High Five: Nearly Half of All 2023 Toyota GR Supras Sold Are Manuals
That’s about double what Toyota expected it could sell.
Stick shifts are something enthusiasts took for granted for a long time, but now that they seem like an endangered species, take rates are going up. Toyota is the latest to report an impressive number of manual builds for one of its sports cars, the 2023 GR Supra. In a statement to Road & Track, the automaker confirmed that 47% of 2023 GR Supras have been optioned with a clutch pedal. This is especially surprising considering the new Supra was not initially offered with a stick and the company expected only one in four Supra buyers to go for it.
Toyota has sold about 2,500 Supras since the manual transmission, a heavily tuned unit from BMW, became available. 1,216 GR Supras have been specced with the option. Other sports cars and sports sedans are likewise experiencing high manual take rates. Cadillac's Blackwing models are seeing manual builds above official estimates, which were in the range of 30%. Reservations for the new Acura Integra were also majority manual. None of this is mentioning Porsche, either, which reported a 70% manual share for its last-gen 911 GT3 in the United States.
Whether the tide is truly turning is hard to say, but indications of a robust enthusiast market are beginning to take shape. Electrification and the immense popularity of larger, higher-riding cars seem to be translating into many enthusiasts snapping up new vehicles with stick shifts while they can. People who may not have bought a car with a clutch pedal before are realizing they have to put their money where their mouth is, as time could be running out.
Toyota's impressive figures are just the latest story in this saga, which is set to continue as more automakers offer sticks as a dedicated fun configuration, rather than just the cheap option. Crossovers are poised to continue dominating the market and EVs will grow their slice of the pie, but buyers and a precious few brands don't seem prepared to let the manual transmission die for good just yet.
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