Entry level BMW Z4 gets a stick-shift... will we get a manual Supra too?
BMW has confirmed the Z4 roadster is getting a manual gearbox. In the halcyon days of sports cars this would not be news, but as everything goes automated and electronic, a brand new mainstream sports car forcing you to change gear yourself is quite the headline-grabber. Not least because of what the Z4’s closely related to…
The manual won’t, sadly, be bolted onto the all-singing all-dancing 3.0-litre six-cylinder of the M40i, rather the Z4’s entry-level 197bhp 2.0-litre turbo four, more succinctly known as the sDrive20i. It’ll get a 6spd manual as standard, with the 8spd paddleshifting auto of more potent Z4s remaining optional.
And that close relative? Why, only the Toyota Supra you’ve probably already read 247 other stories about this month. It’s quite the car of the moment, and with much of its dynamic heart shared with the Z4 – not least the option of that 197bhp engine in markets outside of the UK (for now) – a manual Supra is suddenly a very real possibility.
Whether Toyota has the gumption to offer it – when it already sells a 197bhp manual coupe in the form of the dinkier, cheaper GT86 – remains to be seen. But we can live in hope, right?
STORY Stephen Dobie