The question of whether the new Toyota Supra will get a manual transmission has left enthusiasts guessing for months. Here's the good news: the Supra more than likely will get a three-pedal setup. The bad news? It's likely not in the cards for the U.S. market.
Speaking to the Australian publication Car Advice in a report last Wednesday, Supra assistant chief engineer, Masayuki Kai, said Toyota has developed a manual gearbox for the car. However, it's only been engineered for right-hand-drive markets. Obviously, the U.S. isn't one of those markets. Kai said the company hasn't made a final decision on whether the Supra will receive the manual transmission and it will depend on market feedback. He added the primary reason for developing the manual transmission was for the Japanese market.
The Supra's platform mate, the BMW Z4, will be an automatic-only affair. Thus, the manual Toyota has prepped likely either a Toyota unit or sourced by Toyota and not from BMW. The most concrete information surrounding Supra powertrains came from German transmission supplier ZF this past July. ZF documents detailed a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 and a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 option for the new Supra. Both were matched with a ZF 8-speed automatic the Supra will share with the BMW Z4.
Kai didn't say whether the manual would be exclusive to either the 6- or 4-cylinder engine. Nor did he offer up any timeframe for Toyota to make a final decision.
Rumors have ping-ponged back and forth between the idea of the Supra offering a manual transmission or not. Numerous sources have denied the idea of a fifth-generation Supra with a clutch pedal, though nearly as many have suggested there will be a row-your-own option. It appears the rumors landed somewhere in the middle of factual reality.
Given the latest development, we should begin facing the reality that U.S. Supra owners won't be swapping gears themselves.