As soon as the Toyota Supra and BMW Z4 were first announced, enthusiasts wondered if either brand would offer a manual transmission for their cars. We know that BMW offers a manual in some four-cylinder Z4 variants in Europe but none in the ‘States. However, the Supra lacks a three-pedal option in any variant, in any market. That just might change, though, which could be very good news for American BMW enthusiasts.
Apparently, there’s been internal discussion among Toyota execs about a manual transmission offering for the Supra ever since it was announced. In fact, Toyota even went as far as to develop test mules with manual transmissions. According to this new report from Car and Driver, the purists at Toyota may have won out and the manual may very well be coming.
Despite being a good car, the Toyota Supra just isn’t selling as well as Toyota would have liked. Because of that, Toyota is trying to draw some enthusiast intrigue to the car. That’s why the brand gave it a power bump and handling tweak only a year into its existence. It’s also why there’s a rumored GRMN version on the way, with a 500 horsepower BMW S58 engine in it. If Toyota wants to capture the hearts of enthusiasts, offering a third pedal will certainly help.
Why does this matter for BMW enthusiasts? Well, there are two potential reasons why this news could be exciting for Bimmer fans. The first is that, if the manual Supra comes to America, it will be the only version of the Zupra (BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra) that will come with a manual gearbox. And because both cars are so similar in how they drive, one could easily look at the Toyota Supra as a hard-top BMW Z4 Coupe. A better looking one, too. So American BMW enthusiasts could get that sweet-singing BMW inline-six in one of the best chassis BMW’s made in years with a proper three-pedal ‘box.
The other reason is that, regardless of where you live, if Toyota offers the manual on six-cylinder versions of the Supra (which we’re inclined to think it will, given that the early prototypes were only six-cylinder models), it will be the only way to get a BMW B58 with three pedals. Admittedly, you could get an M140i on the used market, which has both a B58 and a manual option, but that car’s been discontinued. So as far as new cars go, the Toyota Supra is your only chance.
So this is very good news for BMW enthusiasts. While we’ll never get a manual Z4 in the ‘States, there’s a possibility we could get a manual Toyota Supra. For any BMW snobs, the Supra is about 90-percent identical to the Z4 and the ten percent that’s different is its styling, which is far, far better looking than the Z4’s. To be honest, I’m getting chills just thinking about a BMW B58 paired with a six-speed manual in a package as good looking as the Supra. Please, Toyota, bring this to market.
[Source: Car and Driver]