"MINI" Good News: The Six-Speed, Manual Transmission is Back!
Yes folks, the manual transmission is back for Mini--at least in the U.S.
And you can hear stick-shift fans jumping for joy right now--including me.
This gives hope to us fans, and to all those who are starting to believe that the manual transmission is doomed to extinction and annihilation by the entire 'matic race and its legions.
Thank God we're still being heard.
"There is a segment of the customer base that prefers driving with a manual transmission, so we do want to maintain that for the component of our customers who expect that," said Andrew Cutler, head of corporate communications for MINI USA to Car and Driver.
Cutler cited "fun to drive" as their number-one criterion for buying a Mini, so that's what the company is going to continue to "ensure that we've got manuals when and where possible."
Actually, we were hoping he would also add in "customizable", "fuel-efficient", and "high resale value" on top of the criterion as well.
Then again, a Mini has all of them in spades--so that's no problem.
Now the question is: When do we get to see these manual Minis cavorting together with them automatic thugs on them streets?
Probably on the first quarter of next year.
"Starting early February 2020, customers will be able to resume ordering MINI hardtop and convertible models equipped with manual transmissions from March 2020 production,” Cutler said.
"The Clubman and Countryman models will get the transmission option later on from July 2020," he added.
Note, however, that all-wheel drive Mini models, most John Cooper Works variants (except MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop) will not be fitted with manuals anymore.
"Stick-Shift" Minis Not a Dying Breed
Generally, stick-shifts are a dying breed in the world. It's a sad though for manual fans like me, but it's a reality that needs to be faced.
That, however, doesn't mean it's completely dead. For now, there are still many who prefer to drive the stick-shift--enough for car companies to take notice--like Mini.
Case in point: There are around 45 percent of U.S. buyers that will still opt for the manual when buying a two-door Mini Cooper S Hardtop.
A Mini spokesperson confirmed this to the same auto news site, saying: “We are going to continue to ensure that we’ve got manuals when and where possible.”
Just hearing that is music to my ears. And it's great to bask in the thought that another well-known vehicle is fitted back with a manual.
Hopefully, this trend is going to continue for a long time.