Mini removed the 6-speed manual from its options list early last year, citing at the time supply issues while it promised a return of the transmission at a later date.

It lived up to its promise last fall, when it reintroduced the manual transmission as an option on its signature Hardtop.

Now it's added the option back on two more models: the 4-Door Hardtop and Convertible. The manual can be equipped on the Cooper and Cooper S grades. The alternative is an 8-speed automatic.

Recently, Mini conducted a survey to find out just how much interest there was for manual transmissions, and the results were positive for the old stick shift. Around 63% of respondents agreed learning how to drive a manual was a a rite of passage and an important life skill.

2023 Mini Convertible Seaside Edition

2023 Mini Convertible Seaside Edition

When it came to specific age groups, Mini discovered nearly half (49%) of all Gen Z respondents indicated they didn't know how to drive a manual. When asked if they were willing to learn, 53% of the Gen Z respondents indicated they were interested in learning how to row their own gears. That proportion grows when all ages up to 34 are counted; in this case 67% said they were eager to learn.

Anyone actually willing to learn how to drive stick can do so through Mini. The automaker has been running a manual transmission driving course since last fall at the BMW West Coast driving school located at the Thermal Club private racetrack in California. The current cost of the course is $499.