It’s 2022 and Toyota hasn’t sold a battery-electric vehicle in the better part of a decade. But it can offer you a choice of not one, not two, but THREE stick-shifted sports cars. If this has happened at any point in the last half-century please tell us when in the comments below. Perhaps if you call the old ‘86 Corolla’s a "sports car" it may have happened.
The three current sports cars Toyota now offers with a manual transmission are as follows:
1) The GR86 rear-drive sports coupe with a four-cylinder engine notably lacking a turbocharger.
2) The Just-announced GR Corolla hatchback offered with a manual transmission, 3-cylinder turbo, and all0wheel drive. It’s like a rally car sort of.
3)The GR Supra, which has been around for a couple of years. It’s a rear-drive sports coupe with engines courtesy of BMW. Actually, the whole car is pretty much courtesy of BMW. That is not a bad thing.
The Lexus RC owners are crying in the decaf, three Splenda lattes as this story is written. Or at least a couple. We are running a poll at the Facebook Lexus RC club and so far, every respondent says that if their RC was offered with a stick shift, they would have chosen that option.
Toyota said in a statement recently that, “...sports car customers and fans have spoken, and we've listened.” Have sports car fans ever stopped saying that they wanted sticks shifts? We have colleagues with stick shift tattoos. The desire runs pretty deep.
In addition to the GR86, GR Corolla, and the new GR Supra, Toyota will also sell you an iMT (Intelligent Manual Transmission) – with rev-matching capability in two trims of the Corolla sedan (SE and Apex) as well as in its Corolla Hatchback. If you like to shift pickup trucks, Toyota can also sell you a Tacoma with a stick.
Are you a fan of three-pedal vehicles? Do you like to heel-toe your downshifts? Or maybe shift 1-3 or 2-4 in traffic? How about doing drop-clutch burnouts to impress folks in traffic? If so, tell us in the comments below which of the many Toyota vehicles with a stick shift you prefer.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. John's interest in EVs goes back to 1990 when he designed the thermal control system for an EV battery as part of an academic team. After earning his mechanical engineering degree, John completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers, in the semiconductor industry, and in biotech. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American news outlets and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on TikTok @ToknCars, on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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3-pedal image montage provided by Toyota US Media Support. Tattoo of stick shift pattern by John Goreham.