Mini's latest updates also include more environmentally friendly engines and other equipment upgrades.
Mini has announced a series of revisions to several of its models, not least of which is a new transmission for the Clubman and Countryman. Starting this month, the more accommodating models in Mini's lineup will offer a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission for the first time. Offered on gasoline models (not the diesels), the DCT replaces the eight-speed automatic, and was previously rolled out on the smaller three-door, five-door, and convertible models.
Though heavier than conventional single-clutch automatic transmissions, dual-clutch gearboxes offer improved shift times to the benefit of both performance and fuel economy. In the Clubman wagon and Countryman crossover, they can be shifted manually from the lever, or (on the top Cooper S models) with paddle shifters on the steering wheel. We'll have to wait and see whether the transmission makes its way to the US, where it isn't offered on the smaller hatchbacks. The current, second-gen F54 Clubman launched in 2015 as a longer counterpart to the five-door Mini Hatch. The larger Countryman crossover, meanwhile, arrived just last year, also in its second iteration (internally dubbed the F60).
Along with the dual-clutch transmission for the larger models, Mini has also fitted diesel-style particulate filters to all of its gasoline engines in order to meet the latest European emissions standards. The Clubman is also now being offered with a new Connectivity Package that encompasses navigation (with real-time traffic data), Apple CarPlay compatibility, wireless inductive cellphone charging, and a Harman Kardon audio system – all controlled through an 8.8-inch touchscreen and Mini Touch controller. Plus the Clubman and Countryman have been upgraded to include automatic driving lights as standard.