In an era when electric is king and green is definitely the new black, Toyota is giving petrol-heads something to cheer about. The Japanese automaker has confirmed that the new Toyota GR Supra will arrive with a six-speed manual gearbox option, marking a stark difference from its predecessor. For those who dream of pure automotive pleasure, Toyota’s bold plan to save the stick shift might just be the music to your ears.
Way back in 2019 when the GR Supra was first unveiled, fans were inherently disappointed to learn that it came exclusively fitted with a BMW-supplied automatic gearbox. Billed as a purist’s sports vehicle, the lack of manual options left a sour taste in some drivers’ mouths, however, Toyota’s famed Gazoo Racing Division has picked up the slack in 2022. The section responsible for delivering all-out beasts such as the GR Yaris, Gazoo has dropped a six-speed manual gearbox into the new Supra, complete with a new spherical shift knob that’s primed for a workout.
“When Toyota first launched the reborn GR Supra in September 2019, we drew from our experience in motorsport to deliver a pure sports car that delighted fans of the iconic nameplate across the globe,” Toyota Australia vice president sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley said. “But we always knew there were those that wanted an even more engaging drive experience and now we are able to provide that with a new six-speed manual gearbox available across the range and a suspension and steering retune to provide even more dynamic handling.”
Importantly, Toyota has confirmed that the manual option won’t be available in all Supra models, instead, it has been specifically designed for the 285kW/500Nm 3.0-litre straight six, rear-drive engine. That engine features in both GR Supra GT and GTS models, with the intelligent manual transmission able to match engine speeds on up and downshifts for smooth and sporty driving.
For the GTS models, Toyota has bumped up the design features as well. The new sports car will come with a new design 19-inch forged alloy wheels with revised spoke and cross-sectional shapes. This is further accentuated by a premium Titanium Dark Silver finish and a hefty weight reduction of 1.2kg per wheel. In terms of drivability, there have been major upgrades to the steering and suspension with modified stabiliser bushings and retuned adaptive variable suspension, alongside other chassis control systems.
All in all, the new 2023 Toyota GT Supra looks to be a more refined and adaptive take on the Gazoo special, however, it does put you in the driver’s seat. Where advancements in modern technology are always designed to improve the driving experience, certain upgrades simply serve to take the fun out of getting behind the wheel. Thankfully, Toyota has recognised this and in response, we’ve been handed the keys to a very solid sports car.