2019 Toyota Supra With Manual Transmission Definitely Happening

Ever since the Supra was a test mule, word on the street was that the two-door coupe twinned with the BMW Z4 would be available with one transmission option, coming in the guise of an automatic. But according to assistant chief engineer Masayuki Kai, a six-speed manual has been developed as well.
Toyota manual transmission 15 photos
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
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Speaking at the media drive of the Supra to Car Advice, the official let it slip the manual is for “right-hand drive markets.” More to the point, Toyota will decide if it should introduce the stickshift elsewhere “depending on feedback.”

The question is, why would Toyota take this gamble instead of adding the manual to the options list from the get-go? After all, research & development of the three-pedal setup is almost finished. As things stand now, we’ll have to wait for the higher-ups to give the thumbs up if the beancounters are satisfied with the proposal.

"We have developed it, yes, there is hardware ready. Right-hand drive? Yes, of course,” said Kai-san. “It needs to be sold in Japan, which is a right-hand drive market.” This wording leaves at least two questions unanswered. Will other RHD markets get the manual-equipped Supra, and similarly, will LHD markets such as the United States get to enjoy the exhilaration of changing gears the old-fashioned way?

High-tier automaker such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and McLaren are over with the good ol’ stickshift, but on the other hand, don’t forget the Supra benefits from BMW know-how coming courtesy of the CLuster ARchitecture. There’s also the Toyota 86 and Mazda MX-5 keeping the manual alive and kicking, which leads us to believe that Toyota won't go auto-only with the Supra.

Even though the ZF 8HP is quicker, more efficient, and easier to use, the hands-on approach of using the clutch while moving the gearshift knob is something that can’t be replaced in the hearts and souls of driving-centric customers. Come on, Toyota, make it a no-cost option and that’ll be that!
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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