The 2023 Toyota GR Supra has become a focal point of manual transmission enthusiasts in the United States. According to a recent confirmation by a Toyota spokesperson to Road & Track, a significant “shift” towards manual transmissions has been observed in this year’s Supra sales. Out of the total 1,216 GR Supras sold since the introduction of the manual transmission for the 2023 model year, an impressive 47% have been equipped with the coveted three-pedal setup. This statistic serves as a testament to the power of consumer demand, as the GR Supra was initially launched in 2019 without a manual transmission option.
The story behind this shift in transmission preference adds depth to the narrative. Originally, the GR Supra was not designed to offer a manual transmission variant. However, the relentless enthusiasm and requests from devoted enthusiasts managed to sway Toyota’s decision-making. Responding to this fervent demand, Toyota engineers embarked on a journey to develop a six-speed manual transmission for the GR Supra.
In an interview with Road & Track, engineers revealed that the manual transmission’s casing stems from the BMW 3-Series, while the gearing draws inspiration from the M3. The transformation doesn’t stop there—the shifter, linkage, and even Toyota’s proprietary i-MT rev-matching software have been meticulously crafted. Accommodating these changes required adjustments to the center console and a higher final gear ratio in the differential, increased from 3.15 to 3.46.
After we drove the new GR Supra with the manual transmission we knew Toyota was onto something as it then became one of our favorite vehicles in the segment. The surge in popularity of the manual variant of the GR Supra reflects a long-standing aspiration among driving enthusiasts, and hopefully more manufacturers will realize such to keep the manual transmission around a bit longer. Automotive enthusiasts love the level of driving engagement that a manual transmission brings to the table and such a feeling just cannot be replicated or even emulated. Maybe the newfound take rate for manual Supras will help usher in Toyota’s idea of having a manual electric vehicle – we just wonder how much “fun” those would be.
Source: Road & Track