the news below says summer 03 phaseout. I assume they mean summer 2004. I plan to get a base cooper stick. is it worth the wait for a year for a Getrag transmission? Thanks.
Midland Gear to Close, Getrag to produce 5 & 6 Speed MINI Gearboxes.
MINI has confirmed that BMW is to wind up their Midland Gear operation, based in Birmingham UK, in June/July 2004. This means the current Cooper and One manual gearbox will be replaced in summer 2003 by a new German produced Getrag 5 speed.
Ironically, the decision to switch gearbox supplier was forced ahead by ex-BMW owned MG Rover, who have decided to drop the Birmingham built R65 gearbox from their model range, in favour of a French built 5 speed manual Getrag box.
The 5 speed manual in the MINI Cooper and One has been criticised for it's inherent 'weakness' and outdated design, so for those seeking to squeeze extra horses from their Cooper or One in the future, this could be very welcome news.
The first MINI to feature the new Gearbox will be the convertible MINI Open model.
The MINI Cooper S and MINI One D already have manual 6 speed gearboxes supplied by Getrag.
....but he did ask if it was worth waiting a year to get the new gearbox
IMO, the current gearbox is great and unless this box is in any other car where you can test it you might be better to stick with what you can try now. The new box "may" be similar to the 6 speed in the S so you could try that to see if you like it compared to the box in the Cooper.
The new box is said to be able to handle more torque for mods etc but if you're not interested in that sort of thing then why wait?
You are of course correct, but I also did not fully answer the question, just commented on the 'quote'.
I would second the idea that the current Cooper gearbox works just fine - in a Cooper - it is not a new gearbox, but has also been ok in other Rovers where it was fitted.
The smooth gearchange from the R65 'box makes for a fine, comfortable driving experience. I would also not describe the gearbox as the weak-link in the cars powertrain, that honour goes to the engine, if anywhere. (Don't slate me, it has been discussed many times before )
It is also not necessarily fair to say the the 5-speed Getrag 'box will be as 'clunky' as the 6-speed 'box, nor that having a higher torque capability makes the Getrag necessarily a better 'box - especially when that full capability is not being used by even the Cooper Works engine.
As such, I don't see any real reason to wait - due to the gearbox. I also do not see that the gearbox itself would affect the car's residual values either way.
So if they change the Coopers gearbox to a 6 speed what will the advantages be ? Will it make the car quicker and more fuel efficient ?
When I test drove the Cooper S I loved the car but HATED the horrible, notchy gearbox. It made gear changing uncomfortable and very slow. When I drove the Cooper I loved the gearbox so much more. It was smoother and had a much better feel to it. If they replace the Cooper gearbox with the same one that is in the Cooper S they will ruin the whole drive of the car.
This is such bad news for me that I was hoping I wouldn't hear as I have yet to order my Cooper, and won't be for a few months to come still.
If you were thinking of buying one now with the 5 speed then the disadvantage I would say is that your car will be dated within months when they bring out the 6 speed, and that will prob lose a bit of value of your car.
I don't know much about the ins and outs of a car so I would be grateful if someone could explain what are the advantages and disadvantages of a 6 speed in the Cooper instead of 5.
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