Off the Bench: Mini Brings Manual Transmissions Back

It is no secret that the global pandemic hit the automotive industry hard. Despite being nearly three years into it, manufacturers and car buyers are still feeling the effects. The war in Ukraine exacerbated those effects by throwing international trade and shipping into chaos. As a result automakers had to make adjustments to their manufacturing just to keep supply flowing. Sometimes that meant parking nearly finished vehicles until parts came in and other times it meant shipping vehicles sans certain features and options. For the Mini Cooper, it meant most models lost the manual transmission option—but not for good.

In Mini’s case it meant eliminating manual transmission options from several trims and models offered in several markets including the United States and the United Kingdom. Considering that the Mini brand is known for its small and fun-to-drive cars, lacking a manual option was a less than desirable result but necessary due to the industry climate at the time. However, Mini wanted to ensure its customers that the lack of manual transmissions on some of its models was not permanent and that the third pedal would eventually return.

Gradually, the manual transmissions have started to make their way back into the fold. In November 2o22, the automaker announced that the manual transmission is coming back to the Mini Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works 2-door hardtop. In a recent release announcing pricing for its 2024 model year lineup, Mini confirmed that the Cooper convertible, Cooper S convertible, Cooper 4-door hardtop, and Cooper S 4-door hardtop will all get manual gearboxes for 2024.

The order books for these models opened up on February 3rd and production is scheduled to start on March 1, 2023. In addition to the manual gearboxes returning to the convertibles and 4-door models, Mini also announced that the base “Classic” trim is coming back to hardtop, Clubman, and Countryman models. The Signature trim will now come standard with Navigation and real-time traffic built-in.

There will now be a total of seven models that can be had with manual transmissions which should sound good to anyone who loves rowing through the gears on their daily drives. Considering the future of Mini is all-electric, get the manual while you still can.

Minis With Manual Transmissions

  • 2023 MiniCooper 2-door
  • 2023 Mini Cooper S 2-door
  • 2023 John Cooper Works 2-door
  • 2024 Mini Cooper Convertible
  • 2024 Mini Cooper S Convertible
  • 2024 Mini Cooper 4-door hardtop
  • 2024 Mini Cooper S 4-door hardtop


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