The upcoming 2019 Toyota Supra has been a long journey from will they, won’t they to us now being so close to finally seeing it in production form. Back in March, it seemed for sure that there were zero plans on the table to offer a manual option, but now that has changed!
The icing on this deceptive and wishy-washy Supra shaped cake is that yes, Toyota has engineered the hardware and could offer a manual, but if they go for it, it will probably only be for right-hand drive markets.
This was all said at the global first drive of the car by Masayuki Kai, the assistant chief engineer on the Supra project. Here’s the quote from Car Advice:
“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.
Of course, the way the quote is worded, it’s unclear if Kai means it would only be offered in right hand drive because of the Japanese market, or that it could be offered in all markets, including the U.S. I reached out to Toyota and will update if I hear anything back.
But stop toying with my emotions, Toyota. If you claim customers don’t view a manual option as a top priority, why was it developed? If it was developed, why isn’t it an option? What is going on??