JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/13/23 8:00 a.m.

Soon after Toyota offered a manual transmission for the latest Supra, a question arose: Which is faster, manual or auto?

After finally running a manual-equipped Supra at our official test track, we can confidently say that the answer to that question pretty much matches our original supposition: “Well, it depends.”

We’ll start by saying that the manual-equipped Supra posted the …

Read the rest of the story

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/13/23 9:31 a.m.

Manual or automatic, it sounds like you can't really go wrong with the Supra.

KSB
KSB New Reader
4/13/23 9:52 a.m.

Good article, I was just looking at pricing and specs of a manual Supra. Just for the joy of driving I would pick the manual version. After spend a half day driving a Z51 C8, which I really enjoyed, it felt so go to slip back into my '04 Z06 and manually shift the gears. Of course the new car is better in the track, but just for the joy of driving around town and on the back roads the manual felt so much better. I was surprised by the difference as I literally step out of one car and back into the other.

crankwalk (Forum Supporter)
crankwalk (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
4/13/23 11:07 a.m.
Colin Wood said:

Manual or automatic, it sounds like you can't really go wrong with the Supra.

But I feel like with a manual version offered now.....the auto version feels a little more wrong.  cheeky

ClearWaterMS
ClearWaterMS Reader
4/13/23 11:35 a.m.
KSB said:

Good article, I was just looking at pricing and specs of a manual Supra. Just for the joy of driving I would pick the manual version. After spend a half day driving a Z51 C8, which I really enjoyed, it felt so go to slip back into my '04 Z06 and manually shift the gears. Of course the new car is better in the track, but just for the joy of driving around town and on the back roads the manual felt so much better. I was surprised by the difference as I literally step out of one car and back into the other.

i wonder how readily available the cars will be this summer?  Last year the supra commanded over MSRP and/or required a healthy wait for an allotment.  Even used examples are still commanding close to MSRP.  Also if you're paying MSRP+ is it worth a few extra bucks to step up to the BMW M2?  

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/13/23 11:55 a.m.

In reply to crankwalk (Forum Supporter) :

I hate to admit that I kind of feel the same way–though the auto is still really nice.

nocones
nocones GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/13/23 12:29 p.m.

I'm currently ignoring that my local dealer for some reason has a twin (blue 3.0 MT) to your press car on the lot.  

Not that I'm at all in the market for a near 60k 2 seater.  

 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/13/23 2:24 p.m.

Comparing the data traces of the auto Supra vs. the manual Supra, the auto lost all the time on the brakes- consistently braking earlier than in the manual.  And the rate of deceleration seemed to be about the same.  And the acceleration seems to tip in favor of the auto.  Any reason why the driver was braking earlier in the auto?

Taking this on it's face, it suggests that compared head to head on the same day with the same driver and the same tires, the auto would be consistently faster.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/13/23 2:28 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

Comparing the data traces of the auto Supra vs. the manual Supra, the auto lost all the time on the brakes- consistently braking earlier than in the manual.  And the rate of deceleration seemed to be about the same.  And the acceleration seems to tip in favor of the auto.  Any reason why the driver was braking earlier in the auto?

Taking this on it's face, it suggests that compared head to head on the same day with the same driver and the same tires, the auto would be consistently faster.

I wonder if engine braking combined with the far-forward brake bias on modern cars with ABS means that the manual has better braking overall with the rear tires doing more work?

Edit: In manual mode the auto should still get some engine braking but I don't know how that compares to the H-pattern.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/13/23 3:44 p.m.

It seems like the drivetrain would be applying a similar amount of engine braking to the rear wheels off-throttle regardless of the transmission?

For reference, here is the data plot for discussion:

The blue is the MT, the red is the AT.  In all the brake zones the driver initiated braking earlier and brought the car down to a lower minimum cornering speed.  All the area between the curves (basically lap time difference) that disfavor the AT is in the brake zones.  The area between the curves in the acceleration zones all favor the AT.

It would be interesting to know if the drivers were working the ABS in the brake zones, or if they were just judging the threshold by feel.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/13/23 3:55 p.m.

It does look like overall braking power is generally similar. If there's any difference it may be that on the 6MT, it looks like there's more initial brake bite as the speed starts to fall off more sharply, possibly due to throttle mapping differences rather than anything with the brakes (manual = sharper transition to engine braking?). Another issue worth considering may be weight difference, could the 6MT have a lower weight allowing higher cornering speeds?

