Toyota can be rather deliberate about overhauling its models — what's up, Land Cruiser and 4Runner — but the company is being uncharacteristically proactive with the new Supra. Significant changes arrived just a year after the model launched, with both a more powerful six-cylinder model and a cheaper entry-level four-pot choice. A report from MAGX News in Japan now says Toyota will continue its boldness with both a limited-run GRMN version of the Supra...and the manual transmission option enthusiasts have been waiting for.
Before getting to the technicalities, let's just say it: adding a manual transmission to the Supra, generally speaking, makes sense. The Supra is a car for driving enthusiasts; driving enthusiasts like sticks. The Supra’s primary competitor, the Porsche Cayman, offers a manual as well.
The pressing question is how Toyota (and Supra engineering partner BMW) would bring a manual to the car. Neither of the current Supra engines has a manual transmission analog at BMW; however, BMW has fit manual transmissions to its I-4 and I-6 engines in the recent past. In theory, it should be possible to fit a manual transmission to one of the existing engines —more likely, perhaps, to the current I-4 version. After all, a less-powerful iteration of that engine is available with a manual in the Supra's twin, the BMW Z4 — just not in the United States.
Another option to look could be the GRMN edition of the Supra. Toyota could swap in the more powerful 3.0-liter S55 inline-six from the BMW M2 Competition, which does offer a six-speed manual. A 405-hp Supra with a stick would be quite a desirable special edition.
When or even if Americans would see a manual transmission Supra on our shores is a different matter One space to watch: the California Air Resources Board filings, which tipped that a four-cylinder version of the Supra was coming last year.