Mini to open stick-shift driving school in California

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Mini recently brought the manual transmission back to its line-up, and it wants as many people as possible to take advantage of it. It opened the Mini Manual Driving School at the BMW Performance Center in Thermal, California, to teach drivers of all ages how to drive a stick.

You don’t need to own a Mini to enroll in the company’s driving school; the program is open to any and all motorists. It consists of a classroom portion, where students are presumably taught the basics of how to operate a manual transmission, and a hands-on driving experience, where they can apply what they learned in real-world conditions. It sure beats learning stick in downtown San Francisco.

Mini notes the course will focus on vehicle controls, finding the clutch pedal’s friction point, plus practicing smooth starts, stops, and acceleration. At the end of the course, the firm will test students on a timed course to ensure they’re comfortable with driving a stick. Many drivers who don’t know how to drive a manual car find it intimidating; this course was designed to make the stick-shift approachable.

Autoblog learned from Mini that courses will start in the first quarter of 2023 and that dates will be set based on the number of bookings received; it’s too early to provide a more specific schedule. Pricing hasn’t been set yet.

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