Enthusiasts were disappointed when Toyota chose not to offer a manual transmission with a reborn German flavor GR Supra two-seater sports car 2019.
These folks will have their hopes and prayers answered in Q4 of this year, when the three-pedal option arrives as part of the 2023 model year update.
It doesn’t sound like the do-it-yourself changes are faster than what the eight-speed ZF automatic with paddles offers – on the contrary – but for enthusiasts, nothing beats the element of interactivity. A vehicle manual provided.
This review is actually a faster drive in that we did some US laps at the same media launch event with GR Corolla – which we will also review soon.
This updated Supra is coming to Australian dealers before the end of 2022At that point, we’ll bring you the full road test.
The 2023 Toyota GR Supra would cost quite a bit (up $500) what 2022 did: $87,000 before road costs for GT and $97,000 plus on the road for GTS.
The new manuals will cost the same as the cars, instead of a reduced entry price. It’s the same story in ‘USA.
To put this into some context, mechanically related BMW M240i xDrive costs $ 91,900 before the road, while Nissan Z starts at $73,300. Cheapest way into a Porsche 718 Cayman is $122,000 four-cylinder.
Getting into the Supra is a challenge for taller people, due to the small opening aperture: which is especially evident when wearing a helmet on the track!
Notice how the roof lip drops quite low, reducing the size of the side windows.
Still, it offers an attractive low-sloping driving position with a lot of ergonomics as soon as you’re safe inside, and there are certainly sport coupes that are harder to see than this one, with headroom on less head.
On the track, the ability to see the front corner through the A-pillar and through the side mirrors is paramount.
The steering wheel has a piece in the middle that’s larger in diameter than I’d like from a purely stylistic perspective, but the rim width is just right – not too fat like in some of the latest BMWs.
The digital cluster with analog tacho readings mounted in the center doesn’t complicate things: there are some cool animations available on the right and digital speed on the left, but it’s always set more clarity than flash.
That gear lever is within reach, with Toyota moving the transmission mode and traction controls to put it where you want it, while also leaving around 40mm of space between the knob and the control panel. in gears 1, 3 and 5.
Toyota has fitted the knob with its own GR badging, which adds an extra 200g to add a bit of weight to the operation, as you’ll definitely be grabbing it more than the car’s gearshift lever.
The two seats provide excellent lateral and thigh support, and enough forward and rear motion to account for most drivers. There is also a new brown trim option for Australia, replacing red.
Perched atop the dashboard is BMW’s familiar 8.8-inch touchscreen with rotary controller support, offering satellite navigation, AM/FM/DAB and wireless Apple CarPlay. However, there is still no mention of Android Auto.
There are some premium details and materials used, such as carbon fiber on the center tunnel and quality stitching. It’s also very good.
At the same time, it retains the BMW ‘parts box’ feel: the buttons on the steering wheel, under the center display and the climate control system are pure Bavarian. Tender? A little.
It’s a two-seater, there’s one 296 liters boots, more than capable of swallowing a few travel bags.
BMW B58 3.0 liters straight six produces the same power and torque as for the old year model: 285kW (5800 to 6500 rpm) and 500Nm (1800 and 5000 rpm).
All Supras are rear-wheel drive, and the eight-speed ZF automatic transmission remains the same.
For the manual, Toyota worked with the BMW ZF driveshaft and shaft, but increased the clutch diameter, strengthened the diaphragm springs and shortened the final gear ratio.
It also features a highly efficient auto-rotational joint, which you can turn off if you prefer to do your own heel and toe.
Toyota in the US “estimates” the Supra manual can accelerate from 0-60mp/h (96km/h) in 4.2 secondsthree-tenths slower than a car.
To suit context, Toyota Australia claims a 0-100km/h speed for the automatic of 4.1 seconds, a suggested time of 4.4 seconds for the manual, en route to a 250km/h top clip.
The manual version is also 18kg lighter than the automatic.
The BMW inline-six is very smooth with a wide power and torque range, providing excellent throttle and acceleration even in higher gears.
