Given it’s a shared project with BMW, no one really expected the Supra to be very different from the Z4.
The mechanicals and interior design are strong reminders the 2020 Supra has more genes from BMW than Toyota. To its credit, Toyota has managed to make the Supra look significantly different on the outside than the BMW Z4 Roadster but everything else could be described as a compromise. Would it have been better if Toyota didn’t bring back the Supra nameplate at all?
Of course not, but the car is getting mixed reactions from fans. For example, many enthusiasts are asking why there is no manual transmission option for the 2020 Supra. After all, its predecessor offered that.
Well, Toyota Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada says a manual transmission is still being considered for the A90. “If the mass market demand is there, it would be something that would have to be considered. It depends on the right timing,” Mr. Tada said at a roundtable with reporters at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
However, the engineer stressed it would only happen if there was “a persistent, overwhelming demand” for a manual transmission. Emphasis on “overwhelming”: a bunch of people whining on forums that the Supra needs a stick shift might not do the trick.
Tada-san added that he was “very satisfied” with the performance of the 2020 Supra’s standard eight-speed automatic. “It is completely different from any other automatic transmission that has been released,” Tetsuya Tada was quoted as saying by Auto Guide.
The chief engineer reminded journalists that manual transmission Supras have been in “test development phases.” While that’s a fact, previous reports said the manual was developed for right-hand-drive markets only, which would include countries such as Japan, the UK, Australia, and South Africa.
During the same discussion, Toyota North America’s Executive Vice President, Robert Carter, added that the company would respond to consumers. However, he did stress that sales of manual transmission cars are insignificant in North America.