BMW Mulls Manual Gearbox For 6-Cyl Z4s

Will BMW Bring the Z4 with a Manual to the US?

BMW seems to be contemplating the potential of introducing a Z4 M40i with a manual gearbox. BMW Blog states that a representative from the automaker suggested that a model featuring three pedals is being weighed up. Although there has yet to be a definite statement, this is still quite promising.

Speculation surrounding the possibility of a manual inline-six Z4 has long been ongoing, with anticipation being heightened when Toyota made a manual gearbox option available for their identical Supra twin last year. Given that the transmission had its origins in a BMW design, it seemed only natural for the Bavarian automaker to respond to enthusiasts’ demands for a vehicle such as this.

In September of the previous year, a break revealed that the M40i manual transmission of the Z4 was an imminent reality. Yet, since then there have been no reports or updates provided by BMW.

It had been predicted that when BMW refreshed its roadster in the previous year, the manual edition would be released; however, the alterations were merely aesthetic and specifications related updates, which turned out to be a disappointment.

While it would be relatively easy for BMW to engineer a “row-your-own” Z4 M40i, the question remains whether it would be worth the investment and time. In Australia, sales of the manual Z4 sDrive20i were so low that it prompted BMW to discontinue the three-pedal variant.

Despite the fact that Toyota has expressed concerns about its ability to generate sales for the Supra with a manual option, a spokesperson from the Japanese auto firm remarked that they anticipate only a quarter of the total number of vehicles sold will be equipped with the preferred gearbox of enthusiasts. Evidently, the majority of individuals still favor an automatic transmission.

One finds it difficult to comprehend why BMW would expend so many resources. Despite the Z4 and Supra bearing a resemblance underneath, the former appears more apt for cruising the streets whereas the later takes on a more sporty stance.

Due to the discrepancy in characteristics, fewer purchasers are apt to opt for the manual Z4 above the eight-speed automatic.

It’s also simpler for Toyota to push the manual version of the Supra, since sales figures of the Japanese coupe are noticeably superior compared to BMW’s roadster. In 2021, the country’s top auto manufacturer almost made it to the leaderboard in sports car sales, managing to shift a total of 4,952 GR Supras across the United States. On the other hand, BMW shifted only 1,567 Z4s during the same duration.

Many of us (and a vast number of car fans) would love nothing more than for BMW to unveil a Z4 M40i featuring a six-speed manual option. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make much business sense for them to go forward with this particular endeavor. Nonetheless, there’s still high hopes that the vehicle could be produced – and serve as an exclusive collector’s item – provided that BMW offers it with a more upscale price tag.


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