The press office of the Bavarian brand in Australia announced the end of sales of the Z4 sports roadster equipped with a manual transmission. This is due to the low demand for this version of the car.
It turns out that in the official BMW configurator, which is dedicated to the Z4 roadster, it is no longer possible to select a six-speed manual transmission. According to official figures, only two people have bought a sports convertible with manual gear shifting in the past two years.
Such a car was only available in the base sDrive20i as a free option compared to the eight-speed automatic transmission, which will be the only offering for the entry-level Z4 in the future. BMW Australia is discontinuing a manual transmission after two years of low sales on the market, during which the manual version was outperformed by the much more expensive Honda NSX (three cars sold) and apparently the ancient Mercedes R63 AMG (two cars ).
Fewer and fewer non-sports cars have a clutch pedal, according to statistics, as only entry-level models from major brands allow drivers to control their own gears the old fashioned way.
There are also few “mechanics” in the segment of powerful cars, and although there are some exceptions (I recall Porsche models).
BMW is playing its part in maintaining manual gear shifting by offering the latest M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe models with a clutch pedal. That being said, the M4 convertible is all-wheel drive and comes with an automatic transmission only, and that will likely hold true for the hotly anticipated M3 Touring wagon coming later this year or early 2022. The recently unveiled 2 Series Coupé is also offered with an automatic transmission.
Going back to the manual-transmission Australian Z4, it has accounted for just 0.54 percent of all Z4s sold by BMW since early 2019.
Not so long ago, AutoTimesNews wrote that in the UK they banned BMW advertising on the radio because of the loud sounds of the engine. The supervisor listened to the audio track and found it unacceptable for broadcast on the air: the enticing sound of the engine can spur drivers to a dangerous driving style.