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The solar shined a bit of brighter when Toyota teased that the Supra was getting a handbook transmission. The dearth of a stick-shift disqualified Toyota’s halo sports activities automotive for a lot of fanatics, and whereas it’s nonetheless a nice machine, it all the time felt like one thing was lacking. That modifications at the moment, as Toyota lastly confirmed that the handbook Supra is actual — for some consumers.
First, the excellent news. Toyota says it went to nice lengths to engineer this transmission and make it play good with the BMW-sourced 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. BMW doesn’t supply this engine with a handbook, so Toyota needed to begin from scratch to make a handbook Supra. Right here’s simply a few of what the automaker needed to do, from Toyota’s press launch:
The engineering workforce modified an current transmission housing, driveshaft and equipment set and eliminated parts that weren’t required, such because the acoustic package deal, which decreased weight. On the coronary heart of the transmission is a newly engineered giant diameter clutch with a strengthened diaphragm spring. With a bigger friction space and a stronger spring, this new element has the high-performance functionality acceptable to be used with the GR Supra’s high-torque engine.
The newly developed 6-speed handbook gearbox additionally options an clever Handbook Transmission (iMT) programmed with new software program that prioritizes sporty efficiency. When upshifting, the parameters are tuned to optimize engine torque for the time being of clutch engagement and launch; on downshifts, the software program has been fine-tuned for constant efficiency. The iMT is about because the default however, if the driving force prefers, it may be switched off in Sport mode.
To keep away from a sluggish take-off and a low in-gear acceleration really feel, the ultimate drive ratio has been shortened, from 3.15 (within the GR Supra automated) to three.46 (within the GR Supra MT). The result’s response and gearing acceptable for sports activities automotive efficiency.
Ergonomics had been a consideration too—making area for a handbook in a automotive that wasn’t initially provided with one generally is a little bit of a bear. Once more, from Toyota:
Shut consideration was additionally paid to how a handbook shifter might be accommodated within the driver’s cockpit. The lever ratio was particularly set to attenuate the hassle required to make shifts and have interaction reverse gear. Whereas the burden and form of the 200g gear knob, together with the standard of shift engagement, have all been exactly outlined. Ergonomics had been additionally top-of-mind, because the console unit and place of the drive mode selector had been adjusted to offer a 1.7-inch clearance between the shift knob and the management panel.
Toyota didn’t announce pricing for the handbook Supra. That information will come this fall, shortly earlier than 2023 fashions hit showrooms.
Right here’s the catch: this six-speed won’t be provided on the two.0-liter four-cylinder Supra in any capability. Truthfully, I don’t know if a handbook might have saved that automotive; I don’t know if something might salvage the lesser Supra when the GR 86 and now the long-awaited GR Corolla additionally exist in Toyota’s lineup. My colleague Steve believes that no person would hassle to purchase a 2.0 Supra with a handbook in opposition to these choices, and he’s in all probability proper.
To me, a handbook 3.0 makes the two.0 Supra a good worse proposition than it already was, a automotive that lives within the shadow of its large sibling. Maybe it exists merely as a base for modifications, however what number of 2.0 house owners are doing 2JZ swaps anyway? I’m all for an inexpensive entryway to efficiency — particularly for these expert sufficient to make up the distinction with wrenching — however the 2.0 is barely about $8,000 lower than the three.0, and that is Toyota’s flagship. It needs to be a reliable sports activities automotive in all its variants.
Toyota will even supply a limited-edition handbook Supra, known as A91-MT. Solely 500 of those Supras will probably be buit, with the requisite gearbox and an unique cognac inside for North America. No matter which mannequin Supra you order, in case you spec yours with a stick-shift, you’ll get a crimson “Supra” badge on the again, so everybody is aware of you obtain the most effective Supra — and, maybe, to twist the knife a bit of when somebody pulls up in an earlier, auto-only Supra.
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