2021 Mini John Cooper Works hardtop confirmed with manual transmission

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Not long after Mini announced a 2021 Mini Cooper convertible that we could #GiveAShift about, the automaker quietly revived the hotter 2021 John Cooper Works hardtop with three pedals.

Mini spokesman Andrew Cutler confirmed Tuesday that the 2021 John Cooper Works will be available with a 6-speed manual transmission as well.

“As of production this March, manuals transmissions have returned on our hardtops and convertibles. This coincides with the start of 2021 model year for these models,” Cutler said in a statement. 

For 2020, the hot Mini John Cooper Works hardtop was available only with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The same 8-speed automatic returns for 2021, although it’s unclear if it’ll be a no-cost swap or an upcharge. Mini hasn’t yet said how much the JCW will cost when it arrives.

It’s a sharp turn for the small automaker after ditching manual transmissions for 2020. Last year, the automaker said a manual transmission would return to some 2020 Minis late in the model year, although that didn’t appear to materialize. For 2021, the automaker has listed a 6-speed stick for JCW hardtops, Cooper S convertibles, and Cooper S hardtop two- and four-door versions. It’s unclear if any other models will be available with a manual transmission.

Not long ago, Mini offered a manual version of every model on sale even as buyers increasingly opted for automatic-equipped vehicles.

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