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Of course now I can't unsee the longer shifter . Didn't even notice it before.
Now, only the non-hybrid variant can be equipped with the six-speed manual. And because the new engine had to be mated to Toyota's six-speed gearbox, the automaker had to do some tweaking to make things fit, including adding a long shifter. According to Tacoma Chief Engineer Sheldon Brown, that extra length and longer throw is the secret sauce that prompted the look of the shift boot.
"The shift lever is a little bit longer throw because the 6MT made it to the new L4 turbo," Tacoma chief engineer Sheldon Brown told The Drive.
"We had to change, of course, the bell housing and so the mechanical attachment to where that goes to the transmission is a little bit longer. We have just a little bit longer throw, so, therefore, we had a little bit longer shift lever and the boot is just there to match that."