Heads up to those who are interested in learning to drive a stick as MINI USA is launching a new MINI Manual Driving School at the BMW Performance Center in Thermal, California. This announcement was made shortly after MINI USA confirmed that they will be bringing back the manual transmission to specific MINI models for November production.
For many drivers, the manual transmission has taken a back seat, but those who have driven a stick knows the excitement that driving a manual transmission brings. To expand the accessibility and to spread the fun of driving a manual, the manual driving school that MINI USA will operate is open to any driver who wants to learn to drive a manual in an engaging and safe atmosphere.
The MINI Manual Driving School will be exclusively located at the BMW Group Performance Center West. A team of experienced instructors will lead both the classroom and hands-on driving experience at the onsite test track. Since 1999, more than 500,000 participants in both Thermal, California and Greenville, SC have been taught by the BMW Performance Center using their wide range of driving courses. In 2016, MINI driving programs were added and now, plans of expanding their instruction to teach students the skill of driving a manual is being executed.
MINI owners have long valued and appreciated the manual transmission models that the brand has offered. This initiative will not only attract a new generation of drivers who want to learn how to use the manual transmission, but also those drivers who want to sharpen their driving skills after years of driving an automatic transmission. The course is designed to build a solid foundation for drivers who want to build their confidence in driving manual transmission vehicles, with the curriculum focusing on vehicle controls, practicing smooth starts, stops, and acceleration, finding the friction point, and more. At the end of the course, participants will be tested on a timed course to assess the driver’s knowledge and skill.
Brand Communications Manager, MINI USA Rah Mahtani shared, ’’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 a new generation of MINI drivers that they will remember forever. ’’
The experience of driving manual vehicles goes beyond simply the look and feel of the drive, but the enjoyment of the drive. For most consumers, the opportunity to drive a manual is limited only by their ability to learn how. With the classes offered by the BMW Group Performance Center through MINI USA, they’re giving their clients the confidence to drive their vehicles out in the open road and to fully enjoy the experience.