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One of the biggest complaints folks threw around about the newest Toyota Supra upon its release was its lack of an available manual transmission. For many, it was an easy-to-lean-on excuse for having zero prospects of buying one in the first place. However, for those who were actually ready to buy, we applaud you for your follow-through. Why? Because the manual-transmission Toyota Supra is selling remarkably well.

Nearly half of 2023 Toyota Supra customers ordered one with a manual transmission

Manual Toyota Supra Stratosphere Blue 2024 model year with six-speed transmission
Manual Toyota Supra | Toyota

Road and Track states that Toyota confirmed sales numbers for the 2023 Supra. According to their article, 1,216 2023 Toyota GR Supras came with a manual transmission. That accounts for 47 percent of sales overall for the 2023 Toyota Supra.

If you’ll recall, the Toyota Supra came back after nearly two decades for the 2019 model year to much scrutiny. Despite being a phenomenal car to drive, there was no shortage of loudmouths happy to complain about its close relation to the BMW Z4 and the absence of a manual transmission option. The intense standards are relatively understandable, considering the legendary status of the previous generation JZA80 Supra.

The ZF eight-speed transmission found in the automatic models is a rapid-shifting beast. However, a healthy majority of sports car enthusiasts long for a manual transmission when it comes to a fun car like the Supra. Fortunately, Toyota listened to the enthusiasts’ calls for a stick shift, and it actually paid off, seemingly.

That’s a bit surprising to me.

The manual Toyota Supra may have been more of a gamble than you’d think

2023 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium trim in Stratosphere Blue with manual transmission
2023 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 Premium in Stratosphere Blue | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

While enjoying a manual transmission may seem like a no-brainer to car enthusiasts like myself and others, it’s important to keep some perspective. Adding a manual transmission option was likely a costly hurdle. Toyota could have invested in making this a reality just to see it become a waste of time.

A great example of this scenario is the C8 Corvette. There’s no shortage of complaints about its lack of a manual transmission, either. However, the Corvette Museum reports that for the 2019 model year Corvette, only 22.4 percent had manual transmissions. That was a recurring theme throughout the C7 generation and a major factor for GM’s decision not to offer a manual variant of the C8.

That really begs the question as to what the big difference is. Could it be age groups? According to MacMulkin Corvette, the vast majority of C7 Corvette buyers were between the ages of 46 and 66. A bit ironic, as that’s the age group that loves to share memes about younger generations’ inability to drive a manual transmission.

Is the Supra’s demographic much younger, though? Furthermore, will Toyota’s sales records influence more manufacturers to offer manual transmissions? Only time will tell.


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