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New BMW Z4 M40i manual aims to keep the purists happy

The range-topping BMW Z4 finally gets a manual gearbox as part of the ‘Handschalter Pack’

BMW’s ‘ultimate driving machine’ moniker may have just been bolstered thanks to the Z4 M40i finally receiving a manual transmission option for 2024. The German firm has dragged its heels giving its roadster a three pedal set-up, with the Toyota Supra sister car gaining a manual way back in 2022. 

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The current G29-generation BMW Z4 has only been offered with an eight-speed automatic since it launched back in 2019, but the German brand has confirmed the option of a six-speed manual on the range-topping 3.0-litre six-cylinder 335bhp M40i. It comes as part of a new ‘Handschalter Pack’, which not only adds the manual gearbox, but exterior tweaks and chassis upgrades that BMW says “will be appreciated by driving purists”. 

At £60,675, the BMW Z4 M40i manual is priced £3,380 higher than the M40i automatic. BMW says the manual has “sharper, more pure performance”, although the 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds is 0.1 seconds slower. While it is more expensive to buy, the manual is a tiny bit more economical than the automatic at 35.3mpg, compared to 34.9mpg for the two-pedal. 

For those preferring a manual, this should be a relatively small price to pay given there are further improvements to the Z4 M40i’s chassis under the Handschalter Pack. Rather than using an identical gearbox to the Supra manual, BMW has developed bespoke parts for its M40i manual, with the shift lever and guide to the transmission being custom made for “unrivalled shift feel”. 

The anti-roll bar at the front has also been revised and the mapping for the electronic steering system has been adjusted for sharper characteristics. Even the traction control and differential have been altered. Unlike the automatic, the manual receives 19-inch front wheels and larger 20-inch rear wheels, which improves traction and cornering, according to BMW. 

The M40i manual also receives several exterior changes. The ‘Frozen Deep Green’ metallic paint is exclusive to the Handschalter Pack and there’s extended gloss black trim with red painted brake calipers. Inside there’s ‘Vernasca leather’ trim in Cognac with black M detailing.

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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