New Toyota Supra Won’t Be Getting A Manual Gearbox

Jeez, we’ve been waiting for what feels like forever to see the new Toyota Supra. The 2018 Geneva Motor Show finally gave us our first look at what the next-gen sports car will look like thanks to the Gazoo Racing Supra Racing Concept.

Unfortunately, Autoblog has some bad information to share about the vehicle.

The outlet sat down with Toyota engineer Tetsuya Tada, the brand’s chief engineer behind the Toyota 86 and the man who reportedly wanted the Supra name to be revived, at a roundtable at the motor show. Tada didn’t have good news to share with the outlet.

The Supra, sticking to its humble roots, will feature a turbocharged inline-six engine. Specifics for the engine are still up in the air, but that’s good news. Now onto the bad stuff.

The outlet claims that Tada has already ruled the possibility of a manual transmission out for the vehicle. Unfortunately, if you want a Supra, you won’t be able to depress a pedal and push a lever yourself.

The reasoning behind not offering a manual transmission, according to the outlet is because, “Tada said that Supra fans don’t think it’s a huge requirement…” We don’t agree with Tada on that point, but can see his logic.

With Toyota’s partnership with BMW, the upcoming Supra won’t be cheap. While pricing is still up in the air, individuals that can afford to buy the vehicle probably don’t want to shift gears themselves. And before you go harping on whether that’s true or not, the Chevrolet SS was reasonably priced and had a manual gearbox and no one bought those.

Other noteworthy news includes a 50:50 weight distribution and a lower center-of-gravity than the sportier, smaller, and more nimble 86. The engine – and tuners will love this – according to Tada will be easy to tune.

Last August, we heard that Toyota would offer the Supra with a manual gearbox. But with Autoblog and Road & Track now sitting down with Tada and holding a face-to-face conversation with the man behind the sports car, it doesn’t look like a manual transmission will happen.

more photos...

Image credits Guido ten Brink / SB-Medien & NP

  • LWOAP

    For Tada’s sake he better hope he’s right about people not caring that much about a manual and about the engine, because if not, he’s going to have egg on his face. I personally wouldn’t make such blanket assumptions about what the fans actually want without talking to them.

    As for the Chevy SS? Yeah, I’m pretty sure GM dropped the ball on that one and didn’t attempt to push it out the door.

  • Dr Strangefinger

    Not offering a MT is a huge huge fail for a car like this. What is wrong with Toyota???

    • Bo Hanan

      I think the decision was probably made by BMW during the cars gestation.

    • Ary Wisesa

      I think the decision made based on business case. Yeah, car enthusiasts would crave for manual transmission. But sales numbers, unfortunately, doesn’t agree with it. So at the end of the day, the investments for manufacturing manual version are too great to be profitable.

  • PhilMcGraw

    I think it depends on if the transmission is more like a Porsche PDK than just a regular automatic gearbox. Only then could I understand not offering a manual, but if it’s just a regular 8-speed auto or one with fake paddle shifting then I think it’s going to really hurt the Supra’s image.

    • javier

      yup dsg and it at least has some cred

  • ErnieB

    There go the Supra purist..

    • Mill0048

      Yeah, if they didn’t give up when they heard it was going to have BMW engines, they will now.

  • txsupra11

    Autoguide is reporting a manual may still happen.

  • Socarboy

    Killer car none the less one more reason to keep my 99 Tacoma RWD 5-speed; manuals have their rewarding drives but in this constantly ever connected world I can understand why the manual is fixing to go the way of the dodo

  • txsupra11

    Thanks for posting that!

    • Honda NSX-R

      No problem man.

  • Christian Wimmer

    I’m not surprised.

    Also, correct me if I am wrong but I am under the impression that the last Supra was pretty much overwhelmingly sold with an automatic transmission.

  • LWOAP

    And when a vehicle sells in low numbers some blame the enthusiasts for it and some go as far as to call them unreasonable. The way I see it, they’re just voting with their wallets by not purchasing it sending the manufacturer a clear message they don’t like the product.

  • RDS Alphard

    Supra was NEVER cheap, even back in 93, they cost like $44k+.

