BMW has confirmed the Z4 roadster is getting a manual gearbox. In the halcyon days of sports cars, this would not be news, but as everything goes automated and electronic, a brand-new mainstream sports car forcing you to change gear yourself is quite the headline-grabber. Not least because of what the Z4’s closely related to.
The manual won’t, sadly, be bolted onto the all-singing all-dancing 3.0-liter six-cylinder of the M40i—rather, it will be paired with the Z4’s entry-level 197hp 2.0-liter turbo-four, more succinctly known as the sDrive20i. It’ll get a six-speed manual as standard, with the eight-speed paddle-shifting auto of more potent Z4s remaining optional.
And that close relative? Why, only the Toyota Supra you’ve probably already read 247 other stories about this month. It’s quite the car of the moment, and with much of its dynamic heart shared with the Z4—not least the option of that 197hp engine in markets outside of the UK (for now)—a manual Supra is suddenly a very real possibility.
Whether Toyota has the gumption to offer it—when it already sells a 197hp manual coupe in the form of the dinkier, cheaper 86—remains to be seen. But we can live in hope, right?
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.