Keep Calm and Shift – The MINI Countryman Cooper S Manual is Coming

MINI (especially in the US) has prided itself in always offering a manual version of every model and trim it sells. The new F60 MINI Countryman will be no exception. As many of you have noted MINI is currently not offering a manual transmission on the Cooper S. That will change very shortly. Given the complexity of producing so many variants on the same production line in Oxford, MINI is phasing in several options within the first few months of 2017 Countryman production. The six speed manual is one of those (standard) options that will appear shortly.

F60 2017 MINI Countryman offroad

What will be the first MINI not available with the manual transmission you ask? The answer is coming in the shape of a hybrid. Yes the MINI Countryman Hybrid will only be available with a (six speed) automatic transmission. Given the complexities of the hybrid system and the engineering task to fit a manual (and minuscule take rate) MINI has opted to forgo the manual.

  • darex

    I thought all Countrymans were made in Austria?

    • MINI has ended its production partnership with Magna who build the R60 in Austria. All MINIs moving forward will be built in the U.K. and a few in the Netherlands.

      • darex

        I keep reading conflicting information. Here, it says that ALL F60 Countrymans will be made by VDL Nedcar in Born, Netherlands. X1 production is also moving there in whole or in part (which makes sense). The article is from October, 2016, so it must be accurate.

        http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/10/vdl-nedcar-to-take-on-more-staff-for-new-mini-order/

        • Nick Dawson

          BMW has not officially reported where the new F60 Countryman is being built, but sources say that it is being built in MINI’s ‘overflow’ assembly plant in Born, in the Netherlands, where the F57 Convertible is assembled exclusively, together with the overflow of F56 Hardtops. It certainly make sense, logistically, to build excess capacity MINIs in Born, which is closer to the UK, and the new G30 5-series in Graz which is closer to Germany.

          The UK Prime Minister Theresa May is meeting this Friday with US President Donald Trump to discuss, among other things, future trade deals between the US and the UK. Bearing in mind that the UK will now most likely be leaving the EU single market, future MINIs built for sale to the US and other non-EU markets could well be built exclusively in Oxford, and in Born for EU markets only

        • darex

          Born is about as far away from the UK as it could be, and still be in Holland. It’s practically in Germany, and is partly surrounded by it. I’m not sure that’s a factor, per se.

        • Nick Dawson

          I have no wish to argue with you darex, but if you would care to take a look at an atlas of Europe, you will see that born is not only much closer geographically to the UK, but has easy access to a deep water port. Graz in Austria is geographically much closer to Germany, which is why the new G30 5-Series is being built there.

        • darex

          LOL That’s exactly what I did! It’s in EXTREME southeastern Holland, and is quite literally a 10 minute drive from the German border.

        • Nick Dawson

          But it is a very long way from Graz in Austria.

          I don’t understand why you think that BMW’s decision to transfer production of the Countryman, from Graz in Austria which is geographically closer to Munich, to Born in The Netherlands – which is geographically closer to Oxford than Graz and has easy access to a deep water port – is derisory.

          Perhaps it’s because you are not aware that Plant Oxford has an absolute maximum build capacity of 250k per annum. Last year MINI built 360k cars, so it needs additional build capacity outside of Oxford. BMW in its wisdom decided that VDL NedCar in Born was the best option, both for logistical reasons and because of VDL’s well proven experience in contractual automobile assembly. Let’s leave it at that.

  • Alistair Coffin

    The new one is made in Holland.

    In the U.K., the Clubman SD All4 is auto only, and all versions of the Countryman SD are auto only. I’d love to know why, especially as the JCWs are available as manuals.