Seems odd, doesn’t it? In the approaching era of electric cars where manuals are essentially unnecessary, Mini decided it’s worth giving a shot at educating its customers the way of the stick shift. Savoring one of the best things about driving while there’s still time is a move we can appreciate, nonetheless.
The course includes technical “classroom” stages and real driving, the latter of which will probably be a major part of it; knowing how difficult it is to learn manual growing up with autos. This, according to Mini, allows drivers to “drive manual in an engaging and safe atmosphere.” They do have a point, considering the fact that most drivers had to learn from their parents and on public roads, which should tell (or remind) you the pressure of getting the third pedal just right.
The courses will be held in BMW’s Performance Center in Thermal, California. This isn’t just for people completely new to manual, as Mini claims it’s great for those who have learned before, but have forgotten the way of the stick shift after getting too used to automatics. It won’t just teach you stop-and-go and clutch operations, as it also includes vehicle control and acceleration. Assuming one can finish all the courses, the final test is a timed course. If Mini hasn’t put a list of the fastest times for that, they should. Nothing wrong with introducing a bit of competitiveness every now and then, right?
Mini is still one of the brands that offers manual transmission for their cars, with the Mini Hardtop sometime this November. Its parent company BMW is also doing their part, as well as other brands like Porsche. There’s no telling about the fate of older ICE cars when EVs take over, but it’s nice of Mini to let people in on The Joy of Rowing (Gears).
p dir=”ltr”>(Images sourced from Mini)