Wednesday, 22 May 2019

BMW Z4 To Obtain A Manual Transmission, But How About The Supra?

Just when we all accepted that the hope of a manual transmission in the BMW Z4 or Toyota Supra was completely lost, BMW launches this curved ball. It is a small information piece, but also a giant piece of information, which is included in a press release on BMW's European media website.

"The four-cylinder, 197 hp petrol engine in the BMW Z4 sDrive20i will be associated with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard as of July 2019."
The Z4 sDrive20i is the turbo four-cylinder version of the low-power turbo. Currently, BMW has no plans to sell this car in the United States, as we will get 255 cylinders with a higher power of 30 liters and the M40i 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder
in line that produces 382 horsepower.

We all know that the American Supra is exclusively combined with BMW's 3.0-liter Turbo Inline Six, which delivers 335 horsepower and 365 pounds of torque. However, when Toyota unveiled the Supra in January of this year, it was said Japan would get a 2.0-liter low-power turbo engine with 197 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. This engine also comes from BMW and is definitely the same engine that is now combined in the Z4 with a six-speed manual transmission.

You do not need a rocket scientist to see where that could lead. Now that BMW has a manual transmission for this car and this engine, it does not seem far-fetched that Toyota could do the same with the Supra. There were no official announcements from Toyota, but we received this explanation after asking them for this news. "We are launching the Supra this summer with a 6-cylinder turbo tuned to an 8-speed gearbox, which is currently the best combination for the US market."
When BMW combines a manual transmission with the four-cylinder, the door stays open for Toyota to do the same with its four-cylinder. Since there is no talk of a manual for the Inline Six, we will ease our hopes for an early release of the manual.

A Supra manual transmission in other markets, however, seems to be a clear possibility at this point. Whether Toyota ever decides to bring the four-cylinder to the US, could be the deciding factor for a three-pedal MkV Supra here.

This decision by BMW to offer a handbook to the rest of the world rather than the US reminds us that the M5 did the opposite much earlier this decade. BMW gave North America a manual, but everyone else was working on the dual-clutch transmission. Fast forward to today, and the new 3 Series is not even offered here with a manual. The decision to offer a manual with the Z4 also in Europe is a bit scruffy, since the vehicles of his small class have all renounced the shift lever.

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