Get excited, purists – a three-pedal Supra is a real possibility for our market. Fingers, toes crossed...
Despite most manufacturers moving away from manual sports cars, Toyota is likely to launch a three-pedal version of the Supra to satisfy purists.
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.
While sales of manual cars have ultimately declined over time – with some supercar brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini no longer offering any manual models – the purists buying cars like the Toyota 86and Mazda MX-5 are still opting for the 'hands-on' driving experience offered by three pedals and a stick.
Given BMW's nous with the manual gearbox and six-cylinder engines, it's sure to be a cracker too. It's also a great way for Toyota to lower the entry-level price of Supra, giving buyers the option of how they swap cogs.