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Beginning this fall you’ll be able to order your F56 Cooper S with a DCT (dual clutch) transmission. Over the past year we’ve written about the upcoming 2018 refresh (or LCI in MINI speak) and even broke the story on it including a DCT transmission. We can now confirm that they are coming and are expected to coincide with MINI’s 2018 model year refresh.

MINI Vision Concept from 2013 was meant to be a preview to the F56.

http://www.motoringfile.com/2017/02/16/minis-2018-refresh-include-dct-transmissions/

For full background on the refresh, check out this recent MotoringFile story. Here’s the executive summary:

The Refresh should begin later this year. We’ve heard two dates; July and September production. The latter would make more sense but we know the former is tied to several key updates as well.
The update will include a revised family of newly refined engines that will produce slightly more power and be slightly more efficient (Confirmed for the Cooper and Cooper S)
Exterior changes will include new lights bumper and wheel designs along with three new colors.
Interior changes will include new trim and leather options
Apple’s CarPlay will become optional for the first time along with MINI’s new touch iDrive
It’s shaping up to a rather massive LCI even before you get to the new transmissions. As we’ve reported MINI is prepping the launch of a dual clutch transmission option in the small car range. While we don’t yet know details of what models they’ll be found in, it’s a safe bet we’ll see the DCT option in the Cooper S and JCW models (if not more). The benefits of this change will likely be quicker responses when changing gears and overall a quick sprint from 0-60.

Moving from a torque converter automatic to a DCT is 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 few rare series models. 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. What appears to have happened is that BMW and MINI found a willing partner ready to bring costs down in order to battle the increasingly popular 8 and 9 speed automatics from ZF and Aisin.

This change will also have the benefit of further differentiating the smaller MINI offerings from the larger four door products that will continue to use the (very good) 8 speed torque converter automatic form Aisin.

What’s a dual clutch transmission and why should you care? Lets head to wikipedia for the formal description:

A dual-clutch transmission, (DCT) (sometimes referred to as a twin-clutch transmission or double-clutch transmission), is a type of automatic transmission or automated automotive transmission. It uses two separate clutches for odd and even gear sets. It can fundamentally be described as two separate manual transmissions (with their respective clutches) contained within one housing, and working as one unit. They are usually operated in a fully automatic mode, and many also have the ability to allow the driver to manually shift gears in semi-automatic mode, albeit still carried out by the transmission’s electro-hydraulics

Ok that’s a bit dry. What it’s really saying is that dual clutch transmissions use two clutches to allow for much more responsive, crisp gear changes. DCTs (as they’re known) shift quicker, and yet are nearly as seamless as the new breed of 8-9 speed torque converter automatics. They also offer similar MPG figures to the best automatics out there. In other words they offer more the performance without too much of a downside.

Does this change make you (re)consider an F55 or F56? Let us know in the comments below. And if you want more info on MINI”s 2018 refresh, head back to our original report.
 

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Are DCT's just as reliable as the current transmission?
Was it Subaru that had major issues with DCT's or were they using something else?

Cheers
 

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like the article said, VW have been using them for years.. my dad has one in his 2.0 Bettle, and its amazing.. a lot less jerky that the mini auto which i have
 

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like the article said, VW have been using them for years.. my dad has one in his 2.0 Bettle, and its amazing.. a lot less jerky that the mini auto which i have
Someone wrote about DCTs recently, maybe on here - I don't recall, and they are not the same as the Audi/VW DSGs. The DSG uses wet clutches whereas DCT uses dry. The dry system generally gives harder shifts but doesn't need expensive oil changes that's a very cruise summary of what I remember). I know it's only one example but we have a Smart with a DCT and a recent F57 auto and the MINI (Aisin box?) is much better in operation; possibly less good for fuel I suppose.
 

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Vw had problems with their wet dct,the synthetic oil became electro conductive so there was a recall to refill with mineral oil but it wasnt good.think the later ones are ok but traditional torque convertors are more reliable atm i think!
 

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I can't advise anyone to really get a DCT. My vw has one and I like it just enough. in low gear town driving it sometimes has problems deciding what gear to use and bleh. An 8 speed is good enough IMO and probably less expensive to repair in the future. All I can say is test drive test drive test drive! I liked the MINI automatic FARRR more then my dct, so food for thought.
 

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I believe Subaru had their problems with CVT's
Thats right, im getting more confused the older i get :(

My old man had an audi a3, about 2005 or so model and had nothing but trouble with his 7 speed transmission. I think they have improved greatly since then.

Just hate it when car companies recognise a major fault and try to hide it and bluff their way through by lies and deception. I think Mini in general has a good reputation of being more forthright where a good example is the bearing issue.
 

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Thanks EVL. The news that I exactly have been waiting for! BUT (big BUT) I will wait at least for a year to see how it goes.
 

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I'm surprised to see them move to DCT gearboxes. I have never been a fan of autos, but the ZF8 which BMW use currently has completely changed that for me. It is such a huge advance on the 6 speed ZF 'slushmatic' which I have had before. My control freak tendencies meant I was always overriding the 6 speed box which was often not in the gear I would have chosen. The ZF8 on the other hand is near perfect from my perspective - it is seamless and I almost never feel the need to override it, so the paddles on my steering wheel are just for decoration!

I hope that MINI know what they are doing in moving to DCT.
 

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Long live the Manual Transmission! :)
 

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I'm surprised to see them move to DCT gearboxes. I have never been a fan of autos, but the ZF8 which BMW use currently has completely changed that for me. It is such a huge advance on the 6 speed ZF 'slushmatic' which I have had before. My control freak tendencies meant I was always overriding the 6 speed box which was often not in the gear I would have chosen. The ZF8 on the other hand is near perfect from my perspective - it is seamless and I almost never feel the need to override it, so the paddles on my steering wheel are just for decoration!

I hope that MINI know what they are doing in moving to DCT.
Hey there I know this post is old but I’m just curious which 6 speed ZF transmission you are referring to as being Slushmatic, I had the 6-SPEED ZF 6HP28 In my 2011 jaguar XL 5.0 supercharged and it was lightning quick especially in dynamic mode with the paddle shifters, I also had the first generation ZF 6 speed in my jaguar XJ 2006, and yes it was not lightning quick, but the second generation was very quick, and I never found myself needing more. Of course the new 8 speed ZF in the modern BMWs like the three series is amazing, and extremely quick in the 330I and M340i but as far as 6 speed automatics the 6HP28 was a pretty damn good transmission for the time.
 
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