Supra is a name synonymous with car enthusiasts around the world - and when Toyota in collaboration with their Gazoo Racing division announced that they would be building the next-generation Supra on a BMW Z4 (G29) platform back in 2018, this caused quite the commotion in the industry. Five years later, we can report that this new Supra has been a success, and in 2023 over half of all Supras sold in Australia have been equipped with manual transmissions.
Today we’ll be taking the top-of-the-line GTS spec Supra for a drive, equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, for no other reason than, why not? This job is allowed to be fun sometimes - isn’t it?
How much does the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual cost?
Look, the Toyota Supra isn’t a cheap car. If you think that getting it in the manual will be cheaper, think again, with both the 6-speed manual and 8-speed ZF automatic being no-cost options.
The range kicks off with the GT trim at $87,380 before on-road costs, and we have our hands on the GTS grade - which comes in at $97,380 plus on-road costs.
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What do we think of the exterior looks of the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual?
The Toyota Supra is really stunning. Pair that with the fact that the “Supra” brand has garnered an almost mythical reputation in popular culture - and it’s a real head-turner.
The sleek, elegant lines, long bonnet, broad rear haunches, and sporty stance are something to behold on the road.
Our model is painted in “Matte White” paint which definitely elevates the appeal, making the black fake aero slots around the bumper, hood, and doors pop out.
We’ve read interesting things in online forums about being able to “rip out” these fake vents to make them functional but have to say - we don’t buy these claims, plus, who would want to mess with something that looks this good?
Viewing the Toyota Supra in the exploded view really shows the length dimensions of the bonnet and side doors. The Supra is a very long-nosed and short-tailed two-seat sports car, and this is due to the fact that it is technically a mid-engined car. The centre of mass of the engine sits behind the front axle, which qualifies it for this prestigious sports car attribute, as well as the title of “Baby Supercar”.
Despite being 4379mm in length, the wheelbase is only 2470mm which is actually shorter than the wheelbase of the Toyota GR86.
What’s the interior and connectivity like of the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual?
Being a two-seat sports coupe, you don’t get much space inside the Toyota Supra, but there has been a lot done with the space you are given. Not much has changed in terms of design since the initial Supra models landed in Australia four years ago.
Firstly, if we skim past that beautiful 6-speed manual gearbox, the layout of the centre console has been slightly changed - apparently in order to accommodate the manual shifter. That being said, the placement of the cupholders is a little annoying as larger bottles will get in the way of your elbow while shifting violently as you take off at the lights. The centre console itself is completely covered in carbon fibre which looks really cool.
Storage is pretty limited, with a small area behind the cupholders which we found actually acts as a better-positioned cupholder, a small glove compartment, and tiny door bins.
Technology-wise, the Supra isn’t going to blow you away - essentially it was pulled out of an old BMW and has a Toyota software skin over the “iDrive-not-iDrive” infotainment system.
This means you also get a classic BMW “iDrive” controller which means you can control the infotainment without the touch screen.
Apple Carplay is wireless along with Android Auto, and overall the display is responsive, sharp, and works well.
You also get some touch capacitive controls below the display for switching various media modes.
Connectivity is adequate with a single USB-A port, 12V socket, and a wireless charger with a sleeve that is supposed to stop your phone from flying around the cabin.
Another barebones, basic system is the digital instrument cluster, which in my opinion shows the perfect amount of information, with a sporty red tachometer graphic and clear digital speed readout. Additionally, you get a clear heads-up display.
You also get physical climate controls which is a welcome sight - again basically straight out of an old BMW.
Materials around the dash are soft in places, though there are some harder plastics which is a shame because they reflect noise while driving, and make for a slightly louder experience on rougher surfaces.
That being said, our GTS spec of the Supra is optioned with the “Black Alcantara” pack, this gives you amazing Alcantara sports seats, which are, again, straight out of a BMW. This is definitely not a bad thing, as the seats provide plenty of bolstering without being too restrictive like a bucket seat, and the Alcantara adds a touch of luxury to the interior of this car. Not to mention, you get heated seats.
They have plenty of leg support and adjustable lumbar support, as well as being fully power-adjustable.
Another GTS exclusive is the JBL speakers, which provide decent sound quality, and also include some giant sub-woofers in the rear which is a pretty retro look.
