New BMW Z4 M40i Handschalter revealed – the manual gearbox makes a comeback

The G29-generation Z4 can now be ordered with a manual gearbox as part of a new ‘Handschalter’ package 

The third-generation BMW Z4 is more GT than all-out sports car, but that could be about to change with this: the Z4 M40i Handschalter. Besides satin green paint and a tan leather interior, the new model gets revised chassis tuning and a manual gearbox to offer a sharper, more involving driving experience. 

The Handschalter uses the same B58 turbocharged straight-six engine found in the base car, generating 335bhp and 369lb ft of torque. Opting for the manual gearbox barely impacts the Z4's acceleration, with the Handschalter reaching 62mph in 4.6sec – a tenth slower than the eight-speed automatic version. 

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The new gearbox is based on the ZF unit used in other BMWs, with modified internals to withstand the engine’s outputs. The linkage is bespoke to the Z4, and delivers a ‘precisely defined’ shift action according to BMW

As standard, the Z4 M40i features a variable-ratio steering rack, upgraded brakes, an M Sport differential and adaptive dampers. The Handschalter package goes further with unique springs and reinforced anti-roll bar mounts, along with revised calibrations for the power steering and rear dampers.

This year also brings a new 19- and 20-inch wheel fitment for the M40i, with the Handschalter gaining M light-alloy items as standard. The package also includes gloss black exterior trim elements, red brake calipers and an optional silver fabric roof to contrast against the Frozen Deep Green paint.

The interior is mostly unchanged, save for Handschalter-specific cosmetic trims and a redesigned centre console to accommodate the manual gear lever. The seats are trimmed in Cognac leather trim with black piping, with further black detailing on the dashboard inserts. 

Customers can order the Z4 M40i Handschalter now, with prices starting from £60,675 (£3380 more than the standard M40i). First deliveries are scheduled for spring this year.

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