Insights that Echo Beyond the Echo Chamber


BMW Confirms Manual Transmission for 2025 Z4

The BMW Z4 is among the great driver’s cars of the current era.

It’s fast enough to satisfy any enthusiast but not chase speed records. You could outrun it in a sprint to 60 mph in a M5 sedan.  

Instead, the Z4 is all about crisp handling and top-down driving pleasure. Two-seat roadsters are for drivers who want to enjoy feeling like Ayrton Senna now and then on a winding road but don’t need bragging rights.

The Z4 has long been an outstanding driver’s car — the Miata for the luxury set — except for one crucial omission. The current generation lacks a manual transmission option.

The kind of driver who dreams of a pretty little two-seater ragtop often imagines a third pedal as part of the package.

It’s finally coming.

“Fans of driving pleasure in its purest form can look forward to a new arrival from BMW crafted especially for them: the 2025 BMW Z4 M40i is available for the very first time with a 6-speed manual gearbox,” BMW has announced.

Toyota Went First

The move has been rumored for some time. Oddly, Toyota sells its own version of the Z4. The GR Supra sport coupe is a BMW Z4 under the skin. Toyota remakes the body to turn it into a hardtop coupe but changes little else.

True story — pair your phone to the current GR Supra, and your phone will identify it as a BMW Z4.

Toyota added a third-pedal option to the Supra for 2023. That made it seem inevitable that BMW would follow.

And it has.

$3,500 Option, Limited to Upper Trim Level

It’s available only on the Z4 M40i trim level, in a special “handschalter” edition. The M40i gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, an adaptive suspension, and stronger brakes. The handschalter adds “a retuned chassis and mixed-size M light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches at the front axle and 20 inches at the rear.”

BMW says the manual option will add $3,500 to the Z4’s price. BMW hasn’t released 2025 pricing yet, so we don’t know what to add that sum to. The 2024 M40i on dealer lots today starts at $66,295 (including a $995 destination charge).

Six-speed versions also get “Extended Shadowline black high-gloss exterior trim on the exterior mirror caps, badging, and specially designed flaps for managing the airflow around the rear wheel arches, as well as red calipers for the M Sport brakes.”

We’ll have to test it, but we expect the manual to make the Z4 what it should have been.


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