Toyota Adds Manual Transmission to Six-Cylinder Supra

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

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]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • FreedMike FreedMike on Apr 29, 2022

    The transmission was never a big turn off for me - the styling was. I'll take a Mustang 5.0, thanks.

  • Conundrum Conundrum on May 02, 2022

    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.

  • Lorenzo I don't see any problem with electrifying a city car. That's basically all a 500L is good for, and it was a nice touch using the L instead of the short wheelbase model - it can hold three grocery bags instead of two, or $300 instead of $200, saving an extra trip.
  • Lorenzo Why aren't American firms trying to grab some of that loot, er, tax money? Either way, it's nice of them to create American jobs so people can earn back some of their tax money - after taxes, of course.
  • Lorenzo I think it's time to retire the adjective 'electrifying'. It will only cause confusion now.
  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.