We’ve been trying to get confirmation on this rumor for about six months with no luck. So we’re throwing it out there. While it doesn’t have the normal MotoringFile seal of approval at least one of our sources is adamant it’s happening sometime in 2017. We’d guess that it could coincide with the LCI (mid-cycle refresh in BMW speak) of the F56 & F55 which is likely due in 2017 as a 2018 model. It could be possible that MINI won’t use the 8 speed Aisin transmission found in the Clubman and upcoming Countryman models.
It would be an interesting change of direction for BMW – a company that has thus far eschewed the use of dual clutch transmissions outside of M models and a rare Z4. The reason is that costs for dual clutch transmissions are typically higher given the complexity in design and manufacturing. The only way VW has been able to do it in mass is the sheer volume they can leverage. Perhaps BMW and MINI found a willing partner ready to bring costs down in order to battle the increasingly popular 8 speed automatics from ZF and Aisin? If so it could further help differentiate the smaller MINI offerings such as the F55 and F56 from the larger four doors (F54 Clubman and F60 Countryman).
That’s if this rumor is true. We’ll know more in the coming weeks and months.