2023 Toyota GR Supra

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2023 Toyota GR Supra Manual Review: More Engaging With A Stick

When the Toyota GR Supra launched a few years ago, diehard enthusiasts were furious that it wasn't available with a manual transmission option. After three model years on sale, Toyota has answered those demands, offering the 2023 GR Supra with a six-speed manual on all six-cylinder models. We've driven aftermarket efforts before, but this is the first time you've been able to get the A90 Supra from the factory with three pedals.

In order for us to discover if the new transmission was worth the wait, Toyota flew us out to Park City, Utah, to drive the manual-equipped Supra on the race track. After spending some high-speed, quality time with the car, we have some thoughts on the new gearbox and the Supra itself three years into its life cycle.

Is the 2023 Toyota Supra a good car?

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 10 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 9 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Toyota GR Supra Models

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
3.0 Premium
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
3.0 Special Edition
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Rear-Wheel Drive

See all Trims and Specs

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Which Supra Models Get The Manual?

As with last year's car, the 2023 Supra has two available BMW-supplied engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. The base power plant produces 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, good for 0-60 in five seconds flat. If you opt for this lower-power Supra, the eight-speed automatic is the only transmission choice.

The manual transmission is only available on the six-cylinder models, but all trims with this engine can spec the stick. Supra 3.0 and 3.0 Premium models offer the manual at no cost, while the new A91 MT Edition (limited to 500 units in the US) only comes with three pedals. Outputs remain the same as last year's model, with 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 takes around 3.9 seconds with the automatic, but the new manual slows that time down to 4.2 seconds; that's the price you pay for rowing your own gears.

Manual-equipped GR Supras get some extra love compared to the rest of the 2023 GR Supra lineup, including traction control and braking tweaks to better suit its nature and new Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) programming aimed at stopping snap oversteer.

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What Else Changes For 2023?

All Supra models for the new model year get reworked suspension, which Toyota says delivers increased comfort and superior roll balance. Since we only spent time with the car on a smooth race track, it's tough for us to say that these tuning changes are instantly noticeable. On the roll balance front, the Supra still exhibits a fair bit of body roll through corners, hinting that Toyota still wanted the car to be a grand tourer rather than a track weapon.

A new Hairpin+ function on all 3.0 grades enables more wheel spin on tight hairpins and uphill gradients, adding to the Supra's tail-happy nature. There are also some tweaks to the power steering, which still feels light, but provides slightly more responsiveness than the previous model.

On the outside, Stratosphere Blue is a new paint option that looks excellent in person, while a new 19-inch forged aluminum wheel option available on MT models reminds us of a Japanese kunai knife.

The cabin of the GR Supra gets heated leather-clad seats by default, while 3.0 Premium models have black and red upholstery, a head-up display, 12-speaker JBL sound, and wireless charging.

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Continuing the tradition of a new special edition every year, the aforementioned A91-MT Edition gets its own exclusive colors. Burnout is a cool matte white, but we truly fell in love with CU Later Gray, a color that pops in sunlight with a vibrant golden flake. It looks suspiciously like BMW's Dravit Grey, but that must be a coincidence. The special edition inherits the new 19-inch wheels as standard but finishes them in Frozen Gunmetal Gray.

Aside from the unique colors, you can tell an A91-MT apart by its red Supra badging and red brake calipers. Pop the hood, and you'll find a red strut tower brace.

Inside, the special edition offers a unique Hazelnut (tan) leather interior, brightening up the Supra's otherwise bland cabin.

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What Is The Manual Like To Drive?

In short, the manual in the GR Supra is good. But we know you want to know more than that...

It's no secret the manual here is effectively the same as you'll find in a plethora of BMW models, including the M3. But it isn't a straight fit. Toyota Gazoo Racing Engineers took the ZF-sourced transmission's existing housing and gear set, designed a new shift lever, removed some unneeded acoustic materials to remove weight, and installed a larger diameter clutch. Put into simple terms, this feels different from a modern BMW manual; the shifts feel notchier and less rubbery, and the throws have a pleasing length.

Automatic Supra owners know the car has a massive center console that sits right next to the driver's leg. In the manual car, the console is no less substantial but has been reconfigured to place the shifter in better proximity to the driver and further from the climate controls. The shift lever falls perfectly to hand, and so long as you only have a drink in the rear cupholder, nothing will bump your elbow during gear changes.

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Getting the car off the line is easy, and we had less trouble nailing the 1-2 shift than in the manual-equipped BMW M4. Downshifts are equally pleasant thanks to Toyota's Intelligent Manual Transmission (iMT) software, which includes automatic rev-matching to blip the throttle without needing to heel-toe, and the event yields a familiar burble from the exhaust each time you drop a gear or lift off the throttle.

The track Toyota chose for the launch event only allowed us to explore up to 3rd gear. Toyota shortened the final drive ratio from 3.15 to 3.46 to make it more pleasurable working through the gears, but the car still hits arrest-me speeds before 4th gear.

The recalibrated VSC system to mitigate snap oversteer has improved how the car behaves, but it still tends to break free pretty easily, and the steering doesn't fully communicate what the rear end is up to.

We still adore the BMW-sourced B58 engine, which shouts all the way up to its peak power at 6,500 rpm. The way it delivers its power suits the manual, too. If you liked how the Supra drove before having a manual option, nothing about adding a third pedal ruins the experience.

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Pricing & Verdict

2023 pricing for the four-cylinder Supra 2.0 starts at $43,540. For that dollar amount, we'd be happier with the more potent Nissan Z, which comes with a 400-hp twin-turbo V6. Stepping up to the 3.0 trim with the inline-six costs $52,500 for both the manual and automatic models. The 3.0 Premium is $55,650, while the A91-MT tops the roster at $58,345.

While we've driven both the Z and Supra, without a back-to-back drive, it would be unfair to compare them, although we will say the Supra feels more premium inside. Adding a manual transmission may sway the naysayers who ignored the Supra because it was automatic-only, however, it doesn't drastically change the car's appeal.

This is a canyon-ready sports car that feels more comfortable on the public road than the race track. The ride is supple, the engine is gutsy, and now there are two transmissions to enjoy. It can't hide its BMW roots, but what's to hide when the ingredients are sublime and Toyota's execution almost flawless?

The manual may not be a benchmark for sports cars in years to come, but we're thankful for its inclusion. And now that it exists, the excuses not to buy one are all but gone.

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