Toyota's Stick-Shift Supra, Hot Hatch AWD Corolla Could Arrive This Year

2022 is shaping up to be a good year for manual transmission fans.

toyota gr yaris manual
Toyota

It shouldn't come as much of a surprise to learn that these are not the best of times for the manual gearbox. Over the last couple decades, automatic transmissions — once considered the inferior choice by many enthusiasts due to their lack of control, worse fuel economy and fewer gears — have overcome all those negatives; today's best slushboxes deliver superior acceleration, better fuel economy and, often, programming that delivers them to make smarter shift choices than even the brightest human driver.

The forthcoming transition to electric cars bodes even worse for the classic stick shift; after all, thanks to the more flexible power delivery of an electric motor, most EVs only use a single-speed gearbox, so they don't even shift at all. Suffice it to say, it's sad but not surprising that there are only around two dozen new cars you can buy in America with the good-ole standard.

But it seems Toyota is about to boost that number by two. And both of them sound like cars that very much deserve a sweet, sweet stick. According to a report from The Drive, at a dealer conference late last year, Toyota revealed that it had not one but two cars in the works with manual gearboxes: the all-new, hotly anticipated GR Corolla...and the GR Supra.

The GR Corolla hot hatch boasting a manual isn't unexpected. This long-rumored spicy five-door will reportedly boast the same powertrain as the GR Yaris found abroad: a turbocharged three-cylinder, a six-speed stick and all-wheel-drive. The Drive's source from the dealer conference (and others) confirms this, adding that the prototype they saw featured a widebody design, likely to better distinguish it from the regular Corolla hatch.

The idea of the Supra scoring a stick, however, is a bit more surprising (if not entirely shocking). The same source that reportedly saw the GR Corolla said the manual Supra was also featured at the conference, though details were spare beyond that. That said, Japanese sources have recently claimed that Toyota has planning to bring the manual box to both four- and six-cylinder Supras, lending us hope that it won't be restricted to the lesser version.

As for when we'll see these, The Drive's source suggested they could both surface in 2022 at some point. Here's hoping that's true; after the last couple years, hey, we could all use some more things to hope for.

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