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/13/23 4:55 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:

It does look like overall braking power is generally similar. If there's any difference it may be that on the 6MT, it looks like there's more initial brake bite as the speed starts to fall off more sharply, possibly due to throttle mapping differences rather than anything with the brakes (manual = sharper transition to engine braking?). Another issue worth considering may be weight difference, could the 6MT have a lower weight allowing higher cornering speeds?

I'm sure the auto is heavier, but not sure by how much. 

I know in my 135i the DCT was something like 140lbs vs 65-70 for the manual. IIRC. Been a few years. I know the Supra is the ZF 8spd that's not a DCT, so probably not relevant. 

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/13/23 6:49 p.m.

I'm going to say the difference in braking was most likely tires or track conditions or a combination of both. There' nothing particularly off in the shape of the curves that shows I was driving markedly differently, so to me that entire trace just kind of points to there being more available grip when we tested the newer car. Since we tested the 2020 version, the FIRM has also added some exit curbing, meaning you can get a bit more mid corner and exit speed, so there's also every chance I was more conservative on my entries with the pre-extended configuration.

Overall, I think (hope) I made it clear in the story that the auto is probably going to be faster for most drivers in most conditions. But I can also absolutely see situations where the manual could prevail, or certainly be more repeatable. And especially for autocross, that long, flexible second gear is going to be nice.

If I was walking into a dealership to buy a Supra, honestly, I'd be torn. Ultimately I think I'd probably go automatic. It's really, really good for a torque-converter auto. Better than it has any right being, honestly. It does have the ability to override driver wishes in some instances, but I imagine you'd learn to drive around that pretty easily after some experience with it. And with a tune and full manual control it's a monster.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/13/23 6:51 p.m.

Oh and Toyota says the weights are close enough that they list them as identical in the official press materials.

goonthree
goonthree GRM+ Member
4/13/23 10:45 p.m.

In reply to KSB :

you ran the z51 c8 at FIRM?  The car ran the fastest time for new car by the author

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/15/23 6:32 p.m.
goonthree said:

In reply to KSB :

you ran the z51 c8 at FIRM?  The car ran the fastest time for new car by the author

Interesting side note: The day we had the Supra there there was a dude in a C8Z51 who asked me to take a few laps in his car. It had some nice AP brakes, the factory track alignment and some Pilot Sport Cups. but was otherwise stock.

UTTERLY SHOCKED what a transformation it was over the stock car. Like, the stock car was good, but the track alignment just absolutely wakes the thing up. It felt like a wider Lotus Elise, and I'm not even joking. Amazing steering feel, progressive grip,and just "drive it all day" stability. 

Opti
Opti SuperDork
5/20/23 9:01 a.m.

I briefly considered these before I bought the camaro. The lack of a manual, at the timez killed it for me.

Are they good, as a fun street car, with the occasional autox? Do we have any data on reliability?

The BMW part would really worry me unless they've been shown to be reliable.

They sure are pretty

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/20/23 3:39 p.m.
Opti said:

I briefly considered these before I bought the camaro. The lack of a manual, at the timez killed it for me.

Are they good, as a fun street car, with the occasional autox? Do we have any data on reliability?

The BMW part would really worry me unless they've been shown to be reliable.

They sure are pretty

Supposedly the engines are really understressed. Stock-block Supras are making insane power, like 700+, without exploding, so at 400 they're probably not working too hard.

Aside from that, I can't imagine the overall reliability being much different from any other modern BMW in that they don't break much, but they aren't cheap when they do. I'd say any Supra is probably only as reliable as its warranty.

As a daily, the ingress/egress is a little exhausting, as the top sill is really, really low. And the car is utterly awful with the windows down, with debilitating buffeting above about 60mph. But with the air on and the windows up, it can eat miles on the highway comfortably. I drove our press car over to St. Pete and it was perfectly lovely for three hours.

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/20/23 5:45 p.m.

All that information is great. What I want to know is what was more fun. Manual or auto?   

350z247
350z247 Reader
11/29/23 3:15 p.m.

If I had a magic wand, I would love for BMW to make a Z4 coupe that had these proportions with an S58. The F87 M2 is slick but still too sedan shaped. These Supras are fantastic cars (and I do really like the way they look), but I don't want to be associated with Supras or Toyotas. As it is, I'd put the money towards a 981 GTS.

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