Mini South Africa has removed as many as 12 manual derivatives from its local range (including the manual John Cooper Works hatchback), leaving just four three-pedal variants in its line-up.
The four surviving stick-shift models are found in the hatchback range (in One and Cooper guises, and three- and five-door body styles), meaning the Clubman, Convertible and Countryman line-ups now feature only automatic transmissions (either seven- or eight-speeders, depending on the model). The move, presumably due to a lack of local demand for manual models, effectively cuts each of the aforementioned three ranges in half.
Interestingly, the cull includes the manual three- and five-door Cooper S hatchbacks as well as the manual three-door John Cooper Works range-topping hatch.
The remaining JCW-badged derivatives thus all employ eight-speed automatic transmissions, channelling the turbocharged 2,0-litre four-pot’s 170 kW and 350 N.m to all four wheels in the case of the Clubman and Countryman variants, and 170 kW and 320 N.m to the front axle in the case of the hatchback.
Whether the upcoming John Cooper Works GP model – which the BMW-backed brand has already confirmed will offer “more than 220 kW” – will be available with a manual cog-swapper remains to be seen...
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.