One for the purists: BMW Z4 M40i to receive manual option

More engaging, driver-focused Z4 set for the UK in 2024

BMW has finally announced its Z4 sports car will be available with a manual gearbox, nearly a year after a three pedal set-up was added to its Toyota Supra sister car. 

The current, G29-generation BMW Z4 has only been offered with an eight-speed automatic since it launched back in 2019, but the German brand has confirmed it will offer the option of a six-speed manual on the range-topping 335bhp M40i from early 2024. However, BMW hasn’t said if it will also offer the same transmission on the entry-level sDrive20i. 

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In a social media post announcing the return of a manual Z4, BMW claimed the latest offering would have “sharper, more pure performance”. In the Toyota Supra the manual version takes 0.3 seconds longer to reach 62mph than the automatic – which completes the sprint in 4.3 seconds. The Z4 M40i takes 4.5 seconds to go from 0 to 62mph, so expect the manual to be slightly slower. 

BMW will probably not utilise the same manual gear linkage from the Supra either. Toyota developed a new weighted gear knob and built quite a few bespoke components for the manual Supra. The manual Z4 on the other hand will likely have its own feel, with elements taken from other BMWs like the previous-generation M240i and 340i – both of which used a manual gearbox with the Z4 M40i’s ‘B58’ inline six-cylinder engine.   

According to a report from US outlet Motor Trend, the manual variant of the Z4 will cost $3,500 more than the automatic in the states. There’s been no word on pricing for the manual Z4 in the UK yet, but further details will be revealed in early January 2024.

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