Science & Technology

Rumor suggests Toyota GR Supra will finally get a manual transmission

In years past, if you wanted the best fuel economy and performance, you purchased a vehicle with a manual transmission. However, things have changed significantly with modern automobiles over the last several years. Today, an automatic transmission is typically more fuel-efficient than a manual, and in many performance cars today the automatic version is also the quickest.

Although the average automatic transmission frequently is more fuel-efficient and offers more performance than the manual transmission, enthusiasts still seek out manual transmission cars. One of the vehicles that has been offered with a manual transmission that enthusiasts have been begging for is the Toyota GR Supra. However, that may be changing with a new report finding evidence that a manual transmission version of the Supra is on its way.

According to the report, the Supra fitted with the manual transmission will land in June 2022. Word of the manual version comes out of Japan, claiming that a six-speed manual will land sometime between March and May 2022. One caveat to this report is there is no indication that it will come to countries outside of Japan. Toyota has certainly offered special edition versions of cars in its home country that never made it outside of Japan in the past.

It would certainly be heart-crushing for Supra fans who have been begging for manual transmission since the car debuted to be unable to get it in North America and other countries. What’s even more exciting about the report is that it claims the six-speed manual won’t be paired with the base 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder version of the car. Rather, the manual will be attached to the 3.0-liter turbo inline-six flavor.

That would pair the new six-speed manual with the most powerful engine available in the Supra. For now, it’s unclear if the manual will be an across-the-board option in all trim levels of the Supra or if it will only be offered in some limited-edition special trim. Another interesting tidbit from the report is that when first approved, the manual transmission was only going to be offered on the four-cylinder version of the car.

The reason for that initial approval was only for the four-cylinder version is that version of the Supra is based on the BMW Z4 with the four-cylinder, which is already available with a manual transmission. During development, Toyota decided to ditch plans to integrate the manual with the four-cylinder version only and moved its development work to the top end in-line 6 version.

Interestingly, Toyota’s GR Supra assistant chief engineer Masayuki Kai had previously stated that Toyota would offer a manual version of the car if there was demand. When he made that comment, Kai said that the components needed to make the vehicle with the manual were developed and available. Why Toyota waited this long is a mystery. Perhaps Toyota didn’t feel it could justify the additional model previously.

Another interesting tidbit in the Supra saga is that there has been word of any much higher performance GRMN version of the car. This version will get enthusiasts excited as it is to use the 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six directly out of BMW’s M3. While that’s exciting, as pricey as the Supra models currently available are, that special edition version would probably be priced similar to the BMW M3, putting it out of the hands of the enthusiast masses that want it the most.

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