Will be available with all three avatars of the Mini: the Mini 3 door, the Mini 5 door and the Mini Convertible
Mini has introduced a new dual-clutch transmission, the 7-speed Steptronic, in its lineup. It will be available internationally from early 2018 along with the standard 6-speed manual, replacing the existing 6-speed torque converter. It will be offered with the three MINI cars: the Mini 3 door, the Mini 5 door and the Mini Convertible.
It is similar to other related transmissions wherein one of the clutches handles the even ratios while the other takes care of the odd ones along with the reverse gear. These transmissions offer faster shifts than conventional torque converter units and are more efficient as well, with relatively fewer transmission losses. And indeed Mini promises ‘faster gearshifts for increased driving fun’.
With the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, Mini has incorporated a newly designed gear shift lever as well. The updated gear lever is a relatively smaller unit compared to the existing 6-speed AT knob and appears sportier as well. Mini highlighted that it always returns to its original position after changing between driving mode D, neutral position N and reverse mode, similar to how it is on BMWs.
Sport mode can be selected with a slight nudge in D mode towards the left for manual shifts. Parking mode is applied by pressing the P button. Further, the gear shift processing unit of the new dual-clutch transmission also includes a shift strategy based on navigation data wherein it sees how the route is ahead, including various turns and all, to select the right gear.
The BMW-owned British automaker might not introduce Mini’s new range with the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission in India as soon as it goes on sale in the first quarter of 2018 in Europe and other places. It is not even confirmed for the US market as of now, and the US-spec Mini will probably get the new transmission with its upcoming facelifted model (expected in 2018).
Reports suggest that BMW might plan to incorporate this new gearbox on all its cars based on the UKL platform, which is developed to underpin the BMW Group’s smaller cars. There are three BMW cars based on this platform - the X1, 2 Series Active Tourer and the 1 Series sedan in China. The BMW X1, powered by the 2.0-litre, 190PS diesel engine (that we get in India), has already received the 7-speed DCT in the UK. But the X1 still gets the 8-speed Steptronic unit in India.
We might also get the new twin-clutch transmission when Mini plans to offer the mid-life updated range in India. For now, Mini offers just the 6-speed automatic (torque converter) with the hardtop and the convertible here.
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