Mini removed the 6-speed manual transmission from its options list early last year, citing supply issues at the time, and promised to bring the transmission back at a later date.
It made good on a promise last fall to reintroduce a manual transmission as an option on its signature coupe.
Now, it’s adding the option to two more models: the 4-door hardtop and the convertible. This manual can be equipped on Cooper and Cooper S grades. Another option is an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Recently, Mini conducted a survey to find out how much interest there is in manual transmissions, and the results were positive for the old-school stick. Some 63% of respondents agreed that learning how to drive a manual transmission is a rite of passage and an important life skill.
2023 Mini Convertible Seaside Edition
When it came to specific age groups, Mini found that nearly half (49%) of Gen Z respondents said they didn’t know how to drive with a manual. When asked if they would like to learn, 53% of Gen Z respondents said they were interested in learning how to row their own boat. This percentage increases when you count all ages up to 34; in this case, 67% said they were eager to learn.
Anyone really willing to learn how to drive a joystick can do so with the Mini. Since last fall, the automaker has been offering manual-transmission driving classes at BMW’s West Coast Driving School at its private track in Thermal Club, California. The current fee for this course is $499.