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The solar shined a bit of brighter when Toyota teased that the Supra was getting a handbook transmission. The shortage of a stick-shift disqualified Toyota’s halo sports activities automotive for a lot of fanatics, and whereas it’s nonetheless a nice machine, it at all times felt like one thing was lacking. That modified Thursday, as Toyota lastly confirmed that the handbook Supra is actual — for some consumers.
Replace April 29, 2022, 4:20 p.m. ET: This story has been up to date with new details about the origin of the Supra’s handbook.
First, the excellent news. Toyota says it went to nice lengths to engineer this transmission and make it play good with the BMW-sourced 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. BMW doesn’t provide this engine with a handbook, so Toyota needed to do quite a lot of legwork to comprehend a handbook Supra. Right here’s what a few of that entailed, from Toyota’s press launch:
The engineering crew modified an current transmission housing, driveshaft and kit set and eliminated parts that weren’t required, such because the acoustic package deal, which decreased weight. On the coronary heart of the transmission is a newly engineered giant diameter clutch with a strengthened diaphragm spring. With a bigger friction space and a stronger spring, this new element has the high-performance functionality acceptable to be used with the GR Supra’s high-torque engine.
The newly developed 6-speed handbook gearbox additionally options an clever Guide Transmission (iMT) programmed with new software program that prioritizes sporty efficiency. When upshifting, the parameters are tuned to optimize engine torque in the intervening time of clutch engagement and launch; on downshifts, the software program has been fine-tuned for constant efficiency. The iMT is about because the default however, if the driving force prefers, it may be switched off in Sport mode.
To keep away from a sluggish take-off and a low in-gear acceleration really feel, the ultimate drive ratio has been shortened, from 3.15 (within the GR Supra computerized) to three.46 (within the GR Supra MT). The result’s response and gearing acceptable for sports activities automotive efficiency.
Following Toyota’s announcement, The Drive individually reported on Friday that the six-speed is, very like the Supra itself, of BMW origin. It’s a ZF unit “tuned by Toyota,” in as far as the Japanese automaker swapped out some components for others — just like the aforementioned large-diameter clutch, strengthened spring and the design of the shift knob:
“The components used within the gearbox come from a mixture of ZF manufactured handbook transmissions, however the components mixture is unique to GR Supra,” a Toyota spokesperson advised The Drive. “Toyota partnered with ZF and BMW on the design/format of shift lever/pedal, resolution of ultimate gear ratio, tuning of iMT [rev-matching and upshift smoothing] perform, and shift really feel.”
This Supra-specific gearbox even will get its personal, distinctive transmission code inside BMW’s components catalog: GS6L50TZ. For what it’s price, the code for the handbook discovered within the abroad and fewer highly effective BMW Z4 sDrive20i occurs to be GS6L40LZ, in line with this SupraMKV discussion board put up. Per BMW transmission designation guidelines, the distinction between “L50T” and L40L” signifies a deviation in transmission “sort” and gearset. The “GS6″ and “Z” bits of the codes point out a six-speed handbook and ZF because the producer, respectively. For additional reference, the handbook discovered within the present M3 and M4 is designated GS6-45BZ.
Talking of the shift knob, Toyota says ergonomics have been a consideration too. Making area for a handbook in a automotive that wasn’t initially supplied with one is usually a little bit of a bear. Once more, from the producer’s launch:
Shut consideration was additionally paid to how a handbook shifter might be accommodated within the driver’s cockpit. The lever ratio was particularly set to reduce the hassle required to make shifts and interact reverse gear. Whereas the burden and form of the 200g gear knob, together with the standard of shift engagement, have all been exactly outlined. Ergonomics have been additionally top-of-mind, because the console unit and place of the drive mode selector have been adjusted to supply a 1.7-inch clearance between the shift knob and the management panel.
Toyota didn’t announce pricing for the handbook Supra. That information will come this fall, shortly earlier than 2023 fashions hit showrooms.
Right here’s the catch: this six-speed won’t be supplied on the two.0-liter four-cylinder Supra in any capability. Truthfully, I don’t know if a handbook might have saved that automotive; I don’t know if something might salvage the lesser Supra when the GR 86 and now the long-awaited GR Corolla additionally exist in Toyota’s lineup. My colleague Steve believes that no one would hassle to purchase a 2.0 Supra with a handbook towards these choices, and he’s in all probability proper.
To me, a handbook 3.0 makes the two.0 Supra an excellent worse proposition than it already was, a automotive that lives within the shadow of its large sibling. Maybe it exists merely as a base for modifications, however what number of 2.0 homeowners are doing 2JZ swaps anyway? I’m all for an inexpensive entryway to efficiency — particularly for these expert sufficient to make up the distinction with wrenching — however the 2.0 is barely about $8,000 lower than the three.0, and that is Toyota’s flagship. It ought to be a reliable sports activities automotive in all its variants.
Toyota may also provide a limited-edition Supra with the handbook geared up, known as A91-MT. Solely 500 of those might be constructed, with the requisite gearbox and an unique cognac inside for North America. No matter which mannequin Supra you order, if you happen to spec yours with a stick shift, you’ll get a pink badge on the again, so everybody is aware of you acquire the most effective Supra — and, maybe, to twist the knife a bit of when somebody pulls up in an earlier, auto-only Supra.
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