Get Into Gear!
The standard Cooper gets a 5 speed manual transmission that is a tried and true part.
The close-ratio 5 speed is a two shaft unit code named R65. It is basically lifted from previous Rovers and is manufactured on site in Longbridge (BMW retained the rights the transmission after it sold off Rover).
When BMW took over the engineering of the MINI, German engineers pushed for the BMW?s traditional gearbox supplier ?Getrag?.
After a long battle, English engineers prevailed in the use of the R65 gearbox. The English argued that the R65 had great feel and good reliability?but most of all, the R65 was inexpensive and currently available (Getrag would have to develop a new gearbox).
I have to agree with the decision?the gearbox does have great feel?much better than you expect when you first reach for the shifter.
For the Cooper S, however, the Germans got their way. The R65 was deemed unable to handle the torque of the supercharged engine (perhaps, not entirely true, but the BMW wanted to use Getrag).
Getrag developed a new, robust, three shaft 6 speed transmission. As with most Getrag gear boxes, the shifter exhibits phenomenal feel and precision.