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Sunday Drive: Unleashing driving nirvana with the 2023 Toyota GR Supra Manual

By Craig and Deanne Conover - Daily Herald | Sep 16, 2023
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Deanne with the new 2023 Toyota Supra Manual edition, as we took a drive up Mapleton Canyon for some late-evening photos. The Supra is a wonderful addition to the Toyota line, and with a manual transmission it makes any canyon an adventure in driving.
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The new 2023 Toyota Supra looking out over Springville on the first day of our weeklong adventurer with the new manual edition of the vehicle.
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Inside the 2023 Toyota GR Supra.
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Inside the 2023 Toyota GR Supra.
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Inside the 2023 Toyota GR Supra.

In a realm where driving passion is often muted by technological advancements, the 2023 Toyota GR Supra Manual has emerged as a beacon of pure, unadulterated driving pleasure. This iconic sports car, that has been revered for generations, has returned this year with a manual transmission, reigniting the fervor that enthusiasts hold dear. A true manual driving experience!

The GR Supra Manual not only pays homage to its heritage but also propels the art of driving into the modern age, seamlessly blending nostalgia with cutting-edge performance and technology. Having it reside in our driveway for a week produced the makings of a fun and rewarding experience.

At first glance, the 2023 Toyota GR Supra Manual captivated us with its arresting aesthetics. Its design effortlessly weaved together contemporary lines with elements reminiscent of classic sports cars, creating a perfect blend between tradition and the world of modern vehicles.

The bold front grille, flanked by sleek LED headlights, precluded a fierce and purposeful allure. The aerodynamic lines seem to cascade along the sides, that culminated in a gracefully sloping rear, evoking a sense of motion even when the coupe was just sitting in our drive.

The manual version of the GR Supra retained a driver-centric approach, inviting us into a cockpit that had been designed for engagement. Whenever we got into the Supra, which was as often as possible, the sport seats snugly cradled us and kept us grounded for the entire drive no matter how curvy the roads became.

The minimalistic yet refined dashboard layout ensured that essential controls were easily within our reach. Modern amenities, including a touch screen infotainment system and advanced driver-assistance features that come with all Toyotas, coexisted harmoniously with the driver-focused interior design.

The core of the 2023 GR Supra’s allure lies in the revival of the manual transmission. This reintroduction of the manual gearbox pays homage to the essence of driving pleasure while accommodating the demands of everyday driving, but adding a performance factor that is unmatched.

The six-speed manual transmission transcended mere mechanics; it formed a tangible connection between us as the drivers and the machine, a connection that heightens each gear change into an intimate dance of coordination and precision. Every day became a new experience with places to go and people to see, or better yet see us in the Supra.

Beneath the hood, the 2023 GR Supra Manual houses a robust 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine, generating an awesome 382 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. This powerhouse, when paired with the manual transmission, afforded us the liberty to harness the full spectrum of power at our fingertips.

With a fantastic 0-to-60 mph time of around 4.5 seconds, the GR Supra Manual delivers a surge of acceleration while preserving a sense of control that is often very hard to replicate with an automatic transmission.

The chassis of the GR Supra Manual embodies the culmination of Toyota’s engineering prowess. Balancing precision and poise, the car glides through corners with grace, underpinned by a suspension and steering system that have been meticulously fine-tuned. The manual gearbox bestowed an unparalleled engagement factor, enabling us to dictate the tempo of each turn and straightaway, no matter where our journey took us throughout the week.

In an unexpected twist for a sports car, the 2023 GR Supra seamlessly transitioned between spirited driving and daily usability. The well-crafted seats provide a balance of comfort and support, making long journeys as delightful as quick jaunts. The cabin insulation effectively reduces road noise, enhancing the overall comfort when cruising, but leaves just enough coming inside for us to enjoy all the spirited notes that were created by the engine.

Practicality turned out to also be a hallmark of the GR Supra, evidenced by a surprisingly spacious cargo area. Whether we were embarking on a weekend getaway or simply running errands, the car proved during our test drive to be more accommodating than we might have expected from a performance-oriented machine.

About the only thing that we found a little inconvenient in this area was getting in and out gracefully at our slightly age-advanced state. But after a week’s worth of practice, we did get quite good at it.

The 2023 Toyota GR Supra transcended being a mere car; it was a testament to the enduring allure of our driving experience. In an age dominated by automated technology, the manual variant of the GR Supra was a fervent declaration of driving passion. It masterfully combined the elegance of a manual gearbox with the performance and refinement we would expect from Toyota.

Being a rejuvenated classic, the GR Supra Manual evoked nostalgia from our younger days while propelling driving into the future and keeping us engaged every time we got into the driver’s seat. Its spirited dynamics, captivating design and embrace of the manual transmission reminded us every day that driving is more than simply reaching a destination — it’s about immersing oneself in the journey.

Toyota’s dedication to this philosophy is palpable in every aspect of the car, making the 2023 GR Supra an expression of the excitement that anyone who enjoys a true coupe would crave.

Amidst a time that often dulls our sensory thrill of driving, the GR Supra with a manual transmission is a call to embrace and enjoy the unfiltered charm of the open road. After our week with the Supra was up, we found it excruciatingly hard to swap if for something different. The power and finesse of the new Super are a testament to Toyota’s commitment to crafting a masterpiece that will give passionate drivers around the globe something to really sink their driving mettle into.

Base price: $55,650

Destination charge: $1,095

Price as driven: $58,365

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