You recognize it by the red
Many asked for it and the Japanese company satisfied them: for the Toyota Supra comes the manual transmission. It is not reserved for a limited version, but is in a set-up normally in the price list, which will position itself at the top of the offer. To recognize it, you will need to sharpen your eyes: from the outside, only the writing with the model name on the tailgate changes, which is now red. The new transmission is combined with the solo 3.0 turbocharged 340 hp, and is accompanied by the novelties to the suspensions, which from this year’s production have already arrived on the other Supra (3.0 automatic and 2.0 258 HP). Given that it is no secret that this coupe was born on the basis of the BMW Z4, from which it takes the mechanics and part of the interior, it is no surprise to know that the gearbox is from the German ZF, which, compared to the transmissions already used in the models of the house from Munich, has developed a specific variant for this car.
Inside, more could be done
The adoption of the new gearbox also imposed minor changes to the interior of the Toyota Supra, in particular in the area that houses the lever. In fact, the controls around it have been moved to a more peripheral position. The rest is instead unchanged, starting from the perfect driving position and the many BMW components: steering wheel, console controls, various buttons and even the smell of a new car are the same as those found on the German manufacturer’s cars. Not that it’s a bad thing, of course: everything is intuitive to use (the controls are well arranged, physical and non-touch) and made with care but, given the price, perhaps a little more effort could be made to differentiate this coupe. Obviously, the infotainment is also unchanged: it is that of a generation previous to the most recent of BMW and, in addition, here it does not even integrate Android Auto.
It requires concentration
The sporty Docs that offer the manual transmission they can now be counted on the fingers of one hand and therefore we are very happy that Toyota offers this opportunity; but the rarity of this combination must not be an excuse to hide its flaws. Anyone who has had the opportunity to drive a recent manual BMW can already imagine what the experience will be like on this Supra: the lever requires a certain effort (and the 200 gram weight knob chosen by the Japanese increases the inertia of the movement), the grafts are a bit contrasted and the ride is not as short as on the “sister” Toyota GR86 (here the first contact). Add to that the heavy-to-operate, long-stroke clutch pedal, you understand how the Toyota Supra it is not a car where the changes are lightning fast and the transmission accepts willingly to be “mistreated”, but it requires a certain concentration in use. The “rev matching” system comes in handy, which performs the double downshift by itself (and also works when upshifting, when the first three gears are used in full acceleration). It works perfectly and, unlike on other cars, can be deactivated at will: well done Toyota.
Only on the track
We were able to drive the new one Toyota Supra with manual gearbox only on the track, in the technical Monteblanco circuit on the outskirts of Seville, so we cannot consider the comfort offered by the new set-up. On the other hand, the “character” of the German straight six immediately became clear to us: the thrust is vigorous from the first laps, although its “notes” are a bit too stifled. Even in the Sport Plus driving mode, with which we shot: it is the most advanced, and beyond which there is only the possibility of deactivating the Esp. In this mode, the intervention of electronics is punctual and never mortifying, but it certainly does not leave the freedom that some seek. The precise and direct steering (just 2.1 turns from one extreme to the other) is appreciated in dealing with the constant changes of direction; minus the brakes. In the case of the car driven, the left pedal turned out to be “spongy” and, for use on the track, we would have preferred more bite and better modulation of the system.
In our opinion
> Character. The manual transmission gives the Supra a “something” special that few contemporary sports cars can boast.
> Guide. Steering and suspension convince; and also the calibration of the electronics.
> Motor. He pushes hard on every regime.
> Brakes. The modularity can be improved; and the pedal sinks too much.
> Clutch. It is a bit heavy to operate while the throttle has a long stroke.
> No Android Auto. BMWs that use the same hardware have it: why is it missing here?
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