It's not a 'no' from Toyota, just 'not yet.'
CarBuzz was invited to Daytona Beach, Florida to watch the Daytona 500 and get an exclusive first look at the 2021 Toyota Supra. The updates for 2021 include a power increase for the six-cylinder, a new four-cylinder engine, and a new A91 special edition. But as many of you may have noticed, a manual transmission is not on the list of new additions for 2021.
This omission wasn't lost on us or the journalists in attendance and the subject quickly became a hot topic of discussion during our Q&A session with the Supra's chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada.
"We have tested the car with a manual, but are not planning on doing it [for now]," Tada-San said.
"I'm aware that people want a manual," he explained mentioning that "[Toyota] has tested all variants of the Supra [with a manual]." But looking around the industry at competitors, it is easy to see why Toyota has not pulled the trigger yet. "Porsche's take rate [for the manual transmission] is around 10%," said Tada-San. "One of the main reasons why we did not put a manual in the Supra is that the automatic is unlike anything people have experienced before. I wanted people to experience this new transmission," before deciding that they need a manual.
Tada-San pointed out that "back during the days of the A80 Supra, automatics were not as good" but this new automatic offers "faster lap times and [there is] no area where it loses to a manual." He even reminded everyone that after increasing the boost, many owners blew up their manual transmissions in the last generation Supra. Tada-San added that "we are open to talking to the sales and marketing teams after everyone experiences [the automatic]. [A manual] is not totally out of the question."
Having driven the Supra on many occasions, we tend to lean with Toyota's stance on not offering a manual. The number of real customers for a manual transmission might be far smaller than the number of people who say they want one. And remember, buying one used in a few years doesn't help Toyota make any money. For the small group of people who want a new Supra with a manual transmission, the geniuses over at European Auto Group offer an aftermarket manual swap (with an available warranty) for $12,000.