How much can the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual fit in the boot?
Weirdly there is no button on the exterior of the Toyota Supra itself that opens the liftback boot, instead, you need to use the physical key to pop it open.
Inside the rather small aperture; you’ll find a measly 296L boot volume which you’d be lucky to fit a suitcase into, though it would be able to handle a couple of weekender backpacks.
Under the floor is a battery - no space saver spare or tyre repair kit.
What’s under the bonnet of the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual?
Opening the massive bonnet of the Toyota Supra you will find a BMW-sourced, 3.0-litre, inline six-cylinder turbo petrol engine - codenamed B58; producing 285kW of power, 500Nm of torque.
Power is sent exclusively to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential.
You can either get the Supra with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission (again from BMW) or what we are testing here - the six-speed manual transmission.
How does the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual drive?
We’ll preface this section by saying that - despite being Toyota Supra fanboys - both Matt and myself didn’t have the highest of expectations for this manual transmission. We had experienced the new 6-speed manual BMW M2 and were a little disappointed in the way it felt, and given that the Supra under the skin is essentially a BMW, we were skeptical.
Boy oh boy were we impressed with the performance of this Toyota Supra. The gearbox feels notchy, mechanical, and amazing in the hands. They’ve done a phenomenal job on this transmission - in fact, I commented during our testing that “it feels as though this car has been built around the manual gearbox - despite the manual version coming later”, and I absolutely stand by that sentiment.
The power delivery to the rear wheels is, to put it simply, glorious. The limited-slip differential does such a great job keeping the tail in check, while simultaneously allowing the car to rotate into corners with control and finesse, and frankly without much prerequisite driver skill.
You do get a ‘Sport’ mode, in which the steering is slightly heavier and more precise, with this mode deactivated the car still feels extremely nimble but with a more relaxed steering weight. In ‘Sport’ mode, you can also deactivate the rev-matching which is on by default in normal mode. This will mean that for you manual sports car enthusiasts out there - you can heel-toe to your heart’s content.
On the back roads in outback Victoria - the Supra handles with poise, it was planted and stable around even the sharpest of turns, and the nose reacted precisely to inputs, making it a very dynamic and engaging experience. I don’t need to tell you that a manual car with great handling and plenty of power is an excellent time all around.
In a straight line, the Supra puts down all 285kW of its power with some difficulty and our best attempt of two launches achieved 0-100km/h in 4.91 seconds.
The exhaust note is also fantastic, with plenty of pops and crackles, and a cheeky burble sound whenever you start up it up. The cost of this is in fuel economy, with Toyota claiming 8.9L/100km of consumption, real world usage saw this above 10L/100km.
Overall, the Toyota Supra equipped with this 6-speed manual transmission ticks all of our boxes for being a fantastic two-seat rear-wheel drive sports car.
Is the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual Safe?
The Toyota Supra hasn’t been officially rated by ANCAP or Euro NCAP, though the BMW Z4 which shares its platform achieved a 5-star rating in 2019.
Standard safety features include:
Autonomous emergency braking
Adaptive cruise control (Automatic Only - Manual gets regular Cruise Control)
Front and rear Parking sensors
Lane departure warning
Rear cross-traffic alert
How much does the 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual cost to service?
The 2023 Toyota Supra comes with a five-year warranty that can extend to seven years for the driveline if serviced regularly.
Maintenance is scheduled every 12 months or 15,000km, and Toyota provides capped-price servicing for the first 75,000km or 5 years, whichever comes first. Owners can expect to pay $415 for each of the five service visits over five years, totaling $2,075, which aligns closely with costs from similar brands.
Final thoughts - should you buy a 2023 Toyota Supra GTS Manual?
If you are after a manual, rear-wheel drive sports car, want something faster than a Mazda MX-5 but you can’t afford a Porsche; I’d struggle to find an alternative to the 2023 Toyoyta Supra. Do you need the GTS spec with Black Alcantara pack though? Probably not, save the money and you’ll be getting some seriously awesome on-road performance for the price, minus the extra luxury of the GTS. The Supra really is a baby Supercar in every sense of the word, and I can see why it is Matt’s dream car.
Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.