Toyota surprised enthusiasts by making the Supra available with a manual transmission for the 2023 model year. BMW's sister car, the Z4, remains automatic-only in America, but a recent report claims that the roadster will enter the 2023 model year with an available stick-shift.
Citing anonymous sources, enthusiast website BMW Blog wrote that the M40i variant of the Z4 could offer a six-speed manual in the not-too-distant future. It sounds like a final decision hasn't been made yet, but the stick-shifted Z4 is "under active consideration" in Munich. And, while nothing is official, the report is certainly credible: If it fits in the Supra, it stands to reason that it fits in the Z4. The two cars are closely related beneath the sheetmetal, the Toyota notably uses BMW-sourced engines, and they're built on the same assembly line in Austria.
BMW Blog added that the six-speed will be part of a mid-cycle update that will also include subtle design tweaks. We don't know if 2023 will bring mechanical updates. As of writing, the Z4 M40i is powered by a turbocharged, 3.0-liter straight-six engine rated at 382 horsepower.
While it appears that the entry-level Z4 sDrive30i will carry on exclusively with an automatic transmission, we should be thankful that we're getting at least one variant with a stick. The same report points out that the Z4 M40i will be primarily developed for and sold in America, though buyers in select European countries can order the Z4 sDrive20i (a base version not available in the United States) with a manual. BMW hasn't commented on the report; if it's accurate, the three-pedal Z4 will make its debut in late 2022 and reach showrooms shortly after.
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