Mini Australia has confirmed it won’t return a manual transmission option to its current-generation models.
This latest development follows the company axing the manual option due to semiconductor and wiring harness shortages in May last year and the local division saying it would originally return in early 2023.
“Mini will no longer offer manual transmissions for the Australian and New Zealand market from now until the end of production for current generation products,” said Mini Australia head of product and planning James Orlov.
“This decision enhances our capacity to produce multiple powertrains across our range of products to ensure we are catering to customer demands.”
Although Mini Australia won’t offer manual-equipped models on current-generation vehicles, Mini USA is reintroducing the option to seven model variants for the 2024 model year.
Mini previously offered a manual transmission across more than half its lineup, a spread of three-pedal options unmatched by most brands.
In fact, 27 of the 43 model variants Mini offered could be specified with a six-speed manual as a non-cost option before the production pause.
The only models without a manual transmission option locally were the Countryman SUV, John Cooper Works Clubman, and the Mini Electric hatch.
During 2021 when the six-speed manual transmission option was available, they accounted for 104 out of 3579 total sales – or 2.9 per cent overall.
All current-generation Mini 3-Door Hatch, 5-Door Hatch and Clubman models sold in Australia are produced at the company’s plant in Oxford, England, whereas Countryman and Convertible models are produced in the Netherlands.
As previously reported, Mini has a new product onslaught and is getting ready to move away from internal-combustion engines entirely, which will likely spell the end of manual transmissions.
Based on previous updates from Mini, the new-generation 3-Door Hatch, Countryman and Convertible will be the only models available with internal-combustion engines. This doesn’t necessarily mean there will be manual transmission option on any of these models though.
The last new Mini model with an internal-combustion engine will be released in 2025, and Mini says 50 per cent of its sales will be all-electric by 2027. Come 2030, every single Mini will be electric.
Based on previous updates from Mini, its next-generation model lineup will include the following cars:
- The classic 3-Door Hatch, available with petrol and electric power. It’s expected to be smaller than the current car.
- The Aceman electric SUV to slot between the 3-Door Hatch and Countryman.
- The Countryman SUV, grown up to take on the Audi Q3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA with petrol and electric power.
- Another premium compact car in an as-yet unrevealed segment, potentially based on the Vision Urbanaut concept.
- A new Convertible, due in 2025.