The Toyota Supra is a good car. More than that, it's a good car made better in 2023 with the addition of a six-speed manual transmission. Most reviews said as much, but it just wasn't enough to translate into solid sales. As Toyota detailed in its year-end United States sales report Wednesday morning, the buying public purchased just 2,652 Supras over the past 12 months, which is a gutting 46% drop from 2022.
Now, it's not like anyone expected the row-your-own gearbox to singlehandedly skyrocket sales. Toyota itself anticipated that just one in four customers would spring for the manual model. But I'm not sure anyone would have guessed a drop this drastic year-over-year. The joke that the Supra is a rebadged BMW is played out, and I'm not so sure that would really deter serious buyers from considering it.
We could spend all day speculating about why Supra sales are down, but that doesn't do any good. Instead, we can look to the rest of Toyota's 2023 sales chart for context. The GR86 was also down, albeit more slightly with just a 7.7% drop at 11,078 units sold; excusing the new-for-'23 GR Corolla that's pretty much it for the automaker's enthusiast offerings that aren't pickup trucks or SUVs. Models like the 4Runner stayed steady in 2023, as that nameplate managed 119,238 sales, a slight 1.5% drop in volume from 2022. Knowing what we do about American car buying trends, this further supports the fact that fewer people want two-door sports cars—at least, fewer people who are willing to buy new.
Car companies are just starting to publish their 2023 year-end sales reports, so it's hard to say how the Supra compares to its rivals just yet. We do know that Nissan sold 1,309 new Z sports cars through the third quarter, so it isn't necessarily tracking for greatness either. The BMW Z4, which shares a platform with the Supra and is also due for a manual to call its own soon, had 1,453 sales at the end of Q3.
No matter your feelings about the A90 Supra, its existence at least bolsters the dwindling two-door sports coupe category. It provides worthy competition from Japanese and European manufacturers, and if we want to have more than one or two options going forward, it's in everybody's best interest for the Supra to succeed. Maybe that'll happen in 2024 and maybe it won't, but either way, we better enjoy internal combustion performance models while they're still here.
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