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New Toyota Supra Maybe Too Powerful For A Manual Gearbox

Is a manual mechanically possible? Probably, but a DCT is better for performance driving.

We’ve been hearing more and more details lately regarding the upcoming reborn Toyota Supra. Or Gazoo Supra. Whatever. Toyota is bringing back its famed performance sports car and we’re thrilled. Although we saw the Supra Racing Concept at Geneva next month, the production car is expected to debut at a later date, possibly the next Tokyo Motor Show. We also know the Supra will come exclusively with a dual-clutch transmission and no manual option. How come? Well, there is a pretty good reason why.

The Supramkv.com forum posted a translated interview from Japanese language magazine Info Seek with Toyota chief engineer Tetsuya Tada and, naturally, the Supra and its transmission choice was discussed. Asked about a manual, Tada replied that “at the moment, it is not; it is just a dual-clutch transmission.” But how come? How hard is it, really, to offer a manual, even in the US where manual-equipped sports cars are still popular enough. Because the Supra will have too much torque to handle a manual. “I think whether it is not fun if (the) MT is a large power car like the next Supra. Raising the torque of the engine will make the shift feel worse.

If so, it is very doubtful whether MT specification is necessary.” Fair enough. After all, the Supra, like its next generation BMW Z4 platform cousin, will come powered by a 3.0-liter turbo inline-six with around 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. And yes, that is a high torque figure, and it sounds like Toyota realized a manual, at least with this engine, wouldn’t be fun to use. On the contrary, it could be one of those so-called “heavy manuals” that’s not exactly enjoyable to shift. The DCT, therefore, is simply the better choice. Also, Tada reiterated Toyota presented the Supra Racing Concept before the road car because of its intent to take it racing, specifically the GTE class for endurance races such as Le Mans.

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