Since we’re unapologetic devotees of the manual transmission, we’re been following reports about whether there will be a manual Supra with interest. And honestly? It’s been kind of like been watching a tennis match, as stories saying one thing or the other have seemed to flip back and forth with a frustrating regularity.
That said, we think this might be the one that breaks the heart of America Supra fans.
Because while a manual gearbox has been designed for the latest incarnation of the Japanese GT, there’s a catch, in that it’s only being prepped for right-hand drive markets. And eagle-eyed readers will note that cars in the United States have controls on the left side of the car. Here’s the report, straight from our friends at Australia’s Car Advice, who broke the news.
Speaking to journalists at the global first drive of the 2019 Toyota Supra, assistant chief engineer, Masayuki Kai, told media a manual transmission has been developed – and it’s being prepared right-hand drive markets. It’s worth bearing in mind, the BMW Z4 with which the Supra shares a platform is auto-only.
“This is not yet finally decided [introduction of a manual transmission], and depending on feedback from the market, we will decide if we should introduce a manual transmission,” Kai said.
“We have developed it, yes, there is hardware ready. Right-hand drive? Yes, of course. It needs to be sold in Japan, which is a right-hand drive market,” he went on, getting manual enthusiasts in Australia all flustered and excited in the process.
At this point, we imagine plenty of American enthusiasts are getting flustered for a different reason. Because while we have every expectation that the Supra will be a hoot to drive, a stick would have been a selling point for all those who longed for a Supra back in the day, and now want to get their hands on the next-gen model.
We’re not sure when you’ll actually see a Supra at your local AutoNation Toyota dealer, but rest assured, we’ll keep you posted.