Mini is taking a short break from manual transmissions

The 2019 Mini Cooper will eventually return with a six-speed manual transmission.

As more and more automakers cancel manual transmissions because of the low take rate — they’re businesses, remember — Mini and its slew of Coopers has stood strong. Unfortunately, the Anglo-Germanic marque will cease importing stick shifts to the U.S. starting in July. The hold is only temporary, thankfully, but it’s the reason that’s interesting.

It’s an emission certification thing — more specifically, calibration testing. MotoringFile caught up with Mini’s Andrew Cutler about the delay.

But, to reiterate, it’s only temporary. Cutler says that manuals are and will continue to be an option for the foreseeable future on most Mini models. Still, the timeline is unclear for the manual’s return: Cutler says it’s too early to say how long the delay will last. As a consolation prize, Mini will be bringing the dual-clutch Cooper and Cooper S models to the U.S. starting in July. Right now, the only other option is a six-speed slushbox with paddle shifters. The Clubman and Countryman will now get the company’s new eight-speed auto.

We’ll keep our eyes on this one. And hopefully in a few months we’ll be seeing and driving more manual Mini Coopers, just like we always have and as God intended.









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