Even before their facelift, the small MINI models F56, F57 and F55 will receive a new transmission: A 7-speed DCT will replace the previously offered six-speed automatic transmission in MINI Cooper models. Initially MINI said that the new transmission will only be available in selected markets, which excludes the US, but according to our sources, the 7-Speed DCT will eventually land in the United States.
Car Magazine recently reviewed the new MINI Cooper D DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission) to see how it fared against the old eight-speed slushbox. According to Car, it’s actually quite good. For a transverse engine-based dual-clutch, it’s sharp and snappy, more so than the old Aisin auto. Getrag will be the one supplying the DCT for MINIs and UKL BMWs.
Together with the dual-clutch gearbox, a new gear selector lever is moving in, which looks more modern and sportier than the previous version.
The 7-speed DKG allows gear changes without interrupting the traction effort, because two partial transmissions are paired in a common housing. Two oil-cooled wet clutches are the core of the system and connect the two partial transmissions. With a gear change under load, a simultaneous opening of the one and closing the other clutch allows extremely fast switching operations without interruption of traction. Thus, the usual at slower gear changes load change reactions remain off.
Thanks to the car start / stop function, sailing function and, of course, the seventh gear, the DCT also contributes to the fact that the MINI One and MINI Cooper D consume noticeably less fuel than in combination with the previously used six-speed automatic transmission.
We expect the new DCT to become available in the US in late 2018.