One of the first things I noticed about driving the Supra is I could be faster threading the car into corners rather than diving into them. With that long 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine out front, I was sitting so far back in the Toyota, I was right in front of its rear wheels.
This meant a good two thirds of the car was already into the corner before I was, which made tossing the Supra into a turn a recipe for unwanted oversteer. Instead, I threaded its nose in, waited patiently, and then rolled onto the throttle as my body reached the apex to pull the rear end around. Driven this way, I could go quite quickly — and smoothly.
As reported here at TheDetroitBureau.com back in April of ’22, Toyota finally fitted a manual transmission to its halo sports car. In so doing, the storied automaker upped the most powerful version of the Supra’s fun quotient by a factor of six. The manual is mated solely to the Toyota’s 382-horsepower, 3.0-liter engine, while the 255-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder version of the Supra remains an automatic-only offering.
By now, the story of Toyota’s partnership with BMW to resurrect the hallowed Supra nameplate is fairly common knowledge among the automotive cognoscenti so I won’t belabor it here. What I will say is there is so much BMW in the Supra, I almost wonder if it’s really fair to call it a Toyota. This is particularly true now that the Supra’s 6-cylinder engine enjoys the near 400-hp output previously reserved for the Toyota’s BMW Z4 fraternal twin.
Love it or hate it, there is no denying the Supra’s look is all its own. Nothing else even resembles the car, and yet it’s instantly identifiable as a Toyota product. I have to admit the Supra’s appearance has grown on me, as it was most assuredly NOT love at first sight.
The amalgamation of voluptuous curves has become more fetching over the years though and I think the design will age well. On the other hand, I do still wish all of those “vents” Toyota’s stylists incorporated into the design were functional.
If you’ve been in a contemporary BMW, you’ve been in the Supra. The major switchgear and the center console are shared with the Z4. The most obvious divergence is the instrumentation, which is exclusive to the Toyota. The tachometer, as it should for a car of this nature, commands most of the real estate in the binnacle behind the steering wheel.
Driver and passenger accommodations are best described as close-coupled and sporty, yet comfortable. I found the latter to be particularly true over long drives as the seats also proved quite supportive during the extended outings the Supra’s exhilarating nature inspired me to make.
As previously mentioned, Toyota gets 382 hp from the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6, along with 368 pound-feet of torque. My informal thousand-one, thousand-two, thousand-three counts gave me a consistent zero to 60 of right around four seconds. The engine revs freely, is smoother than Idris Elba in a Valentino tuxedo and pulls with what feels like infinite capacity.
The 6-speed manual transmission feeds the rear wheels and shifts with the precision of an HBCU marching band in a homecoming parade. The lever provided just the right amount of resistance and it went almost presciently into the next gear. Upon my first occasion to downshift, I depressed the clutch, rolled onto the brake, took hold of the shift lever and was about to blip the throttle with the heel of my right foot — only to be surprised when the Supra’s automatic rev-matching function beat me to the maneuver.
Safety and Technology
Here again, the familial relationship between the Supra and the Z4 is readily apparent. In fact, the Supra even inherited BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, complete with the rotary controller on the center console.
An 8.8-inch touchscreen presides over the dash. Apple CarPlay is offered, but Android Auto is not. Toyota’s Safety Sense suite of advanced driver assistance technologies is duly applied to the Supra and can be upgraded with functions such as active cruise control and blind-spot monitoring.
The 6-speed manual transmission transforms the Supra’s driving characteristics. I noted improved control over all of the dynamics of the car, particularly when attacking my favorite canyon roads in earnest. Managing shifts for myself, balancing the car in corners with the throttle and executing downshifts upped the engagement ante logarithmically.
Simply put, the car seemed more “alive” with the manual transmission. Plus, I felt like I was contributing to the process, as opposed to just managing it, as I did in the automatic transmission-equipped version of the Supra.
2023 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Manual Specifications
|L: 172.5 inches/W: 73 inches/H: 50.9 inches/Wheelbase: 97.2 inches
|3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6 cylinder; 6-speed manual transmission, RWD
|19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/21 mpg combined
|382 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $55,650; As tested: $58,365 including $1,095 destination charge
Driving the 2023 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Manual is an altogether different experience than that of its self-shifting counterpart. Yes, the styling remains polarizing and yes, the Supra is more BMW than Toyota. However, let’s not forget BMW builds some exceptional driver’s cars and Supra benefits mightily from the association.
Toyota’s top sports car is fast, handles beautifully (once you give it what it wants) and is quite comfortable over long distances. If you’ve been waiting for the curvaceous coupe to be fitted with a “proper” manual transmission your wait is over. And yes, the wait was worthwhile.
2023 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Manual — Frequently Asked Questions
Is the manual Supra faster than the automatic?
As has become the norm these days, the 6-speed manual is slower than the 8-speed automatic. If you handle the gears, the best you’ll do is 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds while the auto will nip you at the line in just 4 seconds flat.
How much horsepower does the GR Supra 3.0 possess?
It comes in at 382 horsepower with 368 pound-feet of torque. It’s a substantial boost over the 2.0’s 255 hp.
How much does the GR Supra cost?
The 2023 model starts at $43,540 for the 4-cylinder model that comes with only the automatic transmission. To move up two cylinders and more than 100 hp, it’ll cost you $52,500 — to start. If you push all the way to the A91-MT, the check you’ll write for that starts at $58,345 — before any fees.