In terms of divisive automotive topics, the transmission is a hot one. The manual versus automatic transmission debate has ruined friendships and continues to fuel heated arguments online.
Today, Mini announced that seven of its vehicles will still be available with a do-it-yourself transmission: The 2021 Mini Cooper 3 Door, Cooper 5 Door, Cooper S 3 Door, Cooper S 5 Door, John Cooper Works (JCW) 3 Door, Cooper Convertible, and Cooper S Convertible. Mini says there are two exceptions to this: the high-performance JCW GP and the JCW Convertible both come standard with an 8-speed automatic.
Mini has one of the most engaging and forgiving manual transmissions around. Not only do they add to a Mini’s fun personality, but their ease of use also makes them great for people new to driving manuals.
In other transmission news, the Hyundai Veloster N, which is currently only available with a six-speed manual, will likely be getting a dual clutch automatic transmission (DCT) soon. The Korean automaker just released a teaser video for the hot hatch with the tagline “Shift the Moment” and you can see a brief flash of the driver using paddle shifters near the beginning of the video. To make it even more obvious, the video was shared on YouTube with the hashtag #DCT, so it’s all but confirmed.
While some enthusiasts will bemoan this new addition, the DCT will likely be faster and more fuel efficient than the manual. Yes, a manual transmission is fun and more engaging, but a DCT will likely shave dozens of fractions of seconds from your lap times. The Hyundai Veloster N was one of the last cars that was offered exclusively with a manual transmission. That list is getting smaller and smaller.
There hasn’t been an official announcement yet, but stay tuned.