Mini has announced that its three- and five-door hatches as well as its convertible model will drop their conventional six-speed torque-converter automatic gearboxes in favour of seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions.
The BMW-backed brand promises that the result is “extremely fast gear changes, a high degree of shift comfort and optimised efficiency”.
The new double-clutch unit, which the automaker says will be offered in conjunction with selected engine types and as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual ‘box, is operated by means of a newly designed electronic selector lever.
As is the case in many BMW models, this lever always returns to its original position after changing between drive, neutral and reverse, while the parking lock is activated by pressing a dedicated “P” button and “S” mode selected from position “D” by shifting the selector to the left.
Interestingly, Mini says the electronic control of the new double-clutch gearbox includes a “shift strategy based on navigation data”. So, says the brand, when passing through two bends in quick succession, the drive position engaged after downshifting is maintained so as to avoid any unnecessary shifting.
In addition, a fuel-saving “coasting” function is available in the two tamer driving modes. Here, the drivetrain is decoupled as soon as the driver removes their foot from the accelerator pedal, allowing the vehicle to roll along at idling speed.