The new manual-transmission Toyota Supra has been announced, and the motoring community is ecstatic. Finally, we have a more involved driving experience in one of the most loved automotive names in the business.
The manual Supra will have some stiff competition in the form of the new Nissan Z, which will no doubt be its biggest rival – as well as from the Germans with the BMW M240i and M440i. Porsche has also thrown their hat into the ring with the 4-cylinder 718 models, while the 4.0-liter flat-6 versions have a much more involved driving experience. The French are also competing with their Alpine A110 which is among the best handling cars on sale right now – with the only issue being that it is only available with a flappy-paddle dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission, instead of a fun manual.
So, while the Toyota Supra is still up against all the automatic version’s usual rivals, the manual transmission adds an innumerable amount more desire to the car. With that, we’d buy the new manual-transmission Toyota Supra over these 10 sports cars any day.
10 2023 Nissan Z
The new Nissan Z is one of the most anticipated models to be released in 2023, with orders already starting. The Nissan Z – also called the Z34 for classification purposes – is fitted with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, mated to either a 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic transmission.
The engine is part of the VR family – the same as the 3.8-liter from the R35 GT-R – and produces 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. It goes to the rear wheels only, much like the Toyota Supra. The Nissan Z34 will be the manual Supra’s biggest rival, and a head-to-head review would be quite interesting when both cars are officially out.
9 Toyota GR86
The Toyota GR86 can be seen as the smaller sibling to the Supra and has been available with a manual transmission since it was first introduced. The current generation is fitted with a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated flat-4, producing a healthy 230 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque.
The GR86 is one of the best small sports cars on sale thanks to its lightness and agility in the corners. It is also fun to drive and has improved massively over the previous GT86. The GR86 still retains all the original characteristics but offers more power and comfort to make it a great car for a weekend blast or a daily driver.
8 Infiniti Q60
The Infiniti Q60 is a premium coupe from Nissan’s luxury division. It is fitted as standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged i4, or the same twin-turbo V6 as the new Z34 sports car. The V6 comes in two states of tune, with the Red Sport 400 trim level getting the same performance as the new Z.
The Q60 is only available with a 7-speed automatic, either going to the rear wheels only, or all four – depending on the trim level. The Q60 is a great coupe that still looks fresh, even though it was introduced in 2017.
7 BMW Z4
The BMW Z4 is the current generation Supra’s German sibling and features all the same engines and drivetrains as the Supra. Unlike the Supra, the Z4 is a convertible only. The Z4 is also more grand touring car rather than a sports car like the Supra, with more expensive materials used on the interior.
The Z4 is a great premium car for anyone looking to cruise down the coast in style, after thrashing other sports cars on the track. The Z4’s version of the B58 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-6 officially makes more power than the Supra, however, dyno tests have confirmed that the Supra actually makes a lot more power than advertised.
6 Audi TT RS
The Audi TT RS is currently still one of the more unique sports cars on the market, thanks to its unusual engine configuration. The TT RS is fitted with a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5, mounted transversely, producing 395 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.
All this silly power is sent through Audi’s Quattro system to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, resulting in a 0-60 time of just 3.6 seconds. The TT RS has always been noted to drive like the bigger R8, with many reviewers claiming that it was almost as good.
5 Porsche 718 Cayman
The Porsche 718 Cayman is among the two smallest models Porsche makes along with the 718 Boxster. As standard, they are fitted with a 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. The base models produce 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.
The 718 models are among the best driver’s cars on the market, being praised for their driving involvement and feeling. The most desired models are the GTS and up trim levels as they feature 400 hp 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-6s. Like the Supra, all models are rear-wheel-drive only.
4 BMW M240i
The BMW 2-Series has been criticized for its design since it was unveiled in 2021. Many reviewers have had their time with the car and while some are still undecided on the looks, almost all have praised the driving dynamics of the car – even on the lower-end 220i and 230i.
The version to go for – until the new M2 arrives – is the M240i, fitted with the same B58 3.0-liter twin-turbo i6 as in the Supra. The difference is that the M240i is fitted with an all-wheel-drive as standard, resulting in superior grip and acceleration. The Supra can do better donuts though.
3 Jaguar F-Type
The Jaguar F-Type has now been around since 2014 and has since received two facelifts and an almost innumerable number of engine changes. The current line-up consists of either a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder or a supercharged V8 since Jaguar got rid of the awesome-sounding 3.0-liter supercharged V6.
The latest facelift has brought the F-Type in line with the rest of Jaguar’s line-up in terms of technology and styling, featuring the same sharp-ended nose as the XE and XF sedans. The F-Type is a beautiful car but starts at well over $20,000 more than the straight-6 Supra. There is simply not any competition in terms of value for money.
2 Alpine A110
The Alpine A110 is one of the coolest cars currently on sale. It is the only car made by Alpine – for the moment – and is filled with Renault and Nissan parts. The engine is the same one found in the Renault Megáne RS, meaning a turbocharged 1.8-liter producing 249 hp in standard trim and 288 hp in A110S trim.
The A110 is a lightweight sports car in every sense of the world, ditching excessively weighty parts for lighter ones, or redesigning existing ones to fit in with the car’s ethos. As a result, the car weighs only 2,400 lbs and accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds (4.4 for the A110S). The only slightly disappointing part of the car is that it is only available with a 7-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic instead of a manual, but that hardly matters thanks to the involving driving experience.
1 BMW M440i
The BMW M440i is the company’s mid-range coupe, based on the 3-Series sedan. The M440i has the same B58 straight-6 as in the Supra – and the M240i and Z4 – but produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the M240i, the M440i is available as either rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive.
Unfortunately, the manual transmission is only reserved for the top-of-the-range M4, leaving the rest of the line-up with a brilliant 8-speed automatic. The M440i is a great car with a performance that rivals that of slightly older M-cars, but because it is quite expensive and doesn’t have the option of a manual, the less expensive Toyota Supra is still the first choice – especially now that it will have a manual transmission.
10 Manual Transmission Sports Cars To Look Forward To In 2023
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