BMW Z4 M40i Welcomes Manual Transmission: A Shift to Tradition

by AutoExpert   |  12 December, 2023

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The BMW Z4 M40i, known for its speed and agility, is finally bridging a crucial gap in its offering. Starting in Spring 2024, this U.S.-built roadster will introduce a 6-speed manual transmission, a feature eagerly awaited by enthusiasts and a year behind its Toyota Supra counterpart.

While the Z4 M40i has been an exhilarating ride since its debut, its sales have been muted, partly due to the broader decline in sports car demand. However, BMW's initial reluctance to offer a manual transmission – despite its reputation for crafting the "Ultimate Driving Machine" – certainly didn't help. In contrast, Toyota introduced a manual version of the Supra, the Z4's sibling, last year, adding to BMW fans' impatience.

BMW Z4 M40i

But BMW has listened. The 2024 model, arriving five years after the Z4’s G29-code debut, will replace the eight-speed ZF automatic with a six-speed manual gearbox in both America and Europe. This shift isn't just a simple transplant from the Supra; BMW has developed its unique linkage and short lever aiming to surpass the Toyota in shift feel. Early feedback suggests this new manual Z4 may even outperform BMW's own M2 in terms of shift action.

BMW Z4 M40i

The manual Z4 isn't just about the transmission. It features an M differential and rear axle assembly from the M240i, a stiffer front anti-roll bar, retuned adaptive dampers, and reworked electric steering. The heart of the beast, the 3.0-liter inline six, remains unchanged at 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. While the manual version might be slightly slower than the automatic, gaining 0.3 seconds in the 0 to 60 mph sprint, it promises a more engaging driving experience.

BMW Z4 M40i

However, this upgrade comes with a price tag. Opting for the manual transmission will cost around $3,500 more, pushing the Z4 M40i’s price close to $70,000. In comparison, the Toyota Supra, with its different body style and lower price point, presents a less expensive alternative, especially when choosing the manual option.

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