High-Performance Toyota Supra And Manual Transmission In The Pipeline


A convertible version also hasn't been ruled out.

Toyota is really dragging out the reveal of its long-awaited sports car. The all-new Supra made its public "debut" at the Goodwood Festival of Speed but was still wearing camouflage to hide important details. Toyota recently hosted a media drive where journalists could drive the new Supra, but the car still wore camouflage and no details were offered on pricing or power output.

This didn't stop Australian outlet Car Advice from digging for answers, and a few important details were leaked by the Supra's assistant chief engineer, Masayuki Kai.

For starters, the question that has been on the minds of every enthusiast waiting to see the Supra was asked: will it be offered with a manual transmission? The assistant chief engineer said that a manual has been developed for right-hand-drive markets. He was speaking to an Australian outlet and Australia is an RHD market, so this doesn't preclude the manual from also being offered in LHD markets.

"This is not yet finally decided [introduction of a manual transmission], and depending on feedback from the market, we will decide if we should introduce a manual transmission," Kai said. Based on every comment we've read on our Supra news pieces, Toyota would be silly to not offer a manual.

This would also be an interesting way for Toyota to differentiate the Supra from the automatic-only BMW Z4 which shares the same platform.

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Car Advice also asked about the possibility of a more powerful version of the Supra. BMW has already said that the M40i will be the most powerful version of the Z4 and that no Z4 M is planned. Toyota, on the other hand, said a more powerful version of the turbocharged inline-six engine is in the cards.

"Yeah of course. We are still studying bigger engines and different transmissions. Everything is still being studied. I don't think a V8 or something will be fitted because the weight distribution will be destroyed. But more power with inline six should be possible," said Kai.

"For future development, we are now planning and we are discussing this with BMW. What our wishes are for a facelift and future versions, extra versions, they are also providing us what could be the next update on transmission, engine and so on. It's not finished."

Finally, he was asked whether a Supra Convertible was on the table. We simply figured because the Z4 was a convertible, the Supra would be a coupe-only and there would never be a Z4 coupe. Much to our surprise, Kai said "As for now, yes. But, if BMW wants to make a coupe, it's their own decision. There is no restriction – for example, if we want, we can also make an open roof Supra. But, this is currently not being investigated. Never say never, everything is possible."

Well, there you have it. While nothing has been officially confirmed, we can still retain hope that the Supra could have a manual transmission, more power, and a convertible variant in the future.

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