UPDATED: The Manual MINI is Not Dead

A couple of weeks ago, we reported that MINI was no longer offering its six-speed manual transmission for 2020.

That's because the MINI 3 Door, MINI 5 Door, MINI Convertible and MINI Clubman sold since July of this year only came with a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission—with manual mode, of course—as standard equipment on most of these cars.

The idea is to deliver super-quick shifts while allowing drivers to focus more on the steering wheel.

Photo: Alberto Martinez

The dual-clutch transmission can also be found in the high-performance, 228-horsepower John Cooper Works variant of the MINI 3 Door and 5 Door.

The MINI JCW Convertible and all MINI Clubman models get an eight-speed Sport automatic transmission instead, with available launch control. Same thing for the MINI Countryman.

Well, thanks to Car and Driver, today we learn that the manual gearbox was only delayed in North America due to necessary updates to the fuel-delivery system that required "additional testing and optimization."

"Starting early February 2020, customers will be able to resume ordering [three- and five-door] MINI hardtop and convertible models equipped with manual transmissions from March 2020 production," company spokesman Andrew Cutler told the website.

"There is a segment of the customer base that prefers driving with a manual transmission, so we do want to maintain that for the component of our customers who expect that," Cutler added. "We are going to continue to ensure that we've got manuals when and where possible."

Please note that JCW models and AWD-equipped cars like the Clubman and Countryman sold in Canada will keep offering automatics only.

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