BMW (really) wants to save the manuals
The manual gearbox is not yet dead. And it shouldn't be.
With the stick shift slowly fading into oblivion, BMW is looking to heed the cry of enthusiasts and is considering putting a six-speed manual transmission in the next update of the BMW Z4 M40i.
Currently, BMW is offering a six-speed manual in select markets, but only with the four-cylinder Z4 sDrive 30i. Since the M40i is set to receive a mild styling refresh and arrive in the US in 2023, the six-speed manual could come with it. Especially since its Toyota twin, the GR Supra is already being offered in the US with three pedals.
With the Magna Steyr factory that produces the BMW Z4 and Toyota GR Supra beginning to shift to building electric vehicles, the manual Z4 M40i may be the last of its kind and spell a final hurrah to one of the best driving cars wearing the BMW badge. Not to mention, its B58 engine is turning out to be a tuner's favorite these days.
All of this is still speculation and it still remains to be seen if the Z4 M40i will actually get a manual tranny for the US market. Until then, we continue to cross our fingers and hope that it shifts the way the Supra did so that driving enthusiasts and fans of the nameplate can feel the thrill of driving a stick.