The Toyota GR Supra is Finally Getting a Manual Transmission
Two feet, three pedals
Do you often find yourself on a commute wishing your left leg had something to do? Does your right arm ever feel abandoned, lost, or confused? Has your significant other left you for a more attractive and successf- wait, what?
If you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms, then the upcoming Toyota GR Supra may be right for you. That’s right, a source within Toyota’s dealer network has confirmed to The Drive that an upcoming revision of the fast, sleek, and controversial icon will be getting a third pedal and go-fast rowing stick.
The manual-equipped prototype was reportedly shown at a closed-door dealer event in Las Vegas at the end of 2021. With an expected release of mid-to-late 2022, car enthusiasts may not have to wait long to drop a gear and disappear (if they’re double-clutching and not granny-shifting, that is).
Since the launch of the fifth generation Supra under Toyota’s GR (Gazoo Racing) performance subdivision in 2019, the low-slung sports car has been a major point of controversy. The first big hit to die-hard Supra enthusiasts was that this Japanese sports car was, in fact, mostly German.
Built in cooperation with famed maker of the “Ultimate Driving Machine,” Toyota’s partnership with BMW yielded a project in the same vein as the Toyobaru FRS/GT86/86/GR86/BRZ twins (it’s not as complicated as it sounds). Sharing most of the underpinnings with the BMW Z4 roadster, Toyota’s coupe-only variant received a slew of engine, chassis, and tuning enhancements to inject some Japanese influence into an otherwise German car.
Toyota claims the BMW B58 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine met all of their quality and reliability standards; but to enthusiasts’ dismay, the powerful engine would only come mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Although quick to shift and proven on the race track, the ZF-sourced transmission was the second big hit to those who desired a more “pure” driving experience from the GR Supra.
With 2021 seeing an overall increase in year-over-year Supra sales, it looks like enthusiasts are warming up to what the GR Supra has to offer. Whether or not a manual transmission offering will continue to boost sales is yet to be seen; but in a market where manual-equipped cars have become a rarity, it’s certainly nice to have more options. It’s also totally possible that Nissan’s upcoming 2023 Z (which will have a manual transmission option) lit a fire under Toyota to offer a manual option as well. Both look to be compelling sports cars as we usher in a new JDM Golden Era before everything goes electric.