After a prolonged absence, BMW is reintroducing the manual transmission option for the 2025 Z4. This decision follows Toyota’s response to public demand by offering a six-speed manual for the closely related GR Supra in the 2023 model year.
The manual transmission is shared between the Z4 and Supra, with BMW emphasizing unique tuning in linkages and bushings for each model. The manual option is exclusively available for the 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine variant, named the M40i, excluding the base turbo-four model.
BMW, codenamed “Handschalter” (German for “hand shift”), developed the manual Z4 M40i with specific modifications to the gear set, shafts, shift lever, and its connection to the transmission. The aim is to provide drivers with a precise mechanical connection to the drivetrain.
The manual transmission is offered as part of a larger option package, incurring an additional cost. BMW assumes that those opting for a manual also desire a sportier Z4.
Selecting the six-speed manual enhances the Z4’s performance, incorporating unique auxiliary springs, a reinforced anti-roll bar clamp, and software revisions to various systems, resulting in improved handling and responsiveness. The wheels are larger at 19×9 inches (front) and 20×10 inches (rear) compared to the automatic variant’s 18×9-inch (front) and 18×10-inch (rear) setup.
The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine delivers 382 hp and 500 Nm of torque. The Z4 M40i with the manual transmission accelerates to 100 km/h in 4.2 seconds, slightly slower than the ZF eight-speed automatic’s 3.9 seconds. Both trims share an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
Distinctive features of the manual Z4 include BMW’s Shadowline trim with black accents, red brake calipers, and two exclusive colors: San Remo Green metallic and BMW Individual Frozen Deep Green metallic.
Inside, five shades of Vernasca leather upholstery are available, with a specific cabin design, including Cognac brown hides, black piping, and high-gloss trim, exclusive to the manual-equipped Z4.
BMW plans to produce as many manual Z4s as there is demand, with the first units expected to enter production in the first quarter of 2024.