The 2023 Toyota GR Supra gains a much-need manual gearbox.
Let’s hear it for the Toyota GR Supra! This small sports car continues to gain attention in a niche segment, a model noted for its extraordinary design, strong powerplants, and decent value. For 2023, the Supra gains an optional 6-speed manual gearbox, as Toyota answers customer demand.
2022 Toyota GR Supra Review
Toyota forged an agreement with BMW in the early 2010s to develop a new Supra. The Japanese automaker could have gone solo with its plans, but the cost most likely would not have justified reviving the model. So, this manufacturer turned to BMW, hammered out an agreement, supplied an undisclosed amount of cash, and began the process.
The current and fifth-generation Supra is based on the BMW Z4. It shares its platform and powertrains, along with suspension bits and other key parts. The exterior is unique to Toyota as is the cabin. Toyota’s Gazoo Racing (GR) performance division worked with BMW’s engineers to fine-tune the Supra. We’ve been told that Toyota supplied input that enhanced the suspension layouts for both vehicles. In any case, we saw the prototype in 2014 when the Toyota FT-1 rolled out. But it would be another six years before the Supra arrived on the market.
The BMW Z4 and Toyota GR Supra are built side by side at the Magna Steyr factory in Graz, Austria. This company serves as a contractor to the automotive industry, creating select models for several manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover and Mercedes-Benz.
For our review, we test-drove the Toyota GR Supra 2.0 I4 model ($43,540). It is the only one powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The remaining three grades come with an inline six-cylinder engine. These models are: Base I6/Base MT ($52,500), Premium I6/MT ($55,650), and the A91-MT ($58,345). Add $1,095 for the delivery fee.
Our prices are for the 2023 model which gets its first manual transmission (MT). An 8-speed automatic is standard; a 6-speed manual is available with the inline-six and is a no-charge upgrade.
You’re forgiven if you believe the Supra has a “busy” look. It does. After all, a lot is going on.
To begin, the front fascia is bold with its sleek triple LED headlamps and LED accent lights. The lights push toward the center where a subtle nose sits above the grille opening. Deep cutouts on either side of the grille supply a unique look.
The muscular hood pushes to the raked windshield, with a double butt roof sliding to the rear haunch. The Supra’s profile features distinct curves and lines, along with breathers ahead of the rear wheels.
The busiest part, however, is observed from the rear. A massive spoiler sits on the rear deck above sleek taillamps. Additional cutouts, body sculpting, and a diffuser with a pair of exhaust tips round out the expression. Every line, though, has a purpose – follow each one with your eyes and you’ll understand what the designers were thinking. You may not agree with all aspects of the look, but an unbroken stream is there.
Alloy wheels are standard and they are wrapped within staggered Michelin sport tires. LED lights, the rear spoiler, and heated side mirrors come standard.
Just as the exterior brings drama, the interior does likewise. But the action chiefly has to do with access and egress as the Supra supplies a narrow opening.
You may find yourself bending your knees, twisting your hips, and angling your back upon entry. In any case, you risk banging your head against the roofline while entering.
The cabin is almost as intimate as the Mazda MX-5 Miata, but with a bit more room to maneuver. Nevertheless, if you’re taller than 6 feet, the challenge to fit is there.
Design-wise, the cabin is nicely put together with controls that are easy to reach and decipher. Plenty of soft-touch materials, leather seating surfaces and carbon fiber bits give this model a handsome touch. The available sport alloy pedals complete that look.
Toyota equips the Supra with full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, dual-zone climate control, and supplies available heated seats.
Imagine our surprise and disappointment to learn that the base Supra comes with a 4-speaker sound system. That seems incredibly deficient for a car that will cost you about $45,000.
Move up to the 3.0 model and this one comes with a 10-speaker package. The other two grades come with a 12-speaker JBL sound system.
All four grades come with an 8.8-inch center console display. But only the Premium and A91 models offer touchscreen access. Again, that is a curious move. Bluetooth, satellite radio, and USB connectivity come standard. Choose the upper grades and navigation, wireless Apple CarPlay, and voice recognition comes in. A wireless charging tray is available as well as a head-up display.
