It’s Here: 2023 Toyota Supra Gets a Six-Speed Manual
Rejoice, for the Supra finally has a stick shift again.
The "new" Toyota Supra, if we can still call it that after years in production, has had an interesting few years on the market. It perhaps didn't quite get the love that Toyota would have hoped for on launch. However, the Japanese automaker has worked diligently to refine the model, and the latest update may be the most welcome yet. As per the rumors you heard here first, the 2023 Toyota Supra now comes with a manual. Hallelujah!
The fifth-generation Supra, otherwise known as the A90, drew criticism for only shipping with an automatic when it first hit the market in 2019. Detractors also cited the Supra's baked-in similarity to its BMW cousin, the Z4. Other critiques involved the car's noise and harsh ride, which compromised its comfort on the open road, but without the razor-sharp handling or driver connection to justify it.
The manual option should go some way to assuaging those complaints. A six-speed manual will be available across the GR Supra 3.0 and 3.0 Premium models, as well as the limited edition A91-MT. Only 500 examples of the A91-MT will come to the US market, and it's available in two exclusive colors—Matte White and CU Later Gray. It also scores a special Cognac leather interior. Those purchasing the four-cylinder model will still be limited to an auto, however.
The six-speed gearbox features Toyota's iMT setup which helps with throttle-blipping on downshifts and smoothing upshifts, too. Toyota has also seen fit to change the final drive ratio to a livelier 3.46 versus the auto's 3.15, in order to make the manual Supra as spritely as possible.
Implementing the manual gearbox took some doing. According to Toyota, an existing transmission was customized for the Supra application, with sound deadening removed to save weight. A large-diameter clutch was also installed to handle the 382 horsepower from the Supra's 3.0-liter turbo six. Designers also had to find room in the interior for the manual shifter, which has been ergonomically designed to minimize shifting effort for the driver.
Toyota has also made a raft of other changes to liven up the 3.0-liter trims of its current top-tier sports car. The suspension has been retuned for more comfort and better roll characteristics, while the electric power steering has had mechanical and software upgrades, too. New 19" wheels are available as well, along with a new Stratospheric Blue color on the non-special edition models.
As a nod to the lairy drivers out there, Toyota has added the Hairpin+ function. When taking tight corners on an uphill gradient exceeding 5%, the stability control program will allow additional wheelspin for more driving enjoyment. It's part of a broader series of tweaks to the Supra's traction control systems and Track mode, that aims to appeal to those that like to hang the tail out and drift.
For the audiophiles out there, there's also a new 12-speaker JBL Audio system as standard on 3.0 Premium and A91-MT models. Toyota is also offering complimentary 1-year memberships to the National Auto Sport Association, including attendance at a "High-Performance Driving Event with expert instruction." Supra fans that want to learn to drive better at speed may find this to be an enticing offer.
The new manual transmission and various handling tweaks should go some way to improving the Supra's status as a true driver's car. Toyota will be hoping that a few diehard holdouts may reconsider their position on buying a Supra now that it's offering the choice of three pedals.
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