota needed to tweak include the final drive ratio (now 3.46 instead of 3.15 in automatic cars), and the centre console. The location of the Supra's interior panels played a major role in how much shifter action was possible.

Traction control tweaks for drivability — Toyota points out it can't make the car start in second when it's slippery like in the automatic — and to give you more leash in uphill hairpins are joined by stability control changes to help prevent "snap-off" oversteer (see Mustangs leaving car shows). There is also a track mode Toyota says will "allow for easy drifting."

So how can you get a six-speed Supra?

One way is the A91-MT Edition. This loaded-up car gets a special Cognac leather interior, Alcantara shifter, red Supra badge, and red strut tower braces on top of the luxury-heavy 3.0 Premium model spec. Offered in matte white or sparkling copper gray, the car will be limited to just 50 copies.

The other way is 3.0 Premium. With the same 382-hp, 367 lb-ft engine, 3.0 Premium MT is less limited in production. It gets navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless charging, 12-speaker JBL audio, 14-power seats, sport exhaust, adaptive suspension, and active rear differential.

Both stick and automatic 3.0 models get retuned shocks this year, the active rear differential, and have a revised power steering system.

If you want the base 2.0L car with its 255-hp four-cylinder, then you're still limited to an automatic transmission. Toyota is clearly aiming the stick-shift at well-heeled enthusiast buyers, a move that's becoming increasingly common across the industry.

As for pricing? You'll need to wait until later this summer. The cars themselves will hit Toyota dealers "later this year," which we take to mean summer or possibly early fall. Either way, if you're interested, you'll probably want to make friends with your local Toyota store sooner rather than later.