  • Justin Su

    it makes total sense though…

    the ones who can afford it don’t want a MT
    the ones who want MT can’t afford it

    but then you see the 911R…. and upcoming successor of Huayra which seems like will be strictly MT
    i guess that market is too small for a still kinda commercial car like Supra

  • HG504

    Big miss on Toyotas part. Should have offered a manual. Even if its limited they should still have offered it

  • Thando_Gqabaza

    I’ve been looking forward to this for years and this just kills it.

  • getoffme

    The new generation of Supra is looking for a new generation of the enthusiast. The old generation of Supra enthusiasts are in their 50s-60s. Think about that. You can not blame Toyota for what the new market wants.

    • Dr Strangefinger

      Hey, you, get off me lawn!!!

  • getoffme

    I agree 100%. You said it yourself. I would wager 9/10 who commented here do not have either money or the intention of buying one.

  • LeStori

    So Toyota builds a hard top version in auto only for those that just point and tramp and BMW builds a soft top version for old men who want to be young. They will drive down the road, hair-over fluttering in the breeze . Bald pate going red. Alternatively wearing a hat.

  • Mitch Harie

    just like with the 86 was a toyota in theory, its only a supra in theory, mostly a bm with different badges.. suspension based on bmw, engine bmw, interior bmw ( seen from spy shots), gearbox bmw, whats the ponit of making a toyota enthusiast car if its not really a toyota.. old gen supra prices are going to hold steady and keep climbing, rather spend money on a old gen supra and know that toyota engineering was the foundation of the car

    • Vassilis

      Although I do prefer the BRZ from the GT86 and I do think the car is basically a Subaru, fact of the matter is that without Toyota’s money it wouldn’t have been developed and built. I think the same applies here. I’m not sure the new Z4 would exist without the Supra. At least not in the form we’ll see it.

      • Mitch Harie

        Agree with you about needing toyota’s money. My disappointment comes from a personal liking of wanting to buy a product or service that is produced or provided by that company, it comes down to me been able to resonate with that brand and therefore I continue to buy products or choose its services. I understand that in this high costs low return environment, it is essential for motor manufacturers to be able to share that cost when it comes to development of new vehicles. In an ideal world, I would have preferred toyota focusing on building the much needed ‘fun/ exciting’ cars such as the yaris grmn and built up the GR brand portfolio with those cars, so that they are more ‘authentic’ toyota products. For me, the supra was a car that not many people thought toyota could build. So to take that name and use it on a product that is more a bm than toyota is really disappointing after waiting so long for a supra to return. I feel that a jointly developed car with bm should have been done, but the car shouldnt be called the supra, they could have used any other name for a sports car, they should have built a supra when it represents technical advancements that have been generated though toyota expertise. I guess Im just a very big toyota fan boy at heart

  • Infinite1

    I was really hoping that Toyota would offer a manual though. Sucks but at the end of the day, if enthusiasts want a car with a manual gearbox, they need to buy it when it’s offered with a manual gearbox. Otherwise, car makers can’t justify offering that option.

  • Infinite1

    I agree with you. Most people who complain don’t even own or manual nor ever driven one. I currently own a manual, but of all the cars I’ve own, and it’s quite a bit, 90% of them were manuals

  • JBsC6

    PREVIOUS show concept was quite attractive. I can’t tell from this race car concept anything. Very few consumers buy manuals and the question should be …dct or zf 8 speed torque converter automatic.

    BMW is moving to utilize the zf more often these days.

    Hard to say which automatic much less the manual.

    This Supra is a joint venture so combined sales volume of the manual transmission might make a manual viable.

  • Honda NSX-R

    But here’s one question I have: How many Supra fans/owners did Tetsuya Tada interview?

  • G82FS

    Good, manual is dead.

  • 63A510

    That’s why 50% of all USA Porsche 991.2 GT3’s are ordered with manuals. There is demand for manuals just not with Toyota.

  • fgclolz

    Porsche probably doesn’t want a PDK GT3 beating out a manual RS.

  • I for one care about manual trannies/stick-shifts going extinct, and do speak with my money (my Audi A5 is a 6-speed box of joy).
    I’m pretty sure the decision was made by BMW (as someone pointed out earlier) since most components including chasis and drivetrain will be supplied by them; however, I still wonder why? The Germans sell many high-end cars with manual transmissions, even Stateside…
    It all boils down to business/costs, and Toyota should not be ashamed of telling so – justifying the move as that fans don’t care much is an unnecessary and shameful tactic.

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