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The BMW Z4 has been competing in the drop-top sports car segment for three generations. However, the third-generation model was missing something until just recently. Fortunately, the BMW convertible will redeem itself in 2024, promising driver engagement closer to the long-extinct Z4 M Roadster. 

The BMW Z4 charges into 2024 with a manual transmission for the first time since 2016

A BMW Z4 Roadster shows off its front-end styling.
A G29 BMW Z4 | BMW

BMW announced that the Z4 would offer an optional six-speed manual transmission for 2024. It marks the first time the diminutive German roadster offers a rowable gearbox since the E89 generation concluded in 2016. 

However, the manual option does more than just add a third pedal to the Z4 equation. Instead, the $3,500 package livens up the entire roadster with the intent of closing the driving dynamics gap between the G29 Z4 and the Toyota GR Supra

Specifically, the roadster gets stiffer suspension characteristics and more communicative steering. Car and Driver reports that the latest B58-powered Bimmer convertible will work in body roll-mitigating anti-roll bar mounts, but just with the manual package. BMW undoubtedly concluded that drivers who want a three-pedal G29 will want a less sedate roadster. And less sedate it is.

Still, even with the addition of a manual transmission option, the Z4 refuses to incorporate BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive (AWD) system. 

A manual 2024 BMW Z4 is the closest thing on the market to a convertible Toyota GR Supra

The third-generation BMW Z4 and Toyota GR Supra are siblings. Both nameplates pack turbocharged BMW engines: a 2.0L four-cylinder engine or a B58 3.0L inline six-cylinder mill. However, like the GR Supra, the six-speed manual transmission will be an exclusive option on the 3.0L model.  

In fact, the Toyota GR Supra 3.0 has the same six-speed manual transmission as the latest Z4. However, each sibling has its own intricacies, namely different bushings and linkages. Still, potential owners won’t find quite as much compromise with the G29 Z4. What’s more, we can finally enjoy a shortened driver engagement gap between the Z4 and segment staples like the Porsche 718 Boxster. 

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