We all know that the ‘new’ Toyota Supra never really caught on as a popular, enthusiast’s car. I think people weren’t prepared to see the fifth-generation Supra in the avatar that it is in, when it launched in 2019, as opposed to the fourth-generation car that had a certain charm to it.
When Toyota finally re-launched the Supra in its GR avatar, it seemed as if they trimmed down the old version, did plastic surgery at the wrong places, and made it look more… civilised.
Though the 3.0L straight-six engine was borrowed from BMW, it came with the same 8-speed automatic transmission that made many enthusiasts pull ugly faces. Despite it doing better than the BMW Z4 in sales, it just didn’t click as it should have.
After all, how does a brand attract car lovers to buy its 2-seater sports car when it is only offered with an automatic gearbox? A manual gearbox could do the job mostly.
Luckily for Toyota, they have done just that. The latest set of images from a press release by Toyota shows the Supra having three pedals! Toyota has been doing wonders with Gazoo Racing, especially with the recently launched 300 HP GR Corolla. Improving existing cars by listening to potential customers is just what needed to be done.
Toyota states in the press release: “Toyota Gazoo Racing sports car customers and fans have spoken and we’ve listened.
“Developed to meet the demands of driving purists, the Toyota GR Supra Manual Transmission has been engineered to offer enthusiasts something that is closer to the Gazoo Racing DNA and will enhance the driving experience.”
If you noted the words carefully, they’ve actually developed a ‘tailor-made’ brand new transmission for the Supra, instead of just borrowing it from some BMW. The Supra may still not sell in big numbers, but this just goes to show the brand’s seriousness and dedication to offering something much better.
Toyota remains tight-lipped about any other changes to the Supra apart from the introduction of a clutch pedal. Performance specs would mostly remain the same- a 3.0-litre inline-six engine that produces 382 hp (285 kW / 387 PS) and 368 lb-ft (498 Nm) of torque, sending all the power to the rear axle.
Another point to take back from the press release is that the manual version of the sports car will have a ‘Supra’ badge on the boot, coloured in red! Now that already spices things up, isn’t it? Toyota states it will be announcing more about the car in the coming weeks.
In a world where engines get smaller by the year and cars get electrified at an unexpected pace, news like this does bring on our faces, a smile and a sense of hope for our souls.
Know of another Japanese manufacturer adamant about not killing its iconic two-seater sports car? It’s a Mazda! Read this for more information.