Mini Gives a Shift: Manuals Return to Lineup After Hiatus

As automatic transmissions continue to become more efficient and popular, cars that have a manual are getting harder to find than a non-Zoom birthday party — but one brand is bringing them back. Mini announced the return of the stick shift to a few cars in its 2021 lineup after a brief hiatus for model-year 2020.  

Related: Not Your Father’s Stick Shift: 7 High-Tech Features of the Modern Manual

After suspending the export of manual models in July 2019 due to “technical evaluations,” the automaker said that production resumed in March 2020 for the Mini Hardtop and Convertible models equipped with manual transmissions. These include the following model-year 2021 vehicles: 

  • Mini Cooper Hardtop, two- and four-door versions in regular and S trims 
  • Mini John Cooper Works Hardtop two-door
  • Mini Cooper Convertible, regular and S trims

More are coming, too. The brand plans to restart production for manual versions of the 2021 Clubman wagon and Countryman SUV later in 2020, but models with all-wheel drive will continue to use automatic transmissions. 

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