Report: BMW Z4 to get manual option for 2024


When Toyota announced that the Supra was finally going to get a manual transmission option back in April of 2022, the enthusiast reaction was a mix of relief and joy. BMW, which provides the mechanicals for the Supra and also uses those components to underpin its Z4 roadster, will now pause for your gracious applause.

Why, you ask? Because the 2024 BMW Z4 will get a row-your-own option, according to a report from Car and Driver and a handful of other outlets, which got an advance look at a prototype car near the company’s U.S. headquarters in New Jersey. We reached out to BMW for confirmation, but a spokesperson refused to comment further on the matter, except to say that more information would be available at the end of next month. At the same time, BMW didn’t deny any of the following points when prompted.

2023 BMW Z4 Roadster side top down
2023 model shown. For 2024, the Z4 will finally get a manual transmission option. BMW

According to the reports, the six-speed will be an added-cost option that’s part of a comprehensive package—offered exclusively on the higher-spec Z4 M40i—aimed at making the drop-top Bimmer into a more engaging sports car. Car and Driver speculates that the package will likely cost around $3500.

That package will also offer retuned steering intended to provide more feel, as well as recalibrated adaptive dampers that will better complement a more aggressive driving style. To the chassis BMW will also add stiffer front anti-roll-bar mounts to help quell body roll and sharpen turn-in. Aside from the manual, the big piece of tech offered in the package is an electronically-controlled M rear differential. Tire sizes will be staggered, and so will be wheel sizes on the manual Z4—19 inches in the front, 20 inches in the rear.

2023 BMW Z4 Roadster interior
Picture a handy stick-shift lever in place of that electric gear selector. BMW

The Z4 M40i comes with BMW’s turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six engine (codenamed B58), which produces 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from 1800 rpm to 4500 rpm. The 2023 BMW Z4 M40i rang the register for at least $66,295, including the $995 destination fee. No word yet on whether prices will increase for the ’24 model year, but when you add in the expected cost of the package that will net the manual, expect a price somewhere in the low $70,000 range. For context, a 2002 Z3 with the optional sport package listed for $40,420 when new, which is now just under $70,000 when adjusted for inflation.

Nonetheless, we’re thrilled to see BMW take a page out of Toyota’s playbook (after Toyota basically took the entire spine of the book from BMW) and turn a listening ear to those of us who value driver experience over ultimate performance. In a world in which operating a manual transmission feels like some combination of anachronistic and defiant, a new member added to the fold is nothing but good news. In the end, though, this Z4 could well be the final new stick-shift BMW model ever made. BMW M has previously indicated it would offer a manual in the M2 and M3/M4 until 2030.




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