Another one bites the dust: BMW has cut the six-speed manual option from its Z4 roadster, leaving the M3 and M4 as the brand’s last manual cars.
The BMW Z4 has become the latest car to lose its manual transmission in Australia, after just two examples were sold in two years – making it one of the rarest vehicles ever sold Down Under.
“As only two examples of the BMW Z4 sDrive20i fitted with the manual transmission have been sold since launch in [the first quarter of] 2019, BMW Australia has made the decision to remove this variant from the line-up from the July 2021 production month,” a spokesperson for the German brand’s Australian division told CarAdvice.
“However, the Z4 sDrive20i is still available with the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission.”
Available for no additional cost over the more popular eight-speed automatic gearbox, the six-speed manual was offered only on the entry-level sDrive20i, priced from $88,900 before on-road costs. Power came from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, developing 145kW and 320Nm.
Driving the rear wheels only, the three-pedal sDrive20i claimed to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in 6.8 seconds – two tenths slower than its two-pedal counterpart – towards a top speed of 241km/h, 1km/h higher than the auto.
The two manual Z4 vehicles sold account for 0.54 per cent of the 371 BMW Z4s reported as sold in Australia since the current-generation model launched locally in early 2019 – making the roadster one of the rarest cars ever sold in Australia.
A total of three Honda NSX supercars – a car cut from local showrooms in 2020 due to notably slow sales – were sold over the same period (for a total of nine across the model’s four-year run), while just two examples of the high-performance Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG people mover are understood to have been sold officially in Australia (excluding private imports).
One of the two manual Z4 examples sold is slated to have been the Alpine White media evaluation example driven by CarAdvice in early 2020 – though government registration data indicates this vehicle has since been resold by the manufacturer and registered in a different Australian state.
The deletion of the Z4’s manual option strikes another nameplate off BMW’s list of available three-pedal manual models, following the end of production of the first-generation 2 Series Coupe – and its six-speed manual M2 Competition and CS derivatives – earlier this year.
The new-generation M3 and M4 performance mid-size cars offer six-speed manuals in their entry-level 353kW forms, while manual transmissions have been available as special order options for the 118i small hatch and 218i Gran Coupe small sedan.
BMW Z4 manual axed in Australia, after just two cars sold in two years