Having waited for more than two decades since the last manual Supra, Toyota’s US arm anticipates only one-quarter of buyers will opt for three pedals.
The 2023 Toyota GR Supra will introduce a six-speed manual gearbox after three years of calls from enthusiasts – but US buyers are expected to heavily favour the existing automatic, according to the Japanese car giant.
Announced in April, Toyota’s three-year-old GR Supra will be sold with a six-speed manual transmission from later this year, joining the existing eight-speed torque-converter automatic.
In Australia, it will represent the first three-pedal Supra since the previous model departed showrooms in 1998.
Despite the anticipation, a spokesperson for Toyota USA told US publication The Drive it expects only 25 per cent of new Supra orders in the US would be for the manual – offered as a no-cost option – anticipating the automatic to account for bulk of overall demand.
“We’re expecting that roughly a quarter of Supra sales will be equipped with the manual transmission option,” a Toyota USA spokesperson told The Drive.
“Toyota strives to provide customers with options to best suit their needs.
“The price parity between manual and automatic versions of Supra is a great way to give customers the choice of how they want to experience this incredible vehicle.”
In a 2019 report by CarBuzz, Toyota USA said just one-third of its 86 coupes that year sold were manual, showing US buyers prefer automatics even in a sports car. About 40 per cent of Volkswagen Golf GTI and R buyers opt for a manual, reports indicate.
Toyota Australia is yet to announce local pricing for the updated Supra, although if US prices are an indication, the manual and automatic gearboxes will be available for the same cost. For a run-down of standard features for 2023 in Australia, click here to read Drive’s earlier story.
In Australia, the 2022 Toyota Supra GT and GTS variants cost $86,494 and $96,494 plus on-road costs, respectively.
From its local debut in late 2019 to the end of last month, Toyota has reported 778 Supras in Australia.
Sales have declined each year from 327 in 2019 to 155 throughout 2021, with the 96 cars sold from January 2022 to the start of August representing a decrease of 26 examples.
Toyota’s decision to offer the Supra with a manual transmission contrasts BMW’s decision to remove the three-pedal as an option for its twin, the Z4 convertible.
However, while the manual transmission was only available on the Z4’s four-cylinder sDrive20i variant, the Supra is exclusively sold locally in six-cylinder form. This may change in the future, as rumours suggest the six-cylinder Z4 M40i will gain a manual option in 2024.
Performance cars available with manual transmissions include the Ford Mustang GT, Focus ST and Fiesta ST, Hyundai i20 N and i30 N, Mazda MX-5, Mini Cooper S and JCW, Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman and 911, Renault Megane RS, Subaru BRZ, and Toyota GR Yaris and GR86.
The Toyota GR Supra is set to go head-to-head with Nissan’s new Z coupe later this year – both of which feature two doors, rear-wheel drive, turbocharged six-cylinder engines and a choice of manual or automatic transmissions.