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BMW brings back manual gearbox to its Z4 sports car

New ‘Handschalter Package’ aims to bring more fun to BMW’s roadster

The Z4 is available with a manual gearbox for the first time in eight years. (BMW)
The Z4 is available with a manual gearbox for the first time in eight years. (BMW) The Z4 is available with a manual gearbox for the first time in eight years. (BMW) (Tom Kirkpatrick/Tom Kirkpatrick/BMW AG)

BMW is bucking the trend by introducing a new manual gearbox to its Z4 roadster as it aims to maximise the driving fun of this roadster.

Many manufacturers are looking to, or have already stopped, offering manual cars because of limited demand, and the increasing trend for hybrid and electric models, which always use an automatic transmission.

But BMW is now introducing a manual version of its Z4 for the first time in eight years as part of a new option called the ‘Handschalter Pack’, translated from German as ‘manual switch’. It joins the M2, 1 Series and 2 Series Gran Coupe as BMW’s only models available with a manual gearbox.

The Handschalter package Z4 comes in an exclusive specification. (BMW)
The Handschalter package Z4 comes in an exclusive specification. (BMW) The Handschalter package Z4 comes in an exclusive specification. (BMW) (Tom Kirkpatrick/Tom Kirkpatrick/BMW AG)

Only available on the range-topping M40i model, it uses a 335bhp 3.0-litre petrol engine paired to a six-speed manual gearbox, allowing for a 0-60mph time of 4.4 seconds and a 155mph top speed.

As part of the package, the Z4 gets several other changes including a a retuned chassis and mixed-size alloy wheels, which are 19 inches at the front and 20 at the rear. Changes have been made to the damping settings, suspension springs and traction control adjustments.

The Handschalter model also comes as standard in a fixed specification, including a unique matte Frozen Deep Green paint finish and an Anthracite Silver fabric roof, which can be lowered at speeds of up to 31mph.

A tan leather interior is also new for the Z4. (BMW)
A tan leather interior is also new for the Z4. (BMW) A tan leather interior is also new for the Z4. (BMW) (Tom Kirkpatrick/Tom Kirkpatrick/BMW AG)

It also comes with a smart tan leather interior, which is exclusive to this special edition. At the same time, the generous standard equipment includes twin 10.25-inch digital displays, heated seats and a wind deflector.

The BMW Z4 M40i Handschalter is now available to order, with prices starting from £60,675 – £3,000 more than the standard automatic model. First deliveries are expected in the spring.