Can the BMW Z4 M40i Manual be One of BMW’s Best Sports Cars?

The BMW Z4 M40i achieves triple-digit sales figures every year, but it has not attracted much attention in the automotive press. Yet despite its relative anonymity, the Z4 M40i is a great car and unique in its characteristics. It’s a good thing that BMW will retain the six-speed manual gearbox of the vehicle.

The Toyota Supra and the BMW Z4 are almost identical mechanically. It is the exterior and interior that differentiate the two cars. Hence, BMW would follow suit when Toyota announced that both North American Supra variants would be equipped with a manual transmission when the Z4 receives an LCI facelift. The addition of a six-speed manual transmission made the Supra a truly exceptional sports car. If the Z4 M40i can achieve the same result, BMW’s small roadster will become one of the company’s best sports cars.

The Z4 M40i is better to drive than any other BMW. In my opinion, it is much more fun than any of the other three models. This is mainly due to the chassis. Rather than using the same modular CLAR architecture as every other rear-wheel-drive BMW, the Z4 uses a bespoke sports car chassis designed from the ground up as a lightweight, stiff, two-seat roadster. I am sure you can see that too. Every other BMW product on the market feels disconnected from both the road and its driver. A numb steering wheel, a B58 engine with more power than the lightweight chassis needs, and a convertible top let you experience a great driving feeling.

The addition of a six-speed manual gearbox to the Z4 M40i’s eight-speed automatic will only worsen the sports car’s already poor reputation. There’s currently no official confirmation that there will be a manual transmission. Even so, it will be the best non-M car in the brand’s line-up, possibly even better than many M cars, and almost certainly the last manual roadster in BMW’s history.

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