Toyota’s seemingly legendary list of standard driver-assist safety equipment is a drawing card for most models. However, the automaker approaches this differently with the Supra. Likely, BMW’s influence holds sway here as you won’t find the Toyota Safety Sense bundle here.
Instead, Toyota does supply a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection. Also, automatic high beams and lane departure warnings with steering assist are included.
The two top grades offer a Driver Assist Package ($1,195). This bundle brings in full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors.
Is the Toyota GR Supra fun to drive? What kind of question is that?! Heck yeah, it is!
Its diminutive size works well for it. And don’t easily dismiss the base engine as this model saves 230 pounds when so equipped. That weight saving helps keep this sports car tossable, even if the run up to 60 or the passing power is less.
We’ve driven Supras equipped with both engines – we received the inline-six first, followed by the “four twice”. It is easy to want the larger engine, especially now that a manual gearbox is present. Speaking of the gearbox, it is all Toyota’s doing. BMW doesn’t offer one stateside with the Z4, so Toyota developed one exclusively for the Supra. We’ll give you our feedback once Toyota supplies us with one.
Start Your Engines
The four-cylinder engine like the inline-six comes with a twin-scroll turbocharger. This 2.0-liter engine develops 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque and routes power rearward with the 8-speed automatic transmission.
Otherwise, a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine gets the job done. Here, 382 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque are at your disposal. Choose either the 8-speed automatic or the short-throw 6-speed manual. There is no price differential, but the experience is a difference maker.
The Supra fires up and seems ready for action. Pull away from a dead stop and this sports car moves forward with authority. Weighted steering, nimble handling, and a composed but stiff ride await.
A Matter of Time
Toyota clocks the base Supra’s 0-60 time as a very respectable 5 seconds. Choose the six-cylinder with the automatic, and 3.9 seconds gets it done. The manual moves a tad slower, but 4.2 seconds is it. Doubtlessly, you won’t hear many complaints with any of the three choices.
We love how the Supra works its way down the road. Press hard on the gas pedal and the turbo spools quickly to send forth power. On the straightaway, the Supra offers neck snapback fun. It’s a thrill on the twisty roads as it hangs curves with ease. We can see how it is a darling of the track as the Supra runs laps with ease. Be careful on the corners though as the rear wheels can slip out from underneath, especially with traction control turned off.
The Supra shares the same suspension system as the Z4. This includes a double-jointed suspension up front and a five-link arrangement at the rear. Two driving modes are present – normal is for your commute, while sport is for the fun times.
Toyota GR Supra Competitors
The Nissan Z may be Supra’s nearest competitor. The Z itself was overhauled for 2022, supplying a V6 engine and an available manual gearbox.
Although larger, the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevrolet Camaro are other models to consider. We think the Porsche 718 Cayman and Audi TT are two other models of note.
Toyota GR Supra Considerations
The Supra shares its DNA with the BMW Z4 and that’s the right arrangement for this revived model.
Inasmuch as we find the four-cylinder enjoyable, choosing the upsized engine adds power and supplies access to the manual gearbox. This combination is what enthusiasts crave and beginning with the 2023 model, you can get it.
All in all, the Toyota GR Supra supplies an attractive choice at a relatively bargain price. It’s a worthy successor to earlier models and a rolling statement of Gazoo Racing prowess.
2023 Toyota GR Supra Specifications
|2023 GR Supra
|$43,540 to $58,345
|2.0-liter, Twin-Scroll Turbo I4
|255 hp @ 5,000 to 6,500 rpm
|295 lb.-ft. @ 1,550/4,400 rpm
|3.0-liter, Twin-Turbo I6
|382 hp @ 5,800 to 6,500 rpm
|368 lb.-ft. @ 1,800 to 5,000 rpm
|6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic
|Curb Weight (pounds)
|3,181 (I4), 3,411 (I6)
|50.9 to 51.1
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)
|Hip room (f,r…inches)
|Storage (bed length)
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)
|Fuel Tank (gallons)
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/hwy/comb)
|23/31/26 (I6A); 19/27/21 (I6M); 25/32/28 (I4)
Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Compiled by Tom Keegan.
Exterior photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group, LLC. Interior shots supplied by Toyota USA. All rights reserved.