2024 BMW Z4 M40i 6-Speed: Manual Driving Revived

Next year, BMW enthusiasts eagerly await the launch of the 2024 BMW Z4 M40i, a unique blend of classic and modern style reminiscent of Apple’s “One More Thing” reveals. Initially announced earlier this year, this long-anticipated roadster, especially in its striking Frozen San Remo Green prototype, has now caught significant attention. A BMW car enthusiast recently enjoyed the manual driving experience of this six-speed manual Z4, highlighting its development by BMW’s U.S. product team specifically for the American market.

The car’s overall look might not have changed significantly, but its foundation has. Starting with the engine, it boasts a robust 3.0-litre six-cylinder B58 engine, delivering 382 horsepower. In a departure from the norm, BMW decided against pairing this power with the usual ZF 8-speed automatic. Instead, they’re giving the Z4 a memorable send-off with a newly designed six-speed manual transmission, also crafted by ZF.

During the ride, Nick Gerstner, the Product Manager for the BMW Z4, shared that the 2024 BMW Z4 M40i transmission was specially designed. He pointed out that the starting point is the shift linkage, distinct from the Supra’s. This version boasts a shorter gear lever and offers a shift experience. It’s unlike any other 6-speed manual in current BMW models. Gerstner acknowledged feedback from numerous M2/M3/M4 owners, both veteran and new, who found their cars’ shifters somewhat vague and spongy. He noted the challenges in smoothly shifting the BMW six-speed, especially with the erratic nature and long throws of the first and second gears.

The Z4 M40i, weighing around 3550 pounds, surpasses both the M240i and M2 in agility. This results in offering a sense of lightness uncommon in modern BMWs. The BMW enthusiast experienced an intimate connection with the car, seated low with the top down. This feeling was reminiscent of the legendary driving dynamics of BMW’s Ultimate Driving Machine. The enhanced steering calibration contributes further to this experience. It delivers superior road feedback without mechanical alterations compared to other recent BMWs. This calibration reduces the previously noticeable central dead zone. It enhances sharpness and precision, arguably making it the best in a modern BMW.

The BMW Z4 M40i is currently one of the brand’s most delightful vehicles, with the potential to become a future classic. It encapsulates everything a roadster enthusiast could desire, featuring an exceptional six-speed manual transmission and impressive audio. This combination showcases BMW’s ability to align the car’s character with the manual gearbox perfectly. Fans are hopeful about this enhanced transmission. They anticipate its use in future models, like a revamped M2 or exclusive, one-off vehicles.

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