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The solar shined just a little brighter when Toyota teased that the Supra was getting a handbook transmission. The dearth of a stick-shift disqualified Toyota’s halo sports activities automotive for a lot of fans, and whereas it’s nonetheless a nice machine, it all the time felt like one thing was lacking. That adjustments at present, as Toyota lastly confirmed that the handbook Supra is actual — for some patrons.
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 supply this engine with a handbook, so Toyota needed to begin from scratch to make a handbook Supra. Right here’s simply a few of what the automaker needed to do, from Toyota’s press launch:
The engineering staff modified an present transmission housing, driveshaft and kit set and eliminated parts that weren’t required, such because the acoustic bundle, which decreased weight. On the coronary heart of the transmission is a newly engineered massive diameter clutch with a strengthened diaphragm spring. With a bigger friction space and a stronger spring, this new element has the high-performance functionality applicable 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 ready because the default however, if the motive 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 applicable for sports activities automotive efficiency.
Ergonomics have been a consideration too—making area for a handbook in a automotive that wasn’t initially supplied with one generally is a little bit of a bear. Once more, from Toyota:
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 attenuate the trouble 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 is not going to 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 a fair 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 just about $8,000 lower than the three.0, and that is Toyota’s flagship. It must be a reliable sports activities automotive in all its variants.
Toyota may even supply a limited-edition handbook Supra, known as A91-MT. Solely 500 of those Supras can be buit, with the requisite gearbox and an unique cognac inside for North America. No matter which mannequin Supra you order, for those who spec yours with a stick-shift, you’ll get a purple “Supra” badge on the again, so everybody is aware of to procure the most effective Supra — and, maybe, to twist the knife just a little when somebody pulls up in an earlier, auto-only Supra.
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