Cluch/transmission problem with my 02 MINI cooper s, any ideas welcome.

Ive got an 02 R53, 94K miles, 6sp. Ill try to include every single detail I can think of.

I have a roughly 12.5 mile commute at mostly cruising at 70mph. As I was pulling into the parking lot this morning something felt odd. The entire car felt wrong. Depressing the clutch gives a clicky, stuttery feeling similar to when you lock up a wheel with anti-lock brakes. Its also making an unpleasant noise while the clutch is depressed. It sounded less bad after I drove home than it did when I first started the car for the drive home. Any other time the car feels fine, it is making a slight screeching noise at low speed.

The sound seems to be coming from the backside of the engine on the passenger side of the car. Had the Wife depress the clutch while I listened. Ive had the car about 3 1/2 months and Ive been pretty gentle, no burnouts, no overly aggressive launches.

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I checked the reservoir on the driverside cowl, its full. I checked under the car right when I parked, and when I left 8 hours later. No drops. When I stopped the car when it first happened I smelled a popcorn-ish kinda smell seemed to be coming from the driverside of the engine.

They only thing people want to say is throwout bearing, but my symptoms are completely different than what others are saying. I drove the car home that night and it went fine except the pedal feeling, and the unpleasent noise while its depressed. Clutch engages just like it has, doesnt slip, all the gears felt fine as I drove.

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