BMW has finally lifted the veil on the manual Z4 Roadster. Lo and behold, the hot new six-speed manual transmission is almost entirely parts-shared with its platform-mate, the Toyota GR Supra. With only minor differences, Supra GR drivers can expect the new Z4 M40i to feel very familiar. For those unaware, that really isn’t a bad thing. The six-speed manual transmissions in the 2025 BMW Z4 M40i and the Toyota GR Supra have only slight differences.
(Almost) Twins: Manual Transmission in the Z4 and Supra
First, BMW implemented small software changes that better fit the roadster’s character. Mechanically, there is only one change – the outer linkage that links the gear shifter to the actual transmission. Dubbed a ‘modular BMW transmission’ that ‘incorporates M-specific components,’ it should deliver plenty of driving engagement, especially considering the mighty turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six under the hood.
When we drove the six-speed manual Z4 M40i, we thought it was fantastic – a great balance of quickness and precision. Although it sometimes resembles a Porsche shifter more than a traditional BMW shifter in feel, it still offers a long third gear that provides plenty of headroom and allows you to build speed at a remarkable pace. Elsewhere on the web, you can see familiar praise for the manual Supra GR’s shifter – precise, narrow gates and an intuitive throw.
Manual-equipped BMW Z4s in the US get a handful of other goodies that make it truly the best way to experience a dedicated sports car platform like the Z4. Staggered 19- and 20-inch wheels, unique chassis turning, and plenty of aesthetic enhancements add quite a bit of value to the vehicle – now, and likely later on, the secondhand market. Given the circumstances, it seems that BMW has listened to the voices of customers lauding the Supra’s slick shifter. Parts sharing is almost a cornerstone of the two cars at this point, so the fact that the two cars share yet another component isn’t all that surprising. When asked about the part numbers being the same, BMW did not respond.