If you’ve been shopping for a MINI in the last year you might’ve noticed that the manual option was not available for quite a long time. The British brand decided to do a refresh of its line-up last year, including a couple of technical changes. No, this was not a facelift but rather a pre-arranged set of modifications to the drivetrain to make sure emissions are kept in check. These include the introduction of the 7-speed dual-clutch gearboxes.
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The manual gearbox was therefore left out of US soil for a considerable amount of time. Since the US is one of the biggest markets for manual MINIs this was bound to be a temporary solution and the confirmation came today, as MINI issued an official press release letting us know which cars are, once again, available with a stick shift. Therefore, as of last month, MINI Hardtop and Convertible models are, once again, available without the automatic gearbox.
The MINI Cooper 2-door and 4-door Hardtop models as well as the Cooper S versions and the John Cooper works 2-door hardtop are now all available for order with a manual gearbox. The MINI Cooper Convertible and MINI Cooper S Convertible are also added to that list. Furthermore, the Clubman and Countryman models are also scheduled to get it later this spring so you won’t have to wait that long to get them.
“Fun to Drive is the number one reason why customers choose to purchase a MINI, and many of them enjoy the experience of driving a MINI with a manual transmission.” said Patrick McKenna, Head of Product Planning for MINI USA about the return of the shift-your-own-gear units. The models that are not available with a manual gearbox are those using the most powerful engine ever offered on a MINI, the 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged 300 HP unit found on the MINI JCW GP and the JCW Clubman/Countryman models.