Car enthusiasts must be happy because for relatively reasonable money, you have your choice of two killer Japanese sports cars that can both be had with manual transmissions. Well, one of them is more German than Japanese. In fact, is essentially just a BMW Z4 that learned how to speak Japanese. The Toyota Supra and Honda Civic Type R are both excellent sports cars, with big power and big fun, that can be had with classic row-your-own transmissions, in an era when those sorts of things are dying. So we should rejoice the existence of both. But we should also ask which is best.
In this new video from The Smoking Tire, we get to see a head-to-head comparison test between both cars to see which flavor of manual sports car works best in the real world. Despite both being Japanese-ish sports cars with manuals, the two are very different.
The Toyota Supra is mostly just a BMW Z4, so it has the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, with the same 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. While the Supra is the only one of the twins to have a manual, the Z4 will be getting one soon in North America. And like a proper Supra should, its straight-six engine sends drive to the rear.
On the flip side, the Honda Civic Type R is very different. Instead of being a two-door coupe, like the Supra, it’s a four-door hatchback. Its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft, which uses its own six-speed manual to send drive to the front wheels.
The Honda might not be as powerful as the Supra but its light 3,183 lb curb weight means it’s still capable of 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds. However, despite the Supra’s slightly heavier curb weight of 3,343 lbs, it’s quicker to 60 mph by a whole second, doing it in 3.9 seconds. But this test is about far more than just speed. Which car is more fun? Watch the video to find out.