- BMW has announced a refresh for the 2023 Z4.
- The changes are so mild, you might not notice them at first.
- But the big news is ... there's no manual gearbox.
Sadly, and contrary to rumor, a manual transmission is not on the way for the BMW Z4. BMW is issuing what it calls a "life-cycle impulse" (that's BMW speak for a midcycle refresh) for the 2023 Z4, but the changes are so small you'd have to break out your microscope to notice.
Ever since Toyota announced the 2023 GR Supra was going to get a manual transmission, the online rumor mill swirled. Many sites were saying that the Z4 was going to be offered with a manual transmission, too, and that it may even be the same unit as the one in the GR Supra since both the Toyota and the Bimmer roll off the same production line in Austria. Unfortunately, that's not the case, at least for the time being. If we're honest, this move doesn't come as a surprise. Manual transmissions are well on their way out, and BMW likely would have sold so few three-pedal Z4s that it probably would look like nothing more than a rounding error on the automaker's balance sheet.
Let's move on to what BMW has changed. The base sDrive30i model now gets the M Sport package as standard. That includes a sportier front fascia, a different insert for the kidney grille, and some slightly more aggressive side sills. The M Sport package also includes some detail updates to the interior that include a steering wheel shod in some different leather, a leather dashboard and some M sport pedals.
Some other changes shared between the sDrive30i and M40i models are a new wheel option and three new paint colors: Thundernight metallic, Portimao Blue metallic and Skyscraper Gray metallic. The M40i model also gets the slightly tweaked lower front air aprons on either side of the bumper and the redesigned grille. There is also a new 19-inch wheel that will be available across the range.
But that's it. The interior is largely the same, and the power outputs from both the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six are exactly the same, sitting at 255 horsepower and 382 horsepower, respectively. Pricing for the Z4 starts at $53,795 for the base model and $66,295 for the more powerful M40i, making both models a few thousand dollars more expensive than the cars that came before them. Expect to see these new Z4s in a dealership near you by the end of this year.
Did BMW do enough to justify what it bills as a life-cycle refresh? We have a tough time saying yes, but we'll let buyers decide.