Listen up, manual fans: It's time for all of y'all who said you'd buy a new Toyota GR Supra when it came with a manual transmission to put your money where your mouth is. The three-pedal GR Supra is finally here, and it's a no-cost option over the automatic! The problem here? Toyota only expects about 25% of you to opt for the manual.
Oof. The whole point of adding a manual transmission was to give consumers exactly what they asked, begged, pleaded, and cried for. The manual option was added to the lineup in response to consumer demand, after all.
"Toyota strives to provide customers with options to best suit their needs," Toyota spokesperson Paul Hogard said in an email to The Drive. "The price parity between manual and automatic versions of Supra is a great way to give customers the choice of how they want to experience this incredible vehicle."
That's great. It often feels like automakers dissuade buyers from ordering manual transmissions when there's an extra fee to spec it, or they're buried in base-spec penalty boxes. Granted, the manual transmission isn't available on the four-cylinder base Supra, but aside from that, there's nothing else stopping you now, manual fans! Well, except yourselves. Even Toyota apparently knows y'all bark more than you bite.
"We’re expecting that roughly a quarter of Supra sales will be equipped with the manual transmission option," Hogard added.
That's right: Toyota only expects roughly one out of every four GR Supras to be purchased with a manual transmission. This is why we can't have nice things, folks. These expectations are grounded in more research than any paper you turned in for school, which means that roughly only one in four GR Supras sent to dealerships will likely end up with three pedals unless consumer demand forces Toyota to start making more. Worse yet, the manual transmission take rate tends to trend downward as time goes on with most cars, so if there are only 25% of you among Supra buyers in year one, ouch.
That's a shame on our end, as consumers. I've admittedly only had a brief drive of the current GR Supra on track and it was more fun than I expected it to be, with the lone thing I really, really missed from the whole experience being a manual transmission.
While the idea that only one in four GR Supra buyers would spring for the manual surprised even The Drive's staff—one of whom optimistically guessed that 80% of GR Supra buyers would spring for three pedals now that it's offered—Toyota isn't pulling this expectation out of anywhere. Hogard told The Drive that the GR86 only has a manual transmission take rate of about 35%, and that's one of the best manual sports cars you can buy right now.
If those stats hurt to read, there's only one way to fix it: go buy new cars with manual transmissions. The only way companies can justify offering manuals in the first place is if people buy them.
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