It's not as if we didn't see this coming, but we certainly didn't see it happening so quickly. BMW has given its venerable Z4 roadster a manual transmission, just like its Toyota Supra 3.0 sibling. That's great news because it fixes the one major issue we had with the already excellent Z4. For 2024, the six-cylinder, 382-horsepower Z4 M40i will get a six-speed manual transmission. That means you can rope your own gears and never have to wonder if you can get more connected to the road. 


That manual transmission is courtesy of Germany's ZF and tuned by, guess who? Yep, BMW themselves. The car also gets staggered wheel sizes and widths, with 19s in front and 20s in back. It also has a torque-vectoring active differential, stiffer front anti-roll bars, a recalibrated steering setup, tweaked adaptive dampers. and even rev-matching. The Z4 M40i’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six engine is the only one that gets the manual while the Z4 sDrive30i still retains just the 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters. 

z4 manual transmission
That shifter and the accompanying three-pedals are what bring joy (image: BMW).

Power amounts to 328 horses and 369 lb-ft of torque. Performance numbers have not been disclosed, but expect the Z4 M40i with a manual to get to 60 in about the same time as the Supra 3.0 with a manual, around 4.2 seconds compared to the automatic at 3.9. That's plenty quick, so it's nothing to balk at. Heck, we'd take the slower manual transmission Z4 any day of the week if it meant we could shift ourselves all day long. 

bmw z4

The Toyota Supra, which shares the chassis and engine, as well as numerous components, provides a tremendous driving experience, and the Z4 should be no different. Each car is tuned differently, and they both reward the driver with real-wheel drive dynamics, great steering, and rocket-like performance. The Z4, however, is actually better balanced and can be driven harder than the Supra due to the improved control. Regardless, we'd take either one, as long as it had the manual. 

The Z4 interior is head and shoulders above the Supra, hence the higher cost. 

2024 BMW Z4 M40i can still be outfitted with the eight-speed automatic transmission, but only the chassis of the Z4 manual has been tweaked for better handling., The automatic transmission version doesn't get those changes. So, it's not just the manual transmission that changes the driving experience but also the chassis that enables the Z4 manual to be more thrilling to drive. 

The sweet inline-six engine is to die for. 

Manual versions of the Z4 M40i will begin production in the first quarter of 2024. Pricing hasn't been disclosed yet. The Supra 3.0 manual and automatic sell for the same price of $55,595 base MSRP (including $1,095 destination), so it's possible BMW could do the same. The Z4 M40i, of course, costs more at $67,295 (including $995 destination). We just can't wait to drive it with the stick. 

Find a Good Deal on the BMW Z4

We loved our time behind the wheel of the current Z4. Read our review below,

2023 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Review