It will probably be a transmission that exists only in our memories in the coming years, but it seems Toyota could be looking to keep the manual gearbox alive and kicking with upcoming updates to its Supra.
According to a Magazine X report out of Japan, Toyota engineers have been calling for a manual option. It’s said that Toyota will be continually evolving the Supra, making little tweaks here and there over its lifecycle. And as part of the rollout of enhancements, a manual option is now apparently in the works.
We heard a couple of weeks ago that Toyota might employ BMW M’s S58 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline-six engine for the flagship Supra GRMN – if BMW M decides to provide access to it. This engine is quite different to the BMW B58 unit that’s already in use in the regular Supra. For starters, it is set to produce 353kW or up to 375kW in M3 and M4 Competition form.
If we take that notion of the GRMN version getting the M engine, then a manual is certainly possible. BMW is yet to reveal the new M3 and M4, but the German company has confirmed both automatic and manual options will be available – there’s even a preview video out that shows a test driver showcasing a prototype, with a manual. Some official images were also released last month.
In its current form the Supra uses the B58 3.0-litre single-turbo inline-six from BMW and employs the same ZF-based eight-speed automatic. Over in the Z4 M40i, which shares the same BMW-based CLAR platform with the Supra, buyers are offered the automatic only as well (in Australia anyway).
There has been some speculation that the GRMN version might instead receive a tuned version of the B58 engine. Rather than developing 250kW and 500Nm – or 285kW with the 2021 update arriving in Australia later this year – the power could be lifted to around 300kW.
The report suggests the Supra GRMN will arrive some time next year. It is likely to be a limited-build model, with some markets probably missing out. We’d anticipate a manual option arriving at about the same time.