Technological advances are often understood as losing the purity and essence of a passion, no matter the industry. Even in football, it cost the adoption of VAR as a system for resolving doubts during a game. The same is happening with developments in the automotive industry, not only due to the transition to electric propulsion, but also due to the disappearance of manual cars. An endangered segment that Toyota has promised to defend with models like the GR Yaris, GR86 and GR Supra.
The decision to sell a manual version of the Toyota GR Supra was welcomed by petrolheads as an act of rebellion, but also out of respect for their wishes. They, the buyers, were demanding a return to the roots of an icon that seemed dissolved by the joint development agreement with BMW.
Before the introduction of the Z4 and the GR Supra, everything seemed to point to a semi-renaissance, with too many similarities between two worlds to remain differentiated before the purist fan. Everything changed when it came to the three pedals for the Japanese model, an ode to riding that we got a chance to test a few weeks ago.
The public has supported Toyota
Despite our clear sympathy for manual sports cars, the market rules and the automatic are the chosen ones. Sales of manual options on sports cars have stagnated, with the exception of this two-seater, which is distinctly Asian in design and dynamics. The Japanese believed in the potential of a Toyota GR Supra Manual and the public’s response was excellent, Toyota executives confirmed to American road and track media.
Although this wasn’t a viable option when the GR Supra was launched in 2019, constant requests from enthusiasts encouraged it to develop its manual variant with the same six-speed gearbox as the BMW 3 Series with M3 specifications. However, the Japanese engineers have applied their knowledge to Toyota’s linkage and shifters with Speed Matching Technology (i-MT).
Of the 1,216 GR Supra sold since the release of the last update, 47% are of the manual version, recognizable by the logo outlined in red on the back. The center console design also had to be redesigned to accommodate the short and direct gear stick that gives you complete control of the rev counter. A power that has convinced almost half of the Supra buyers, and not for nothing.