The end of manual gears in Mini cars: What's next for the iconic brand?

Written by Jakob A. Overgaard

Sep.07 - 2023 11:06 AM CET

Photo: Jumpstory
Photo: Jumpstory
Automatic transmission is the future for Mini cars. The brand, known for its compact and stylish vehicles, has confirmed that manual gears will no longer be a part of their upcoming models. This significant shift in design philosophy is a testament to the changing landscape of the automotive industry.

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Mini's decision encompasses both their future combustion engine models and electric vehicles. The brand's top executive, Stefanie Wurst, confirmed this in an interview with Top Gear. While the move might disappoint manual transmission enthusiasts, it's a clear indication of the direction in which the automobile world is heading.

However, there's a silver lining for motorsport fans. Mini has given the green light to its team to produce cars for electric motorsport. This move is exciting, but it also raises questions about which racing series the brand will participate in. Not all electric motorsport series have been successful, and the brand's strategy in this domain remains to be seen.

One of the last Mini models to feature a manual transmission will be the John Cooper Works Bulldog Racing Edition. This vehicle, despite its compact name, boasts a 2-liter gasoline engine, 231 horsepower, a Remus exhaust, and six forward gears. In contrast, the new electric Mini Cooper EV's top model, the 'SE', will have a power output of 214 horsepower.

While Mini is embracing the future with open arms, there's still some mystery surrounding their plans for combustion engines. Stefanie Wurst remained tight-lipped about how the brand intends to keep the combustion engine alive. However, it's speculated that Mini might rely on small hybrid battery packs to ensure the longevity of these engines.

The shift from manual to automatic and the brand's foray into electric motorsport signifies Mini's commitment to innovation. But with innovation comes challenges. For instance, several car brands have withdrawn from the Formula E racing series. Mercedes, one of the major players, defended its decision by stating there was nothing left to achieve in Formula E.

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