The 2024 MINI lineup has been announced and while there haven’t been any major redesigns, the new model year does bring entertainment, as a MINI always does. If you’re asking yourself, “What’s with the MINI story on BimmerLife?” Well, BMW acquired MINI in 1996, so they’re certainly part of BMW’s ecosystem of vehicles. What rock have you been living under?
While most manufacturers are phasing out manual transmissions, MINI appears to be making a gradual shift back towards them. Last November the manual transmission was reintroduced during a special production run. Then, MINI started a manual-transmission school at BMW Performance Center West, in Thermal, California. Now in 2024, MINI has announced that “manual transmissions return in four more models, making seven total models with ‘stick’ shift option.” Why? Because they’re more engaging and dramatically add to the driving experience. For those who remember when vehicles were only offered with a manual transmission, or when the automatic was an option that cost extra, well, you get it. Performance numbers aside, it’s always a manual for me.
The other interesting bit of news for the 2024 MINI model lineup is that the special editions of the Untamed, Untold, and Resolute are back. That’s right—they’re ba-a-a-a-ck! Just like the evil spirits that prompted this famous line from the sequel to Poltergeist, but it’s a good thing in this case. Wait, MINI makes special editions?! Yes, they most definitely do. Quite a few in the last decade, in fact. The Untamed, Untold, and Resolute were numbers 65, 66, and 67, respectively. There’s currently a crack team of scientists plotting MINI-special-edition trajectories, which estimates we’ll see special edition number 100 by 2030. (No, not really.)
Aside from bringing back “old world” technology in the form of gear lever, making one’s driving experience infinitely more fun, and continuing three of the coolest special editions introduced as of late, MINI is also introducing Classic Trim. Though, with “classic” in the name, it seems like they’re actually reintroducing it, right? Per MINI, “The Classic Trim is now an option for the MINI Hardtop 2 Door and 4 Door, available in Chili Red, or an upgrade to Nanuq White or Midnight Black II can be added. The Classic trim remains unavailable on the MINI Convertible, as well as the Iconic Trim in the Cooper variant of the Convertible.”
If you’re reading between the lines, what this all means is that MINI is listening. When their customers ask for manual transmissions, they bring them back. When their customers ask for continuations of special editions, they make it happen. Of course, it does take more than just asking for these things. You also have to follow through and actually buy them, which is exactly what MINI enthusiasts have been doing. —Mike Bevels
[Photos courtesy of MINI.]