BMW Z4 M40i is a roadster that combines sporty performance and open-top driving pleasure. For the 2025 model year, it offers a new option for manual transmission enthusiasts. The 6-speed manual gearbox is part of a $3,500 package that also includes unique chassis tuning, staggered wheels, and exclusive colors. This article will analyze the features and benefits of the 2025 BMW Z4 M40i manual and compare it with some of its competitors in the luxury sports car segment.

What is the BMW Z4 M40i?

The BMW Z4 M40i is the top-of-the-line variant of the BMW Z4, a two-seater convertible that debuted in 2018. It is powered by a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine that produces 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard, but for the first time, customers can opt for a 6-speed manual transmission as an alternative.

BMW Z4 M40i

The BMW Z4 M40i can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds with the manual gearbox and 3.9 seconds with the automatic. It has a top speed of 155 mph and is electronically limited. The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined for the automatic, and 23 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined for the manual.

The BMW Z4 M40i competes with other high-performance convertibles, such as the Porsche 718 Boxster S, the Audi TT RS Roadster, and the Mercedes-Benz SL 450.

What are the advantages of the manual transmission?

The manual transmission is a rare feature in modern luxury sports cars, as most manufacturers have shifted to automatic or dual-clutch transmissions for better efficiency and convenience. However, some drivers still prefer the manual option for its engaging and fun driving experience. The manual transmission allows the driver to have more control and feedback over the vehicle, and to enjoy the thrill of shifting gears manually.

The manual transmission in the BMW Z4 M40i is not just a simple swap from the automatic. It is a specially optimized gearbox that was developed by a small team of BMW engineers who are passionate about manual driving. The gearbox has a shorter shift lever and a precise shift feel. It also features a rev-matching function that automatically blips the throttle during downshifts, making the shifts smoother and preventing wheel lockup.

BMW Z4 M40i

The manual transmission is part of a larger package that enhances the sportiness and exclusivity of the BMW Z4 M40i. The package also includes:

  • An electronically controlled M differential that improves traction and stability by distributing torque between the rear wheels according to the driving situation.
  • A retuned steering system that provides more feedback and responsiveness to the driver.
  • An adaptive M suspension that adjusts the damping force of each wheel individually, depending on the road conditions and driving mode. The suspension also lowers the ride height by 10 millimeters for a lower center of gravity and improved aerodynamics.
  • A set of mixed-size M light-alloy wheels that measure 19 inches at the front axle and 20 inches at the rear. The wheels have a double-spoke design and are finished in cerium grey. They are fitted with high-performance tires that have a wider and lower-profile than the standard ones.
  • A choice of two exclusive paint colors that are only available for the manual transmission version. The colors are San Remo Green and Frozen Deep Green Metallic. The latter is a BMW Individual color that costs an extra $2,950.
  • A black leather interior with aluminum tetragon trim and M Sport seats. The seats have integrated headrests and lumbar support, and can be adjusted electrically. The seats also have M logos on the backrests and contrast stitching in blue and orange.

How does the BMW Z4 M40i manual compare with its competitors?

The BMW Z4 M40i manual is one of the few luxury sports cars that offer a manual transmission option. The only other direct competitor that has a manual gearbox is the Porsche 718 Boxster S, which also has a 6-speed manual as standard, and a 7-speed dual-clutch as optional. The Audi TT RS Roadster and the Mercedes-Benz SL 450 only have automatic transmissions.

The table below compares the performance, price, and features of the BMW Z4 M40i manual and its three main competitors:

Model Engine Transmission 0-60 mph Top speed Fuel economy Base price
BMW Z4 M40i manual 3.0L turbo I6 6-speed manual 4.2 sec 155 mph 26 mpg $66,350
Porsche 718 Boxster S 2.5L turbo H4 6-speed manual 4.4 sec 177 mph 22 mpg $73,250
Audi TT RS Roadster 2.5L turbo I5 7-speed dual-clutch 3.6 sec 155 mph 23 mpg $72,500
Mercedes-Benz SL 450 3.0L turbo V6 9-speed automatic 4.9 sec 155 mph 23 mpg $92,550

As the table shows, the BMW Z4 M40i manual has the lowest base price among the four models, and the best fuel economy. It also has a slightly faster 0-60 mph time than the Porsche 718 Boxster S, and a much faster time than the Mercedes-Benz SL 450. The Audi TT RS Roadster is the fastest of the bunch, but it also has the least engaging transmission.

 

The BMW Z4 M40i manual also has some unique features that set it apart from its competitors, such as the M differential, the adaptive M suspension, the staggered wheels, and the exclusive colors. The Porsche 718 Boxster S has a mid-engine layout that gives it a better weight distribution and handling than the front-engine BMW Z4 M40i. The Audi TT RS Roadster has a quattro all-wheel drive system that gives it a better grip and traction than the rear-wheel drive BMW Z4 M40i. The Mercedes-Benz SL 450 has a hardtop convertible roof that gives it a more refined and quiet ride than the soft-top BMW Z4 M40i.

Conclusion

The BMW Z4 M40i manual is a great option for drivers who love manual driving and open-top driving. It offers a powerful engine, a specially optimized gearbox, and a sporty package that enhance the driving pleasure and exclusivity of the roadster. It also has a competitive price, a good fuel economy, and a fast acceleration compared to its rivals. The BMW Z4 M40i manual is a rare breed of luxury sports car that appeals to both the heart and the mind of the driver.

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