This week MINI USA announced that they are bringing back the fun of driving a manual by launching their new project, the MINI Manual Driving School at the BMW Performance Center in Thermal, California. This comes after MINI confirmed that manual transmissions will be returning to specific models for November production.
While manuals, for many drivers, have fallen to the wayside, the passion and excitement for driving a manual still remains strong. And to expand on that passion and excitement, MINI USA has decided to open this driving school, so drivers can learn to drive a manual in a safe and engaging environment.
The exclusive location for the MINI Manual Driving School will be BMW Group Performance Center West and through their team of experienced instructors, the school will incorporate a classroom portion and a hands-on driving experience at the on site test track. Since 1999, the BMW Performance Center has instructed over 500,000 participants in their two locations in Thermal, California and Greenville, SC, in a wide range of courses. In 2016 they added MINI driving programs, and are now expanding their instruction.
For years, MINI owners have valued the manual transmission, and this initiative welcomes a new generation of manual drivers, while allowing others to hone their skills after many years of automatic driving. This course has been designed to create a foundation for drivers that will allow them to build their comfort with driving manual transmission vehicles. The curriculum will focus on vehicle controls, finding the friction point, practicing smooth starts, stops, acceleration and more. At the end of the course, the participants will be tested on a timed course to assess their knowledge.
Rah Mahtani, Brand Communications Manager, MINI USA, had this to say, “For over a decade, consumers have ranked MINI as the most fun to drive brand in America, which is exactly why we brought back the manual transmission. The course is not only informative but also a fun and challenging learning experience for anew generation of MINI drivers that they will remember forever.”
For a lot of consumers, the experience, the freedom and the feel, of driving a manual is limited by their ability to learn how. But BMW and MINI are excited to give their consumers the confidence to take their vehicles out on the open road and enjoy their experience to the fullest.