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.
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