When BMW announced that it was sticking with the Aisin 6 speed transmission for the F56 MINI a couple of years ago, more than a few were surprised. While the Gen III had been dramatically improved over what came before it (the version found in the F53 and R56 for instance) it was still down a couple of gears to some of the competition. For 2016 MINI is solving that problem with the Clubman (in Cooper S form) by introducing the new Aisin 8 speed. The 8-speed AT enables both wider and closer gear ratios than the 6AT delivering improvements in both fuel efficiency and engine performance. How much of an improvement? We dug up a slide that Aisin used at symposium recently that summed it up.
Shockingly it’s also slightly smaller than the 6 speed it replaces making it suitable even for the smaller MINIs. Look for the 8 Speed to be offered in the 2017 F60 Countryman Cooper S and eventually make its ways to the F56, F55 and F57.
What of those rumors of a dual clutch in some UKL based BMW and MINI vehicles? While BMW hasn’t ruled it out, it would seem on paper that the new 8AT offers most of what a DCT offers without the cost and complexities associated with a dual clutch set-up.