• Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
  • Image Credit: Mini
Mini has padded next year's option sheet with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, so long as you're not buying in America. Available for the three-door, five-door, and convertible Mini models using "selected engine types," the DCT will provide a third transmission option after the standard six-speed manual and six-speed Steptronic automatic. Minis fitted the twin-clutch will be known by the meaty new gearshift lever that, BMW style, returns to its central position after the car's put into gear. A button at the top of the lever activates Park. Sensibly, you push the lever forward to downshift, and pull it back to upshift.

When a buyer springs for navigation and the DCT, the transmission taps into map routing data and camera images to hone shift programming; the gearbox will downshift early when approaching a turn, or read a series of bends to know when to shift and when to hold steady. Fitted with a crawl function for ease of use in stop-and-go traffic, the DCT additionally supports stop/start, and coasting in Mid and Green driving modes for those times the driver takes his foot off the accelerator.

For the time being, though, we're not invited to the party. Mini USA Communications Manager Mariella Kapsaskis told Motor1 that manufacturing the wet-clutch, dual-mass flywheel DCT "takes up lots of capacity." Which is the automaker equivalent of being told, "We're just not that into you right now." We expect that would change at some point; however, some of Mini's most sporting U.S. competitors also don't offer DCTs, so who knows.

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