Is that a Supra? Yes, one with a manual gearbox at that. All jokes aside, BMW has been offering a stick shift for the Z4 only for the base sDrive20i four-cylinder model whereas Toyota is now selling the sister model Supra with the inline-six and a clutch pedal. It joins the lesser four-pot flavor of the sports coupe, but their gearboxes are different.
While you won’t find this transmission in any other BMW, the six-speed ZF uses parts from the same ‘box found in the rear-wheel-drive Z4 but combined with new components engineered specifically for the Supra. Codenamed “GS6L50TZ” rather than the “GS6L40LZ” you’ll find in the Bavarian soft-top RWD roadster, the do-it-yourself gearbox has one part that was intentionally made heavier. As Top Gear magazine explains, Toyota toyed around with three different gear knobs before deciding to go with the heaviest.
The first one tested weighed only 68 grams (2.4 ounces) and was followed by a 137-gram (4.8-ounce) version, but that wasn’t enough either. Ultimately, the engineers went with a chunkier gear knob that tips the scales at 200 grams (7 ounces). The goal was to make gear changes feel nicer, enhancing the mechanical feedback the driver receives when rowing through the gears.
Of course, those extra grams don’t really matter at the end of the day considering the B58-powered Supra 3.0 with the manual is considerably lighter than its automatic counterpart. Corroborated with the new 19-inch wheels, the car has shaved off 21.8 kilograms (48 pounds). An extra 16.5 kg (36.3 lbs) can be cut by opting for the new Lightweight version which removes the leather, power adjustment, and lumbar support of the seats. In total, you’re looking at a 38.3 kg (84.4 lbs) diet.
There’s no word about the Z4 getting a manual gearbox, and we wouldn’t get our hopes up too high given the convertible’s grand touring nature. The Supra is aimed at enthusiasts looking to buy what could very well be among the last (relatively) affordable sports with a clutch pedal.
Source: Top Gear