Ever since the Toyota Supra made its comeback this year, the buzz surrounding it is still strong as ever. While it's no direct rival to its other revived contemporaries such as the Honda NSX and Nissan GT-R, poking around international motoring media sites have been raving about it.
However, there is one question still burning in the minds of many. That question is, 'Will the new Supra ever have a manual transmission?'
For quite some time now, Toyota has been pondering on that question. There is, however, a glimmer of hope. According to Tetsuya Tada, chief engineer of the Toyota Supra, they aren't ruling out a stick-shift for the sports car. In fact, he even added that there is even a prototype fitted with three pedals and a clutch. He even went as far as saying that they are thinking about it, and 'things have been tested'. Good news then, right?
Not quite. At the end of the day, Toyota is still having second thoughts about it. When American automotive publication Automobile asked the Japanese automaker about it, they had this to say:
“We may have heard a time or two (or more) that there’s a desire for a manual transmission in the Supra. However, we’re confident in the performance of the current setup. We feel it’s the optimal combination for the U.S. market at this time and we’re anxious for customers to drive the new Supra and experience it for themselves. We’ll be sure to check back into the conversation at that time and see what people have to say.”
If you've noticed, the statement said U.S market. Still, it doesn't shut down the idea of a manual-transmission Supra. If anything, our next possible hint comes from BMW. The folks from Bavaria have confirmed that the all-new Z4, essentially the soft-top version of the Supra, will be getting a manual. For now, it's the four-cylinder models that will get a manual, but there is a possibility of the more potent straight-six turbo of having it too.
The BMW inline-six (dubbed the B58B30) has had manual transmissions paired with it at several points in its production. Cars like the previous-generation 3 and 4 Series in 340i and 440i form, as well as the M240i had or still have a stick-shift option.
Nothing is set in stone at the moment. However, the fact that the car's chief engineer said that they are testing it out should mean something.