MINI has announced the three- and five-door hatchbacks as well as the convertible will be offered with a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Designed to offer "impressive shift dynamics for enhanced driving fun," the gearbox combines two partial transmissions into a single housing.
As MINI explains, the "core element of the system consists of two oil-cooled wet clutches: one of these is responsible for the even transmission ratios (2, 4, 6) while the other is for the uneven ratios (1, 3, 5, 7) and reverse." One of the clutches is always open and ready to respond within just a fraction of a second.
Thanks to this design, the gearbox is always ready to shift and this promises to make the car faster and smoother. The transmission has also been designed with efficiency in mind so it supports the engine start/stop system as well as the coasting function. The gearbox can also access GPS data on properly equipped vehicles.
As part of the switch, models equipped with the new transmission will be outfitted with a small electronic shifter that will always return to its original position after selecting between drive, neutral, and reverse. The shifter also has a park button and a Sport mode which can be easily selected.