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Mini has added a new transmission to its Hatch and Convertible ranges, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which offers faster gear changes and better efficiency.

Officially dubbed ‘Steptronic’, the new DCT replaces the current torque-converter automatic, though it’s unclear which “selected engine types” the shifter will be available with.

We’d suggest the Cooper’s 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo and Cooper S’s 2.0-litre turbo four-pot are candidates, given those engines recently received the same dual-clutch transmission in the BMW X1.

Other new features include the ability to use navigation data to adapt shifting accordingly, such as downshifting early when approaching a sharp bend or intersection.

The DCT also offers a crawl function allowing drivers to smoothly set off without using the accelerator pedal, which Mini claims increases comfort when driving in stop/start traffic.

Speaking of stop/start, the new transmission works in conjunction with the vehicle’s idle stop/start system to save fuel, while a new coasting function decouples the drivetrain at cruising speeds when in ‘MID’ and ‘GREEN’ driving modes, allowing the vehicle to roll at idling speed to minimise consumption.

Australia

Adam Davis, product communications manager for BMW’s local division, told CarAdvice that the DCT won’t be introduced to the local range at this point in time, though that could change with a forthcoming refresh.

“Our local offering isn’t impacted. As we move closer to a mid-life refresh, that may change, but at this stage we are continuing with the torque converters in Mini,” he said.

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