Will the Toyota Supra Get a Manual Transmission? There's Hope

Jodi Lai
by Jodi Lai

Among all the things enthusiasts were waiting to hear about the new Toyota Supra, one of the most asked questions was this: Will the new Toyota Supra have a manual transmission?

The debut of the Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept in Geneva didn’t do much to answer that question — it has three pedals, but also paddle shifters on the steering wheel and no manual gear shifter. This is a race-spec sequential gearbox where the clutch is only used to get the car rolling but isn’t needed to change gears. It’s not really a manual, but it’s not really a traditional automatic, either.

Previous rumors citing leaked information claimed that the new Supra won’t come with a manual transmission, greatly upsetting fans of the iconic Japanese sports car and the internet in general. While those rumors might be true, there’s a shred of hope, as the car is still being developed and a real enthusiast is in charge.

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“It makes perfect sense” for the new Supra to have a manual, Tetsuya Tada, Toyota’s chief engineer, told AutoGuide.com during an interview at the Geneva Motor Show. “I will try my hardest,” he promised. Why? Toyota isn’t chasing lap times with the new Supra. Tada-san said he’s working hard to make sure the car is engaging and fun to drive and have “ease of maneuverability,” which is more important than “quantifiable figures,” he said through a translator. This means there’s hope!

Tada-san told us that his team spoke with a lot of Supra fanatics and took their feedback for its new sports car to heart. The things that were non-negotiable to these fans were a turbo straight six engine, a front-engine/rear-drive layout, and the ability to modify. Interestingly, Tada-san said they didn’t have an overwhelming need for a manual transmission. That’s not good.

So while Tada-san wasn’t able to confirm anything about the transmission for the new Toyota Supra, there are reasons to have hope for a manual, but you shouldn’t be too surprised if an automatic was the only one offered.

Discuss this article on our Toyota Supra Forum

Jodi Lai
Jodi Lai

Jodi has been obsessed with cars since she was little and has been an automotive journalist for the past 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and a jury member for the prestigious North American Car/Truck/Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY). Besides hosting videos, and writing news, reviews and features, Jodi is the Editor-in-Chief of AutoGuide.com and takes care of the site's day-to-day operations.

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  • 1jiveturkey1 1jiveturkey1 on Mar 07, 2018

    Who are the "Supra fanatics" that Tada-San and Toyota are speaking to? I would hope they would at least hear the concerns coming from seasoned Supra ambassadors like Ken Henderson for example. There is a heavy demand for the manual transmission, and I would hope that Toyota would take a moment and listen to these concerns. For many of us, the co-development with BMW is very hard to digest, but understood why it happened because BMW still develops inline-6 engines-without the reliability.

  • Aztec Security Aztec Security on Apr 08, 2018

    You want manual, man up and get a motorcycle.