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In praise of stick-shifts
Knowing how to drive a stick provides admittance into an elite club. The frustrations of working the clutch, the embarrassment of grinding gears, the terror brought on by even the smallest hills: conquer those, and you can't help but feel a little special, a little badass.
But the manual transmission is dying. Heck, even Lamborghini decided to kill it off. Sure, there are still dual clutches aplenty -- and they're almost as fun to drive -- but it's funny how much you miss that extra punch of the left foot.
MINI hopes to revive interest in the stick shift with a new campaign to put drivers in touch with their inner "manualhood". At the heart of that campaign is a $500 discount for customers who opt for manual transmissions on their new MINI -- and that's over and above the typically cheaper MSRP of manual models.
The offer applies to the MINI Clubman, Convertible, and Hardtop. (Sorry, the Countryman isn't included.) The discount is available through August 31, so if you're still looking for a summer ride -- or maybe the perfect off-to-college car for your kid --act quickly.
If you purchase one for someone else, MINI will surely thank you for passing on the stick-shift tradition. Remember, though: you'll be on the hook for teaching the recipient how to drive that thing. And sadly, teaching a manual isn't nearly as much fun as driving one yourself.
For more information, visit MINIUSA.com.