The Manual Mini Is Dead

Technology / 3 Comments

Does it really matter?

Mini has halted the production of every model that uses a manual gearbox. You can now only buy a Mini product with two pedals.

Autocar spoke to Mini representatives, who confirmed the situation. In addition to the global semiconductor chip shortage and the ongoing war in Ukraine, Mini decided to ax the manual transmission. It would not confirm whether this move is permanent or just for the time being.

Considering Mini is moving over to EV and the overall lack of demand for manual gearboxes, we're guessing this is the end.

Mini Mini Mini

Mini brought the manual gearbox back to the US in 2020 following customer outcry. The manual was limited to the Cooper three-door hardtop and convertible in base and S guise. You could also get a manual mated to the upgraded John Cooper Works engine. Oddly, the fiercest Mini of them all, the John Cooper Works GP, was introduced as an automatic-only model.

"Current circumstances, including the war in Ukraine and semiconductor shortages, are causing supply chain restrictions across the global automotive industry," Mini said in a statement.

"In order to secure maximum production output to meet increasing customer demand, our product offer needs to be simplified. This solution is the most effective way to ensure production stability so that we can continue to supply all our customers with new Minis."

Mini Mini Mini

This is one of the least tragic results of the ongoing shortage. Some manufacturers have gone as far as halting production, while other carmakers are removing essential safety features.

Mini's manual offerings were hardly the best in the business. The Mazda MX-5 Miata makes the Mini Convertible look irrelevant, though we have to admit that the entry-level turbocharged three-pot hardtop with a manual was good fun. Good enough to save the manual entirely? Not really…

The biggest shock is the jump in pricing. Earlier this year, Mini unveiled its new model structure and pricing details, and at the time, the cheapest three-door hardtop cost $23,400. As of this week, the cheapest three-door hardtop costs $27,400.

If you have your heart set on a manual Mini, you have two options. Either buy used or get one of David Brown's suburb restomod Minis.

David Brown Automotive David Brown Automotive David Brown Automotive David Brown Automotive
Source Credits: Autocar

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