Toyota Engineer Says New Supra Can Be Sold in Manual if Market Demands
They say the design component is done, and that whether manuals make it to market is all down to expected profitability.
The assistant chief engineer on the A90 generation Toyota Supra, Masayuki Kai, has admitted that a manual Supra is possible, and that availability will depend on the business case for such a vehicle.
"We have developed it, yes, there is hardware ready," Kai told Car Advice. "Right-hand drive? Yes, of course. It needs to be sold in Japan, which is a right-hand drive market."
The engineering and design of a manual variant is the easy part of laying the groundwork for a manual Supra, however. Procurement, manufacturing, and testing are all far more costly than drafting a blueprint for a car, and whether Toyota produces three-pedal variants at all will be down to whether buyers demonstrate readiness to buy manual Supras.
"This is not yet finally decided, and depending on feedback from the market, we will decide if we should introduce a manual transmission," Kai concluded.
Kai has also emphasized that he would like to bring back Toyota's other abandoned sports car models—the MR2 and Celica—but that like manual Supras, the biggest hurdle is cost, made even more challenging by Toyota's total abandonment of sports cars for several years.
The Supra's BMW Z4 sister model (the pair share a platform co-developed by the two companies) is expected to come only with automatic transmissions. Regardless of transmission type, both are expected to enter production by Magna Steyr in Q4. Supra fans who want manual cars from the factory may want to speak out, as this could be one of the few occasions when an online petition is capable of changing anything.