Toyota rubbed a small but vocal group of enthusiasts the wrong way when it announced plans not to launch the 2020 Supra with a manual transmission. It's all automatic, all the time. Whether the company will change its mind during the car's production run is up in the air, so a Texas-based tuning shop named European Auto Group (EAG) took the matter into its own hands. You might assume a shop called Japanese Auto Group would handle the conversion, but remember that the Supra has a European heart. Its 3.0-liter straight-six engine comes from the BMW parts bin. Most of the bits and pieces needed to make a stick-shifted Supra wear a BMW parts number, according to CarBuzz, including the six-speed manual transmission. They're off-the-shelf components. The shift lever is the only custom-made part; it will be inspired by the cool, flip-up unit found in the GR HV Sports concept introduced during the 2017 Tokyo auto show. EAG has started the first conversion, and it's taking $6,000 deposits from customers who wish to see an extra pedal in their Supra's footwell. It pegged the swap's total cost in the vicinity of $12,000, and it warned the process takes between 30 and 45 days. To sweeten the deal, EAG enlisted the help of Canadian BMW tuner ProTuning Freaks to give the Supra more power. Supra models that go through EAG's shop for a transmission swap will leave it with about 425 horsepower, a 90-horse increase compared to the stock model. There's no word on where the extra power comes from, but EAG owner Art Bartosik told CarBuzz he has personally put over 40,000 miles on ProTuning Freak-modified BMWs without experiencing problems. That's reassuring, especially considering the transmission swap and the engine tune undoubtedly void the Supra's powertrain warranty. Speaking of, EAG is in the process of creating a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty for the cars it modifies. Installing a manual transmission in a car developed with an automatic in mind is a complicated, time-consuming project. The transmission might not fit into the original tunnel, the new pedal box might not line up with the old one's mounting points, space needs to be cleared in the engine bay for a master cylinder, and odds are the driveshaft needs to be modified. EAG specializes in installing manual transmission in high-end cars like the Ferrari 458 and the Lamborghini Huracán, so it's better positioned than most to give Supra enthusiasts the six-speed stick they've been lobbying for.
In this "Top Gear" clip, host Chris Harris and "TG" magazine deputy editor Jack Rix share their thoughts about the new Toyota Supra. Jack Rix puts Harris on the defensive right away by asking him to explain a line he wrote in a previous review of the car: "This is one of the strangest cars I've ever driven." Harris initially seems to admit that his perspective may be unique to someone who tests cars so frequently, then explains that what he meant is that he's very used to individual brands and expects certain things from them. "... When I get into an Audi, there's a smell to an Audi, there's a feeling to the seats, there's a feeling to the steering wheel." But when he got behind the wheel of a Supra, it just didn't feel like a Toyota. The two discuss the history of Japanese sports cars and what Harris thinks of the Supra's segment overall. To get the full scoop, you'll have to watch the clip above and don't forget that "Top Gear" airs on BBC America Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.
The 2020 Toyota Supra has only been on dealer lots for a couple weeks, but a U.K tuner company is already extracting more horsepower from the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. Pistonheads is reporting that Litchfield managed to return 420 horsepower via an ECU remap. No hardware changes were involved with the tune — this is simply computer work at this point. As a reference, Toyota says the Supra makes 335 horsepower from the factory — it's fast, and we got even more confirmation of that the other day with the first official lap time being set. If the car truly is making that amount of power stock, then this base tune adds an impressive 85 horsepower. Previous dyno runs of stock Supras have returned conflicting data, but the car may have more power than Toyota is letting on. Due to the variation in dynamometers, climate and cars used, comparing all these cars to each other just isn't possible. What is neat to see is that Litchfield isn't anywhere close to being done yet. The report goes on to say that Litchfield is working to optimize a tune with bolt-on modifications. Litchfield is eliminating the factory particulate filter (not installed on U.S. spec cars) and then giving folks the choice between a Milltek or Akrapovic exhaust. These light-touch changes should net another 20-30 horsepower, according to Litchfield. A similar tune for other BMW vehicles Litchfield has worked on only costs £600, which translates to about $730. The tune and an exhaust would likely be around $1,500 total, so you could have a 450 horsepower Supra for not a whole lot of money. Of course, Litchfield being a U.K. company, folks in the U.S. won't be able to take advantage of this tune right away. Litchfield isn't even ready to sell to European customers yet. This information does serve as a solid baseline for what to expect when American tuners start to unlock more of that BMW power. We'll be watching closely for that to occur in the near future.
After months of speculation, internet debate and nothing to go on but estimated Nürburgring lap times, it's official. The 2020 Toyota Supra is fast. Mike Chang, co-founder of Evasive Motorsports, wrangled the brand spanking new Toyota sports car and Formula Drift champion Daijiro "Dai" Yoshihara, and brought them both to Buttonwillow Raceway in central California. With the drifter behind the wheel, the Supra clocked a 1:58.92 on the circuit's clockwise 13 configuration, the variant most hallowed by time attack fans. For context, a sub 2-minute lap time at Buttonwillow is considered very quick for a production car. The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) track record at Buttonwillow for a Spec Miata stands at 2:05.02. According to Fastestlaps.com, a 997 Porsche 911 GT3 ran a 2:01.50 on the circuit and a 997 Porsche 911 GT2 put down a 1:59.70. For those who prefer the English section of the SATs, that would mean the 2020 Toyota Supra is a full two seconds-plus quicker than the former naturally aspirated model and nearly a second faster than the turbocharged one. Granted, we don't know the conditions for the two Porsche lap times and those are now two generations ago for Stuttgart, but for a Toyota starting with a base price of $50,920, that's a heady dose of bang-for-buck performance. To be one of the first, if not the first 2020 Toyota Supra to ever set an official lap time, Los Angeles-based tuning shop Evasive Motorsports worked with Yume Sports, another speed shop based in Vancouver, Canada. Turns out, our neighbors to the north received deliveries of the new Toyota sports car before the U.S. did, and the Canadians had a vehicle ordered and shipped directly to Evasive Motorsports' garage in Santa Fe Springs, Calif. In the time attack community, Evasive is a titan. Their shop turns out full track builds and have previously held three class records at time attack events. The new Supra is their latest project car, having literally been pulled off its transport at 8 p.m. this past Monday. The following morning, at dawn Tuesday, Chang drove the fresh-from-the-factory Toyota up to Buttonwillow with Yoshihara to serve as test pilot. In addition to drifting, Yoshihara has a considerable amount of circuit experience. He currently competes in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo series and has also driven in Super Taikyu, a Japanese GT-spec racing series, 25 Hours of Thunderhill, among others. "The new Toyota Supra was a lot faster than I expected," said Yoshihara. "I knew the car handled well from driving it before, but it's surprisingly very neutral when pushed to its limits. Power, steering, braking, and cornering are all super balanced. And for a modern car with all of the electronics, the Supra has really good feedback, you can tell what the car is going to do. It's a true driver's car." Now that Evasive Motorsports has a base lap time for comparison, its real work begins. "The first stage of the Supra build will be mostly bolt-ons," said Mike Chang. " Titanium exhaust, bucket seats and forged aluminum wheels will replace the factory units, saving weight. Adjustable coilovers suspension and sway bars will allow us to dial in handling, and a few aero modifications will help improve grip. Combine all of that with an ECU tune for more horsepower, and we should get the car to break into the 1:54s." For the final bit of context, a 991 Porsche 911 GT3 RS ran a 1:54.50. The waitlist for an Evasive-spec 2020 Toyota Supra starts behind me.