- BMW will offer the 2025 Z4 roadster with a six-speed manual transmission
- The stick-shift option is a $3,500 upgrade that also includes more robust suspension hardware and staggered wheels and tires
- The manual transmission is only offered with the six-cylinder M40i model, and yes, you can still get an automatic if you wish
2025 BMW Z4 Dials 'M' for Manual
The Z4 M40i gets a new six-speed stick, among other upgrades
Fans of the manual transmission, rejoice: The BMW Z4 roadster adds a new six-speed stick-shift option to its roster for 2025. Available exclusively on the more powerful Z4 M40i trim, the new DIY gearbox — or "Handschalter" option, per Ze Germans — is part of a $3,500 package that includes a number of other meaningful upgrades, all designed to make BMW's little droptop more engaging to drive.
The addition of a manual transmission isn't too much of a surprise, considering the BMW Z4's fraternal twin, the Toyota GR Supra, added a six-speed stick to its roster in 2023. That said, BMW says the Z4's six-speed — which is sourced from ZF — has undergone significant engineering to make it feel like the company's other manuals.
In addition to the six-speed gearbox, the Z4 M40i borrows the more robust rear-axle assembly from the BMW M240i coupe. This improves the Z4's rear-end torque-vectoring characteristics and comes with a unique (read: stiffer) adaptive damper tune. The manual M40i also rides on a staggered 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheel setup — shod in 255/35R19 and 285/30R20 tires, respectively — and has a weightier steering feel.
It'll be a few months before BMW flips Edmunds the keys to a manual Z4, but I had a chance to drive a prototype of the six-speed M40i last fall, and wow, these changes really make a difference. The added engagement of the manual transmission alone heightens the Z4's driving experience, and BMW's right: The stick shift does feel like what you'll find in an M2, M3 or M4. Combined with the extra grip from the larger rear tires, improved steering and sharper suspension reflexes, the manual Z4 does have a more enthusiastic edge. The M40i 6MT simply feels more eager and playful than other Z4s.
BMW will still sell the Z4 M40i with an eight-speed automatic transmission, but it won't come with the manual car's chassis tweaks. Even so, the automatic Z4 will continue to be the quicker of the two roadsters, able to accelerate to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, compared to 4.2 seconds with the six-speed stick. There are no power differences between the two M40i variants, however; BMW's 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six produces 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque with either transmission.
Manual cars will come with black exterior trim and red brake calipers, and you'll also be able to pick from one of two Handschalter-exclusive colors: San Remo Green and Frozen Deep Green. (In addition to all the others, natch.)
Full 2025 model year Z4 pricing will be available soon, but we don't expect it to change too much from the 2024 model's $54,595 MSRP, which includes a $995 destination charge. The more powerful Z4 M40i currently starts at $67,295 including destination, and adding the Handschalter pack would theoretically raise that price to $70,795. Again, official pricing is coming soon. The manual Z4 M40i will be sold globally, and production kicks off in March.
A slick manual transmission and nice suspension upgrades are good ways for BMW to breathe new life into its often-overlooked two-seat roadster.