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MINI Announces 2021 Models that Stick with the Stick

Published on Fri, Apr 10, 2020

By: Collin Morgan

Manual transmissions are an option on most of MINI’s 2021 models meant for those who actually like to drive.

Stick-shift enthusiasts rejoice! There is still a manufacturer out there who hears the driver. Now, I know getting stuck in LA traffic alternating between first and second for two hours can get a tad irksome. But doesn’t carving up Mulholland while rev-matching and clutch-stomping make up for it?

Automatic transmissions have come a long way, and the consensus is that automatics tend to be faster. Yes, computers can shift faster than you. But the control over when to shift, how to shift, where to shift forges a connection between driver and vehicle like no other. And no, paddle shifters do NOT make a car a manual. That’s basically blasphemy.

With most supercars now coming with nearly double digit-speed-automatics, it seems as though the driver bond is slowly eroding away from the car. Manual transmissions are rarely an option anymore. However, MINI has come to the rescue. With a reputation for fun-to-drive little cars (we can forgive them for their maintenance costs), it’s great to see a manufacturer hold true to their roots.

2021 MINI Cooper S will have a manual transmission available
2021 MINI Cooper S will have a manual transmission available

Here’s the list of the 2021 MINI models with a manual transmission as an option:

#2021 MINI Hardtop and Convertible Models with Manual Transmissions
1.MINI Cooper 2-door Hardtop
2.MINI Cooper 4-door Hardtop
3.MINI Cooper S 2-door Hardtop
4.MINI Cooper S 4-door Hardtop
5.MINI John Cooper Works 2-door Hardtop
6.MINI Cooper Convertible
7.MINI Cooper S Convertible

Unfortunately, there are two exceptions: the 2021 MINI John Cooper Works GP, which comes exclusively with an 8-speed automatic tailored to handle the car’s 301 horsepower, and the 2021 MINI John Cooper Works Convertible, which features an exclusive 7-speed automatic.

2021 MINI Cooper S will have a manual transmission available
2021 MINI Cooper S will have a manual transmission available

“Fun to Drive is the number one reason why customers choose to purchase a MINI, and many of them enjoy the experience of driving a MINI with a manual transmission.’ said Patrick McKenna, Head of Product Planning for MINI USA “With standard manual transmissions now available on a range of 2021 MINI models, we like to say that when you buy two pedals you get one free!”

The manual transmission option is also not available on MINI Clubman and Countryman models equipped with MINI’s ALL4 all wheel drive system. Any models with AWD will continue to be offered exclusively with standard automatic transmissions.

Let’s hope manual transmissions never completely die out. Keep giving us manuals. For the sake of driving.

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