The Mini will be getting a new gearbox option for the 2018 model year. Called the Steptronic, the seven-speed dual-clutch (DCT) will be available in the 3 Door, 5 Door and Convertible models. It will serve as an alternative option to the standard six-speed manual gearbox and is set to replace the old six-speed automatic.

Instead of a traditional gear lever, the DCT makes use of an electronic selector that goes back in its original center position. The driver only has to switch between D (Driving Mode), Neutral (N) and Reverse. To access Park, one only has to press P. Selecting Sport Mode, on the other hand, can be done by shifting the selector from D towards the left.

Mini DCT news 

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In addition, the DCT can use navigation data to know exactly when to shift through the gears on full automatic mode, and when to activate engine start/stop function. According to the automaker, the transmission can downshift early when it sees that the car is nearing a sharp bend to make use of engine braking.

There is even a crawl function for the new DCT which makes for a smoother operation in city or stop-and-go driving. This was made possible thanks to a dual-mass flywheel that comes with a centrifugal pendulum which balances out the rotational forces of the dual-clutch transmission.

Mini DCT news

The new DCT will initially be offered in Europe first. However, there are no plans yet to offer the new transmission option in the US market.