BMW has engineered the Z4 M40i with a stick shift primarily with the US market in mind, but the three-pedal roadster is coming to additional markets. We’ve already learned it will be sold in select European countries – including in Germany – but now we find out Australia will sadly miss out on the enthusiast-focused variant.
Contacted by CarExpert, a spokesperson for BMW Australia said there are “no plans at this stage” to sell a Z4 M40i with the six-speed manual transmission. The “at this stage” part of the statement does leave the door open for the automaker’s regional branch to have a change of heart at some point in the future. However, the timeframe is already limited since reports state production of the G29 convertible will end in early 2026.
In the meantime, the only way you can row your own gears in a BMW model Down Under is by getting the M2, or the base version of the M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe. On the flip side, BMW Australia has an exciting product Americans can’t get – the M3 Touring.
This generation of the Z4 used to have a manual transmission in Australia available for the sDrive20i with the smaller four-cylinder engine. However, it was dropped in 2021 because no one bought it. We mean that almost literally since only two customers purchased a Z4 with a DIY gearbox in the country. Given the extremely low take rate, we wouldn’t necessarily count on the M Performance version getting the 6MT in Australia.
Although purists would argue that a manual makes the driving experience more thrilling and direct, the truth of the matter is shifting gears is a lost art. Demand has greatly declined in recent years, so much so that BMW doesn’t even bother selling the M2 G87 with a manual in some markets. Take for example Brazil and South Korea where the sports coupe comes exclusively in Steptronic flavor.