When specified in its standard form Toyota claims a near 40kg weight saving over the automatic, which is now only offered in Pro trim with its heavier power-adjustable seats and other luxuries. Delving deeper into the specs suggests a little smoke and mirrors here, and if you want a lighter Supra the 2.0 four-cylinder is the only one you’d describe as athletic, something that was noticeable on the tight and twisty Monteblanco track where we got to try the new manual. 340PS (250kW) and 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds sound pretty impressive on paper, but even with a shorter final drive the manual is three tenths slower than the auto and never quite punches you in the gut the way its looks suggest it might.
Fear not, though, because the turbocharged, BMW-sourced engine is a known quantity to respected tuners like Litchfield and many others, any one of whom can easily unleash the beast within. This may be something to explore further down the line when it’s your name on the V5 and not the finance company’s, but the foundations are more than up to it. The Supra in standard form offers a broad operating range from relaxed GT through to proper, rear-driven thug. If you want a serious sports car that’s all about balance and fingertip steering response buy an Alpine A110 or a 718 Boxster.
But where many of that ilk hide their true talents way beyond what you can responsibly enjoy on the road, the Supra instead seeks to entertain at a more realistic pace. The brawny response of that big engine, the well-telegraphed weight shifts through your hips and the lazy transitions into oversteer as mild or wild as you feel comfortable with are actually far more fun in a lot of ways. The more intimate connection to all this through the manual gearbox is a natural fit, and explains Toyota’s confidence in the expected healthy sales split when it becomes available.