Check out Kelley Blue Book's 2023 Toyota Supra Manual First Drive Video
The manual transmission Supra, a long time coming from Toyota, only comes on the 3.0 6-cylinder, so not on the 4-cylinder version, the 3.0 Premium and a special A91-MT edition that’s going to be limited to 500 units in the U.S.
First thing I’m noticing is that the clutch is long. I have to fully extend my leg to the floor to engage it. Not crazy about that, but I do like the release point on it. Whoa, I’m also noticing that the gears are super long. Maybe too long? Dunno. This is a manual transmission that does have a rev matching feature on it. That’s Toyota’s Intelligent Manual Transmission and it’s a nice feature if you’re not an expert driver or if you’re not in the mood to work on your heel-toe technique. Good thing is, if you are, you can switch the feature off. For me there’s a tiny bit of a hitch in the gearbox when shifting quickly. It’s not 100% smooth. In my opinion the gold standard is the gearbox on the Mazda MX-5 Miata. But tell me in the comments which one you like the best.
The Supra manual gets a system called Hairpin + which lets the tires spin a little bit longer when you’re going around tight turns to help you make them a little more easily. The ZF transmission was engineered to handle the torque of the Supra (graphic: 382-horsepower, 368 lb-ft torque). The transmission housing and gearset were an existing package that Toyota had, so they really didn’t start from scratch. Which begs the question why they didn’t anticipate the desire for a manual sooner.
Any time you talk sports car, you’ll always have enthusiasts saying manual, hence why Nissan’s launched with one in the new Z. Speaking of competitors, the Z is one of them for sure. You’ve also got the BMW Z4, which we all know shares a lot of DNA with the Supra, the Porsche 718 Cayman, Volkswagen Golf R, Mazda MX-5 Miata and let’s throw in there the Chevy Corvette. Lots of players in this sporty field. And lots of cars you’ll still need to row yourself.
On the manual Supra the traction control has been ratcheted up a bit to better help you accelerate out of turns. Not sure everyone’s looking for more traction if you’re wanting to get a little squirrely but the peace of mind is definitely there. And of course you can turn off all the nannies and have some fun.
Good thing this gets Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 and some features to keep you out of serious trouble. I’ve got a little bit of autocross up here, there’s the rev matching. I like that system a lot. I’m not always wanting to try and perfect my driving skills. Sometimes you just want to have fun. And… I think the Supra overall is a fun car to drive. It feels really stable, nice and balanced.
Base pricing on the GR Supra manual starts at $52,500 and should be available in dealerships now. Remember, viewers this is 100% the first time I got into this car so these were very much first impressions. If you want a full review let us know! And subscribe to the KBB YouTube channel to check back and see if we do it.
But what do I think right out of the gate? It pretty much drives like a Supra with a manual transmission. Was it worth the wait? I mean, any time you’re getting another car with a manual transmission option it’s always a win. Thank you, Toyota, we appreciate it.
00:00 2023 Toyota Supra
0:20 Engine Options
0:39 Driving Impressions
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