The Manual-Transmission Mini Cooper Could Soon Go Extinct

  • The manual transmission will die with the current generation of Mini Cooper, the company’s boss told Top Gear at the launch of the next-generation hatchback.
  • The new Cooper hatch will come with both electric and internal-combustion powertrains, but the gas-powered models are expected to be automatic only.
  • The final manual-equipped versions of the current Cooper will be produced in February of next year.

Cars with manual gearboxes are truly becoming an endangered species. After Volkswagen announced the death of the stick-shift Golf GTI last week with the GTI 380 special package, it now appears that the manual transmission will soon disappear from the Mini lineup. The British marque recently revealed an all-new generation of Cooper hatchback, but according to Top Gear, the do-it-yourself gearbox won’t return for the updated model.

2023 mini cooper s hardtop front


The head of Mini, Stefanie Wurst, told Top Gear, “We won’t have a manual unfortunately.” A Mini representative left the door open for a future addition to the lineup, saying, “It doesn’t look likely that the next-generation Mini ICE hardtop and convertibles will come with a manual transmission at launch.” This could suggest that the stick-shift gearbox could be offered down the line if demand is strong enough, but we think it is unlikely.

This news comes after Mini reintroduced the manual transmission on the Cooper hatchback for the 2023 model year, after it had removed the option in May 2022 due to supply-chain constraints. The six-speed manual was offered on the two-door Hardtop Cooper, Cooper S, and John Cooper Works variants.

Mini has only disclosed details on the electric version of the 2025 Mini Cooper so far, but the EV will be joined by gas-powered models that are expected to use carryover engines. The outgoing Cooper was motivated by either a 134-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a 189-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which should continue to be hooked up to an eight-speed automatic in the new model. The final versions of the current-generation Cooper with the manual gearbox will roll off the assembly line in February 2024, according to Mini.

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Caleb Miller began blogging about cars at 13 years old, and he realized his dream of writing for a car magazine after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and joining the Car and Driver team. He loves quirky and obscure autos, aiming to one day own something bizarre like a Nissan S-Cargo, and is an avid motorsports fan.

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