Toyota Gives Supra A Manual, Skips Engine That Needed It Most
The solar shined a little bit brighter when Toyota teased that the Supra was getting a handbook transmission. The shortage of a stick-shift disqualified Toyota’s halo sports activities automotive for a lot of fans, and whereas it’s nonetheless a nice machine, it all the time felt like one thing was lacking. That modified Thursday, as Toyota lastly confirmed that the handbook Supra is actual — for some patrons.
Replace April 29, 2022, 4:20 p.m. ET: This story has been up to date with new details about the origin of the Supra’s handbook.
First, the excellent news. Toyota says it went to nice lengths to engineer this transmission and make it play good with the BMW-sourced 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. BMW doesn’t provide this engine with a handbook, so Toyota needed to do a whole lot of legwork to understand a handbook Supra. Right here’s what a few of that entailed, from Toyota’s press launch:
The engineering crew modified an current transmission housing, driveshaft and equipment set and eliminated parts that weren’t required, such because the acoustic package deal, which lowered weight. On the coronary heart of the transmission is a newly engineered massive diameter clutch with a bolstered diaphragm spring. With a bigger friction space and a stronger spring, this new element has the high-performance functionality acceptable to be used with the GR Supra’s high-torque engine.
The newly developed 6-speed handbook gearbox additionally options an clever Guide Transmission (iMT) programmed with new software program that prioritizes sporty efficiency. When upshifting, the parameters are tuned to optimize engine torque for the time being of clutch engagement and launch; on downshifts, the software program has been fine-tuned for constant efficiency. The iMT is ready because the default however, if the driving force prefers, it may be switched off in Sport mode.
To keep away from a sluggish take-off and a low in-gear acceleration really feel, the ultimate drive ratio has been shortened, from 3.15 (within the GR Supra computerized) to three.46 (within the GR Supra MT). The result’s response and gearing acceptable for sports activities automotive efficiency.
Following Toyota’s announcement, The Drive individually reported on Friday that the six-speed is, very similar to the Supra itself, of BMW origin. It’s a ZF unit “tuned by Toyota,” in as far as the Japanese automaker swapped out some elements for others — just like the aforementioned large-diameter clutch, bolstered spring and the design of the shift knob:
“The elements used within the gearbox come from a mix of ZF manufactured handbook transmissions, however the elements mixture is unique to GR Supra,” a Toyota spokesperson instructed The Drive. “Toyota partnered with ZF and BMW on the design/structure of shift lever/pedal, resolution of ultimate gear ratio, tuning of iMT [rev-matching and upshift smoothing] perform, and shift really feel.”
This Supra-specific gearbox even will get its personal, distinctive transmission code inside BMW’s elements catalog: GS6L50TZ. For what it’s price, the code for the handbook discovered within the abroad and fewer highly effective BMW Z4 sDrive20i occurs to be GS6L40LZ, in response to this SupraMKV discussion board put up. Per BMW transmission designation guidelines, the distinction between “L50T” and L40L” signifies a deviation in transmission “sort” and gearset. The “GS6″ and “Z” bits of the codes point out a six-speed handbook and ZF because the producer, respectively. For additional reference, the handbook discovered within the present M3 and M4 is designated GS6-45BZ.
Speaking of the shift knob, Toyota says ergonomics were a consideration too. Making space for a manual in a car that wasn’t originally offered with one can be a bit of a bear. Again, from the manufacturer’s release:
Close attention was also paid to how a manual shifter could be accommodated in the driver’s cockpit. The lever ratio was specifically set to minimize the effort required to make shifts and engage reverse gear. While the weight and shape of the 200g gear knob, along with the quality of shift engagement, have all been precisely defined. Ergonomics were also top-of-mind, as the console unit and position of the drive mode selector were adjusted to provide a 1.7-inch clearance between the shift knob and the control panel.
Toyota didn’t announce pricing for the manual Supra. That news will come this fall, shortly before 2023 models hit showrooms.
Here’s the catch: this six-speed will not be offered on the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Supra in any capacity. Honestly, I don’t know if a manual could have saved that car; I don’t know if anything could salvage the lesser Supra when the GR 86 and now the long-awaited GR Corolla additionally exist in Toyota’s lineup. My colleague Steve believes that no one would trouble to purchase a 2.0 Supra with a handbook in opposition to these choices, and he’s in all probability proper.
To me, a handbook 3.0 makes the two.0 Supra an excellent worse proposition than it already was, a automotive that lives within the shadow of its huge sibling. Maybe it exists merely as a base for modifications, however what number of 2.0 house owners are doing 2JZ swaps anyway? I’m all for an inexpensive entryway to efficiency — particularly for these expert sufficient to make up the distinction with wrenching — however the 2.0 is simply about $8,000 lower than the three.0, and that is Toyota’s flagship. It ought to be a reliable sports activities automotive in all its variants.
Toyota will even provide a limited-edition Supra with the handbook outfitted, referred to as A91-MT. Solely 500 of those can be constructed, with the requisite gearbox and an unique cognac inside for North America. No matter which mannequin Supra you order, if you happen to spec yours with a stick shift, you’ll get a crimson badge on the again, so everybody is aware of to procure the most effective Supra — and, maybe, to twist the knife a little bit when somebody pulls up in an earlier, auto-only Supra.