Ever since the all-new Toyota Supra hit the road, purists have been grumbling about the lack of an oar to paddle the vaunted nameplate down the road. They've been none too fond of the bones of the car being more BMW than Toyota too, but with today's increasing car development costs and collaborations, it is, I suppose, a natural happenstance and a sign of things to come.
Aftermarket modifications are to be expected with a marquee name like the Toyota Supra and it didn't take long at all for tuners to get their hands on her. The first tweak, upgrade, etc. I remember seeing was the teardown and 1,000 hp build of the Supra's BMW/Toyota motor by Papadakis Racing. I've included a Youtube video of the complete build below and you should definitely check out the livestream on Friday at SEMA. It's a great look at the guts of the motor with some real detailed commentary.
And the next mod I saw is right here. The most familiar quibble that most old-school gearheads have been repeating, and it's been growing louder as the stick shift seems to be going the way of the Dodo, is the lack of a manual transmission.
So the folks at European Auto Group (EAG) of San Antonio, Texas took it upon themselves to be the first on the block to undertake the challenge. While they're mostly known for service, repairs, fabrication, performance tuning, and customization of European cars such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, and Bentley, they've been branching out into other areas as well. Their work is really top notch. Very clean and smart builds that both work and integrate seamlessly with factory components.
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And for those of you that think a manual conversion is just as simple as dropping the old automatic unit and lining up a suitable manual box and then hanging a clutch, then you're dead wrong. The amount of fabrication, interior redesign, engine tweaking, ECU mapping, component matching, and hours spent in design and customization is extensive.
EAG performed a similar conversion to a Ferrari 458 this past summer and on, reportedly, the world's first 430 Scuderia awhile back as well. They sourced a 6-speed manual unit from the BMW parts bin with a custom made bell housing, picked a suitable clutch, and installed it accordingly. Then they had to redesign and fabricate a custom lower dash because the manual shifter placement interfered with HVAC and infotainment controls. Engine tweaks and ECU tuning were essential to getting the car to "feel" right throughout the rev range.
The end result is impressive and if you're interested you better get in touch with EAG right now as the waiting list is filling up quickly. Be prepared to shell out $12,000, which doesn't seem all that bad given that the conversion is rather involved. Buckle up.