Next year, many Mini buyers in Europe will be able to order spec their vehicle with a new seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. The new gearbox won't be available to customers in North America quite so soon, though.
The seven-speed DCT will be an option on the three- and five-door variants of the Mini Hardtop and on the Convertible and production will begin in March 2018. Mini models with the gearbox will also have a new, static gear selector. Rather than physically moving between selections, it rocks back and forth to pick Drive, Neutral, and Reverse. A physical button puts the vehicle into park. Moving the shifter to the left while in Drive activates the Sport mode, which holds gears longer.
The new transmission is quite a sophisticated unit because it can decide when to shift based on navigation data if the model has that option. Plus, the gearbox uses a bevy of sensors to choose when is the right time to activate the engine start/stop function and coasting functions.