Will We Ever Get A 2.0-Liter Or A Manual Supra In The U.S.?

Don't hold out too many hopes on rowing your own gears

We may get the smaller engine, but the manual is unlikely.

Will we ever get a manual Supra? - 2020 Toyota Supra
2020 Toyota Supra. [Photo: Toyota]

The 2020 Toyota Supra is officially here, and boy, does it have some massive shoes to fill. The previous-generation A80 Supra remains an icon among sports cars. So much so that this one sold for a princely six-figure sum not too long ago. Now, the new model puts up some promising numbers. Co-developed with BMW, Toyota’s Gazoo Racing went to work on the 2020 Toyota Supra, and the version we get in the U.S. packs a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 335 horsepower.

The U.S.-spec Supra comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine. [Photo: Toyota]

That’s all fine, but there are two bigger questions at play that haven’t come to pass with the new Supra. Will the Toyota Supra get a four-cylinder engine, and will it get a manual transmission? Earlier rumors suggested that the 2020 Toyota Supra would launch with a 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged inline-four, like the BMW Z4.

[Photo: Toyota]

We know now that Japan will see that 2.0-liter engine, in two states of tune. The base SZ model manages 194 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. The other, dubbed SZ-R, puts out 254 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. As with the six-cylinder option, both of those mate up to an eight-speed automatic. As it stands, Toyota’s been quiet on whether that car will make it over to the U.S. anytime soon.

Any chance of a manual Supra?

And speaking of that eight-speed automatic, that leads into the other big question. Will Toyota consider a manual transmission for the A90 Supra? In a roundtable with reporters, Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada did not explicitly rule it out. However, he also said, per a Carscoops report, “If the mass market demand is there, it would be something that would have to be considered. It depends on the right timing.” He further stressed that demand would have to be “persistent” and “overwhelming”.

As it stands, according to a report by AutoGuide, “I am very satisfied with the results of the performance transmission system. [The eight-speed automatic] is completely different from any other automatic transmission that has been released.”

Of course, we’ll be the judge of that once we’re able to truly get behind the wheel of the 2020 Toyota Supra. Tada also engineered the 86, which is more or less the lower-power alternative to the Supra here in the U.S. Mind you, that car puts out 205 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. Would Toyota want to bring in a four-cylinder Supra when the 86 — with a manual tranmission, no less — exists?

Nothing is ever outside the realm of possibility. Given our demand for cars with bigger engine and our lack of interest in manuals, however, it seems unlikely Toyota will jump on answering either question for the Supra in the U.S. market in the near future. If customer demand is great enough, they may bring the SZ 2.0-liter model over here. But the manual? The take rate hasn’t been great, as evidenced by our latest comprehensive list of cars with manual transmissions. In short, Toyota likely won’t fit a manual transmission in the Supra since folks are hardly buying manuals anymore.

Supra spec information: Toyota