Mini Announces New Manual Transmission Driving School
“Save the manuals” has transcended simple meme status and has grown into a mantra for many enthusiasts desperate to hold onto the mechanical engagement that comes from shifting one’s own gears. Electric vehicles and general laziness have led to a sharp decline in the number of cars offered with manual transmissions in the U.S., but some automakers are dedicated to keeping them alive. Mini is doing its part with a new manual transmission driving school.
Mini nixed the manual in its catalog due to supply chain constraints but recently announced that it would bring the option back for 2023. The automaker will use parent company BMW’s Performance Center in Thermal, California for the classes, and says that the school is open to any drivers “looking for the opportunity to learn to drive manual in an engaging and safe atmosphere.”
BMW offers several classes and events at its tracks in California and Spartanburg, South Carolina, including teen driver school, performance driving classes, and a higher-speed M driving class that includes seat time in an M4 GTS. Mini courses were added in 2016, and the new program focuses on the basics of operating a manual transmission. The curriculum includes time learning about finding the friction point, smooth starts and stops, acceleration, and vehicle controls. Drivers get a test at the end of the course to assess learning and knowledge.
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