- The Supra is getting a manual transmission.
- Enthusiasts, rejoice: Your gearbox of choice is here!
- But the question remains: Will this save Supra sales?
[Update: This story has been updated and republished with new details on the 2023 Toyota Supra's manual transmission. This story was originally published April 15.]
When the new Toyota Supra came out, it was packing a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine and was rear-wheel-drive, better to drive than the BMW Z4 it shares its parts with, and affordable too. But one thing was missing and, no, it wasn't the four-cylinder option that came along with the 2021 refresh. No, it was actually three pedals and a stick. For months we've been hearing murmurs, and it turns out the rumors were true: The 2023 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 (that's the version with the 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six engine) will offer an optional manual transmission.
The new gearbox is an "all-new, tailor-made" manual. That might not sound like much, but the fact that it's all-new is a very good thing. For one, it means that the manual in the GR Supra will not be a carryover from BMW's parts bin. Why is that so important? Because, for a long time now, BMW's manuals have been relatively unsatisfactory to use. The fact that the Supra's manual will be an all-new unit is both fantastic and hardly believable. Toyota also shortened the final drive of the manual compared to the automatic, which should allow for better in-gear acceleration, while an automatic rev-matching should allow those unfamiliar with heel-and-toeing to get the hang of driving a manual transmission without too much hassle.
For 2023, Supras also get new steering and suspension tuning in addition to a new Hairpin+ driving mode. What's this new mode? Well, it's pretty situation-specific, but Toyota says that when driving uphill on twisty roads, the car's electronics will allow more wheelslip. Essentially this mode allows for controlled powerslides. Track mode has also been retuned to allow for more easily controlled drifting while, well, on track. Inside, 2023 Supra 3.0 models get the 12-speaker JBL sound system as standard kit, and there is a new A91-MT limited edition that comes with a snazzy tan interior and a matte white or CU Later Gray exterior. The production run will be capped at 500 units.
What's frankly more shocking than all of this is that Toyota listened to its customers and went and did the work to make a brand-new manual. With the manual-only GR Corolla, manual GR86, and row-your-own GR Supra fleshing out the company's sports car lineup, Toyota might just be back to its heyday. Will this revive Supra sales, a car that Toyota was once offering cashback on? Time will tell.
The 2023 Supra sounds better than ever, and we can't wait to get behind the wheel.