Facts, Features & Specs
As an alternative to the MINI Cooper Convertible's standard 5-speed manual transmission, we offer a CVT, an advanced type of automatic gearbox that's combined with a Steptronic mode to provide the feeling of manual shifting when you want it. If you find yourself in the city, or caught in traffic, you'll probably want the normal mode, which is akin to most regular automatics. Just slide the lever to "D" and you're set. You never need to change gears.
And, what makes this unique is, while conventional automatic gearboxes require a torque converter, the CVT uses a wet multiplate clutch that's electronically controlled. This type of transmission automatically monitors gear ratios and varies them appropriately. So, since the ratio can be varied to an infinite degree, the continual adjustment is smooth with no "steps" in gear ratios.
But what about the winding roads where the twisty bits beckon? The kind of roads where you want to rev the engine and take tight curves with that "manual" type of control? Simple. Shift the gear level to Steptronic mode. Immediately, you'll have 6 distinct gear ratios at your disposal. Not to mention a sportier feel (you can rev the engine up to 6000 rpm in this mode). The beauty of Steptronic mode is, there are engine protection mechanisms ready to kick in and automatically change up gears for you if you don't before your rev limit is reached. The gearbox will also automatically change down a gear for you if the engine speed is too low. It's the best of both worlds - the convenience of automatic with the control of manual.