By on April 28, 2022

Any of you lot who’ve been claiming to be holding off buying a Supra simply because it doesn’t have a third pedal will need to break out your checkbooks. This morning, Toyota announced what was teased earlier this month: the Supra is getting a bonafide manual transmission.

Well, there’s still one out: It’ll be limited to models powered by the 3.0-liter engine.

And that’s not a bad thing. The inline-six in the GR Supra is good for 382 horsepower, all of which is funneled through the rear wheels. Branded as an ‘iMT’ gearbox, this six-speed will have electronic helpers like rev-matching downshifts, plus the ability to optimize engine torque at the moment of clutch engagement and release. In other words, it’ll be smooth in the hands of people who are not as proficient with a manual transmission as the most dyed-in-the-wool enthusiast. Luddites will presumably turn the works of it off.

Toyota insists they did not simply haul a stock transmission out of their parts bin and hammer it into a Supra. According to the engineering team, they had to modify an existing transmission housing, fiddle with the driveshaft, and make alterations to the gear set. Various and sundry sound deadening was given the heave-ho in a bid to shave ounces. A newly-engineered clutch plate with a larger friction area and stronger spring are in the ‘box, this tuned for duty in this high-performance application. The final drive ratio was also changed: 3.46 for the stick versus 3.15 in the automatic. This will keep the thing feeling sprightly off the line.

In addition to the dandy new row-yer-own, a new driving function called “Hairpin+” was designed to permit more grins when taking tight bends on an uphill gradient. Toyota claims the feature can optimize engine torque control from side-to-side on the rear axle to allow a greater difference in the degree of wheel spin. This should make the GR Supra even more entertaining on the roads above L.A. and on our nation’s road-course circuits. In addition, the Track mode has been tuned to allow for easy drifting with freedom of throttle control, which is always good for a laugh or at least a particularly viral YouTube video.

The manual is set to be made available on the 3.0, 3.0 Premium, and a new limited A91-MT Edition model, the latter of which will only have 500 copies sent to America. A stickshift Supra means Toyota now offers all three of its U.S. GR models (the Soup plus the GR86 and upcoming GR Corolla) with a manual transmission. While it’s true the best automatics can do a better job of shifting than most humans, there is a vehicle connection and fun factor that cannot be ignored while wielding a stick.

[Images: Toyota]

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15 Comments on “Toyota Adds Manual Transmission to Six-Cylinder Supra...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    I’m on record for being a fan of the BMW engine, but the decision to make a brand-specific transmission for the low-volume Supra makes the decision to not use their own V6T or V8 in it more puzzling.

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      It makes sense to me only if BMW had no interest in fielding a manual in the Z4, thus leaving Toyota to do the legwork to add a manual that their fervent fan base was pining for.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    Even if I had the $$$ and the skill to be able to make the most out of one of these stick Supras, the damned insipid Tundra ad that busts the blockers with EVERY REFRESH of a page on this site would keep me out of a Toyota dealership!

    • 0 avatar
      CKNSLS Sierra SLT

      sgeffe-
      So basically you can’t afford one-and you get this website for free-but don’t like the ads that support the website.

      Think about that for a moment…………

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        What is there to think about? Annoying ads are annoying. Neither do they “support” anything, if all they do is annoy people enough to go out of their way to NOT buy; not only the advertised product, but anything at all; from the advertised brand.

        There exists no possible justification for being annoying. “It’s your duty to take one for the salesman” is just silly.

        If it makes the original complainer feel better about Toyota: They’re not the ones doing it. They’re being suckered by the same people who try to sucker you. Just like you, they should block the annoying clowns. In Toyota’s case, from accessing their advertising budgets.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    This ‘Hairpin+’ differential: Is it just applying the inside rear brake like all other brake-glazing systems that allow people to buy talent?

    • 0 avatar
      CoastieLenn

      The R35 GTR set this fire alight. I blame that. At least in offroad vehicles (not sure if any other one has it than the Bronco) the system is inactive above basically a crawl.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’ll confess that this package inspires a pretty silly amount of want in me. I’m just enough of a Japanese-brand fanboy to feel differently about it than I might about a stick Z4. And I think it’s far better-looking and likely to be a nicer place to exist than a Z.

    But two seats without a vestigial rear means no sale, at least for the next few years.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      The Supra is cool but I think it’s definitely a vehicle where the best move is to wait until incentives or depreciation comes back. Granted, the manual version may hold its used value to a degree.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “wait until incentives or depreciation comes back”

        What are those?

      • 0 avatar
        SPPPP

        Bravo, Toyota. The addition of the manual to the 6-cylinder makes this a much better package than what was previously available. BMW really makes beastly engines. I find it sad that the styling and other quirks (wind buffeting, etc.) undercut the vehicle’s appeal. I don’t think a mid-cycle refresh can fix it. The question is, can it survive past the first generation so the problems can be fixed? I hope Toyota doesn’t pull a ’88 Fiero on this vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      blppt

      Personally, I wouldn’t drop $50K+ on a sports car that you can’t drive with the windows down. Other than that, this one would definitely be on my short list with the 6 speed. I hear there’s some aftermarket fixes, but being forced to do that bothers me.

      How on earth that little flaw got past the engineers is beyond me.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The transmission was never a big turn off for me – the styling was.

    I’ll take a Mustang 5.0, thanks.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    The Toyota press release on the manual is interesting to read, once you discount the usual-for-these-days hyberbole that PR flacks insert.

    BMW has a 6 speed manual for US bound M3’s. Not available in Germany/Europe. So living with 500 hp, goodness knows how robust it is. Probably not very. What Toyota has done is put in a bigger diameter clutch with greater friction area, a stronger diaphragm springs, and generally beefed the box up to Toyota durability standards. The electronic gee-gaws they added for rev-matching etc are just the froth on the beer. Who cares but the Japanese home market gadget freaks?

    The Supra project no doubt gave BMW a lesson in how to design and make a real quality product, not just Flash Harry “superior German engineering”. They no doubt learned how a real automotive electrical system is designed and made as well. Toyota wasn’t having backyard crap featured in one of its badged products. Germans and electrics are about as good as the Brits of yore were — substandard. Now that Toyota has shown BMW how to beef up their 6 speed, which is probably a ZF or Getrag anyway, what’s the bets that the M3 will get this new box?

    One thing’s for sure, BMW won’t be telling us if they do. They’d lose face admitting it, that Toyota paid for its design. Speaking of faces, new BMW grilles and fascias are god-awful to look at, and the PR they offer that it makes them noticeable is the sappiest excuse for crap I’ve ever heard. Love us or hate us, we don’t care say BMW, but you’ll know who we are! Really? Being eaten alive by Tesla is what they actually are, but hope springs eternal in the PR world forced to flog grotesque rubbish from crackpot designers.

    And that goes double for the Supra’s styling. If I were King Kong, it would give me the greatest pleasure to kick all Supras into the nearest waterway, and issue a warning: “Try again with your brains fully in gear, or expect my terminal displeasure. Oh, and while you’re at it, remove those annoying rip-off self-loading video ads from TTAC.”

    Harumph.

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