Some might argue that Toyota missed the mark the first time around, but that doesn’t change the fact that the A90 already has a cult following. It would seem as though Toyota have done what they can to give automotive enthusiasts the “perfect” Toyota Supra. #SAVETHEMANUAL. The mere mention of the Toyota Supra will send many enthusiasts into a frenzy. Conversely, others will be foaming at the mouth, arguing that the BMW-sourced powerplant means that the A90 doesn’t deserve the esteemed Supra nameplate – is the ‘new’ Supra a marmite car? Maybe…
Although we won’t see a new engine in the new Supra, Toyota has a few special changes lined up to appease the unhappy minorities, a group of people which we could argue that the new Supra isn’t actually intended for… A press release has confirmed that the 2023 GR A90 and limited edition A91 models will receive a six-speed manual transmission and a few other enhancements. The manual transmission will be available in the standard 3,0, 3,0 Premium, and A91 models.
The evolution of the upcoming Supra lineage will not only see a 500-unit run off the limited edition A91 Supra, but the introduction of a manual transmission, managed by an intelligent manual transmission (IMT) system. Toyota claims that all the added changes improve the performance aspect of the car.
The IMT system will assist with rev-matching during the clutch engagement, disengagement, as well as downshifts. Toyota says that the system can be completely turned off in Sport mode, the idea ion which is rather appealing, too. Gear ratios have also been shortened compared to the A90 Supra’s ZF 8-speed torque converter in order to improve off-the line acceleration and mitigate the potential for sluggish low-gear acceleration feel.
From weight reductions to tuning improvements, the next iteration of the Supra nameplate will be a treat for driving purists and automotive enthusiasts. In line with the idea of optimization and improvisation, the gear lever ratio has been changed, as well as the position of the gear shifter.
The ergonomics of the Supra with the do-it-yourself transmission have resulted in an adjustment of the gear shifter position which now sits at 1,7-inches away from the front of the centre console. Focusing on improving the manual Supra’s driving experience, the electric power steering system and suspension, including the shock absorbers, have been retuned to improve the overall handling performance of the car.
The evolution of the Supra has ushered in not only a manual transmission, but also the new Hairpin+ system. This system allows drivers to take a turn that allows “greater freedom” when taking tight bends on an uphill gradient. The Hairpin+ function essentially allows for a greater difference in wheel spin between the right and left sides of the car’s wheels. Alongside this added system is the improved TRAction Control system (TRAC) as well as the Vehicle Stability Control system (VSC) mated to an Anti-Roll Program that will be adopted by both the manual and automatic A90 models going forward. Braking has also been optimised for manual gearbox usage.
Mechanical enhancements aside, the “standard” 2023 manual A90 will receive very few visual changes to its exterior. However, the 2023 GR A91 Supra with the manual transmission will be identifiable by the red “Supra” badge and will receive a set of 19-inch multi-spoke wheels finished in frozen gunmetal grey. The interior of the A91 all receive Cognac leather seats
Prices should be announced later this year with models reaching dealers sometime next year. There is still no confirmation whether we’ll see the manual Supra reach South Africa’s shores, but our fingers are crossed!