But it’s also properly quick, especially when driven right behind the GR Corolla. The low saddle, long nose, powerful engine and hint of a squat tail make this feel like a real rocket.
In Sport mode, the Supra artificially elevates the engine’s sound from within, and its rattling sound scene is truly engaging when these systems are active.
You can turn it off and go into analog mode entirely, and of course you can boost the big aftermarket if you want more kerbside racquets.
The manual clutch feels well weighted, but it was the short and mechanical shift action that impressed me more – especially since I found the throw in some BMW manuals a bit dreamy. lake.
You’ll be eager to paddle your own gear, which feels clearly evident on the test track in Utah, where Toyota held the launch is something you can do in third gear.
It’s easy to see why so many Supras with 770 units sold in Australia so far have kept track of time.
In addition to the new manual transmission, Toyota has tweaked the electric power steering and stability control to respond quickly to steering input, while also changing the suspension bushings.
The electric steering has a good weight (linked to the selected drive mode), although I still think it can tell what the front wheels are doing a little better – just a bit uncertain about the nose when you get used to it.
It’s a short car, but turns gradually without too much difficulty, and as long as you’ve got control on entry, you can lean into power a little early and use that fat range of torque. and flexible suspension to really push out of a corner.
While our test track was as flat as a bump, the Supra manual has a Hairpin + traction control function that allows for a larger difference in wheel spin between the left and right tyres. on high-grip surfaces with gradients.
The mechanical layout is familiar: Dual-joint MacPherson strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension, adaptive shock absorbers and electronically controlled active LSD rear.
The US spec cars I drove were wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport rubber. Australian GTS grades will get new 19-inch forged alloy wheels that drop 1.2kg per corner.
Even after repeated use and abuse on the track in the 40-degree desert heat, the brakes were dimmed very little, although the initial bite of the pedal was a bit on the soft side.
Regardless, after some getting used to it, it’s a fun race car: small, sharp, nimble, responsive to quick changes of direction with a cheerful rear. It is also powerful enough to make time on a straight line.
The automatic with paddles is quicker, but the manual’s lovely mechanical feel has clearly added a new level of rider engagement to an already great package. I just annoy Toyota.
Toyota Australia is yet to confirm the full-featured 2023 lineup on the GT and GTS levels, but we wouldn’t be interested in many changes.
So the model walk took place and served as a good guide:
Highlights of Supra GT
- 18-inch alloy wheels
- Adaptive LED headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- Adaptive suspension
- Limited slip differential (LSD)
- Normal and sport driving modes
- Proximity key access
- Rain wipers
- Leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel
- Sports leather seats
- Hot seat
- Electric seats
- 8.8-inch digital instrument cluster
- 10-speaker sound system
- 8.8-inch screen with touchpad
- Satellite positioning
- Wireless Apple CarPlay
- Wireless phone charger
- Digital radio station
- Dual-zone climate control
Supra GTS adds:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Red brake calipers
- Head-up display
- 12 speaker premium JBL sound system
Standard safety features include:
- 7 airbags
- Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
- Car to car
- Pedestrian and cyclist detection (date)
- Lane departure warning
- Adaptive cruise control
- Rear cross-traffic alert
- Rear parking sensor
- Reverse camera
Toyota Australia offers a five-year, unlimited km warrantyextended to seven for regularly serviced sleds.
It has not announced service pricing for the MY23 Supra, but the upcoming version is very affordable to maintain for a sports car and we have no reason to change this.
The MY22 Supra has a service life of 12 months or 15,000 km, with all first five visits limited to $390 a pop.
The manual transmission doesn’t make the Supra faster, but it does open it up to more buyers.
And while mid-life tweaks are small in scope, it’s important to remember this is a niche car.
It’s still a car with competitive pricing, performance to match supercar style and the backing of a community of enthusiasts, with all the benefits it has to offer.
I can’t wait to get a suitable instructor in Australia before the school year ends!
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