Showing that BMW still gives a shift, the Z4 M40i finally gets a much-deserved manual gearbox for the 2025 model year. Ahead of its imminent market launch, the posh roadster returns in a batch of fresh images highlighting the essential change implemented inside the cabin. Still rocking the previous-generation iDrive and physical buttons, the M Performance open-top sports car gets a stick shift accompanied by a clutch pedal.

Seeing as how rowing your own gears is sadly a dying art, we are looking at one of the last BMW cars to offer a manual transmission. The 6MT’s gradual demise is not just because customers tend to prefer the convenience of an automatic. Electrification is inevitable, forcing the engineers to focus solely on two pedals. As driver assistance and safety systems get more sophisticated, there’s an increased need for ATs to make all the software and hardware work at their full potential.

But we may be getting ahead of ourselves. BMW is not only launching a six-speed Z4 M40i but it’s also keeping the clutch pedal in the M2 as well as the base M3 and M4. The 2025MY roadster is going on sale soon and you’ll be paying an extra $3,500 over the equivalent convertible with the eight-speed automatic transmission. If that sounds a bit steep, there are more goodies beyond the do-it-yourself gearbox.

The so-called Handschalter (German for “hand shift”) package gets you staggered wheels with a new two-tone set measuring 19 inches front and 20 inches rear. To sweeten the pot, the Z4 M40i in this specification benefits from bespoke chassis tuning, a reinforced front anti-roll bar clamp, retuned rear dampers, and new software for the variable steering system.

The car highlighted here by BMW USA has Vernasca leather upholstery with a Cognac look and black M piping combined with a glossy black trim. There are four other shades of this leather, while the San Remo Green metallic exterior paint is only offered on the Z4 M40i with a manual as a no-cost option. Should you want to spend more, the Individual Frozen Deep Green is going to cost $2,950. Regardless of body color, all cars come fitted with the Extended Shadowline trim that blacks out certain elements.

We’re expecting the six-speed manual to be available for just two years since sources close to BMW claim the G29 will go out of production in March 2026.

[Photos: BMW USA]