Mini is famous for its manual transmissions, but after supply-chain issues surfaced in 2019, the compact car company had to suspend production of them. For the 2023 model year, however, Mini is bringing back manual-shift versions of its two-door Coopers.
But how much fanfare can the reintroduction conjure? After all, supply-chain issues aside, many manufacturers have veered away from stick shifts, and plenty of drivers have never operated one. Well, Mini has an answer to that too: The English carmaker is planning to offer lessons on how to drive a stick-shift vehicle, and you don't need to own a Mini to participate.
@rfbigs For the record @delaneybigs did eventually get back in the car and drove us home! #minicooper #proudpapa #daddydaughter #stickshift ♬ original sound - Robert Bigley
Drivers can step outside of their automatic transmission comfort zones and head to the Mini Manual Driving School at the BMW Performance Center in Thermal, California, early next year.
Whether you're an out-of-practice stick shifter or an I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing newbie, the goal is to help you feel more comfortable operating a manual gearbox. "The course is designed to create a foundation for drivers to build their comfort with driving manual transmission vehicles, with the curriculum that focuses on vehicle controls, finding the friction point, practicing smooth starts, stops, acceleration, and more," according to Mini USA news release.
New six-speed manual Coopers are now available for order with the price for the two-door model starting at $28,600. But the cost and availability of the stick-shift school are still stuck in park. Pricing and details have yet to be announced.