BMW Z4 M40i: First Impressions of 2024 Six-Speed

A BMW enthusiast group attended the 2024 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to test drive the latest 2024 BMW Z4 M40i. Previously experiencing the six-speed manual variant, they aimed to gain insights during a brief ride despite driving restrictions due to the pre-production model.

BMW is upgrading the Z4 M40i with a manual transmission and a special package named the Handschalter, meaning “Hand Switch.” The engineering team meticulously fine-tuned the chassis. This includes the installation of a custom-designed anti-roll bar clamp at the front and enhanced variable steering software. They also adjusted the electrical control mapping of the rear dampers and calibrated options for the M Sport differential and traction control system. Crucially, the six-speed manual now mirrors that of the Toyota Supra, which has received positive reviews.

The package also includes a fresh set of staggered wheels, with 19-inch alloys in the front and 20-inch alloys in the rear. While Alpine White is the non-metallic option, customers can choose seven metallic paint options. The manual transmission version exclusively offers the San Remo Green Metallic. Additionally, for an extra $2,950, customers can opt for the limited-edition BMW Individual Frozen Deep Green metallic.

In North America, the 3.0-liter inline-six turbocharged Z4 M40i engine delivers a robust 382 horsepower and peak torque of 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). Remarkably, the manual version maintains a performance identical to the automatic variant’s. Compared to last year, the newly shortened shifter enhances shifting speed, accuracy, and overall enjoyment. BMW notes that modifications start with the shift linkage, which differs from the Supra’s setup. The shifting behaviour of the 6-speed manual distinguishes it from all other modern BMW models.

BMW’s potential farewell to the classic model might come from the manual Z4 M40i. Speculations hint at Magna Steyr’s intention to halt production of the G29 series roadster at their Graz, Austria facility by March 2026. Should these rumours hold true, including a six-speed manual transmission could serve as the pinnacle of the Z4’s evolution and mark a moving conclusion to its legacy.

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