After years of rumours and hints from company executives, Toyota will fit a third pedal to its reborn GR Supra sports car – and it’s headed for Australian showrooms.
Nearly three and a half years after it was revealed, the reborn 2022 Toyota GR Supra will at last gain the option of a manual transmission – and it’s bound for Australian roads.
While details are scarce for now, the “newly-developed” (likely six-speed) manual transmission is “designed to offer a unique dynamic experience while meeting the demand of driving purists,” according to Toyota – and will be offered alongside the GR Supra’s current eight-speed automatic.
If rumours out of Japan and the US are to be believed, the manual transmission will be mated solely to the car’s full-strength 285kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six – as fitted as standard in Australia.
That’s despite the Toyota’s twin under the skin, the BMW Z4 roadster, offering a six-speed manual with its base 145kW/320Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder in Europe – and in Australia for two years, during which time only two were sold (one of which was a media evaluation car).
Pricing for the GR Supra’s manual transmission option is yet to be confirmed – along with launch timing – however Japanese reports suggest the first cars will roll off the production line in the coming months, with pricing to match the current eight-speed automatic.
More details are promised “in the coming weeks”, according to Toyota – with reports out of Japan suggesting a full reveal on April 28, or two weeks from now.
Toyota claims the GR Supra’s manual gearbox is “tailor-made” and “newly developed” for the model, after “Toyota Gazoo Racing took on feedback from customers and fans alike in developing the manual transmission”.
However, it’s worth noting the Supra and Z4’s shared ‘B58’ inline-six engine has previously been offered with a manual, namely a six-speed transmission designed by German company ZF, and used in the previous-generation BMW M240i, 340i and 440i.
It’s not clear if this ZF gearbox is the one bound for the Supra, or a different, Toyota-designed unit. Perhaps tellingly, the manual Supra’s pedals pictured are the same as those fitted to the manual Z4 (below) – though this is also the case for automatic versions of both cars.
In Europe, the manual GR Supra will be distinguished by a red finish for the ‘Supra’ tailgate badge – though it’s not known if this will flow on to Australian models.
Talk of a three-pedal GR Supra has swirled since before the eight-speed automatic car launched, with Toyota engineers telling Drive in 2018 that a manual gearbox had already been developed, with support for Australia and Japan-friendly right-hand drive.
In a 2019 interview with US publication AutoGuide, GR Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada identified the demand for a manual transmission – but advocated for the performance benefits of the ZF-sourced, torque-converter automatic.
The introduction of a manual Toyota GR Supra will place it in direct competition with its closest rival, the upcoming Nissan Z, which will offer buyers a choice of six-speed manual or Mercedes nine-speed automatic transmissions once it launches next year.
The arrival of the manual Supra is rumoured to be followed by a high-performance GRMN model in 2023, powered by the BMW M3’s 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine – but this is still to be confirmed.
Stay tuned to Drive for more details on the 2023 Toyota GR Supra manual transmission later this month.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.