The manual Mini Cooper is dead, as the car model made famous by The Italian Job will now only be sold with automatic gearboxes.
- Manual Mini Coopers will no longer be made, boss Stephani Wurst confirmed
- The car was made famous by the film The Italian Job, starring Michael Caine.
Manual Mini Coopers are officially dead as the carmaker has revealed that in future they will only sell models with automatic gearboxes.
The little car gained fame as the star of the 1960s heist classic The Italian Job alongside Michael Caine and his criminal gang trying to steal mountains of gold.
In the film, the robbers are seen rapidly changing gears as they cruise the streets of Turin, Italy.
But Mini boss Stefanie Wurst said top gear this week that they would no longer make manual versions of the Mini Cooper.
Speaking about the announcement of its new electric model, the head of the BMW-owned car company said: “Unfortunately we will not have a manual.”
The Mini Cooper gained fame as the star of the 1960s heist classic, The Italian Job, alongside Michael Caine and his criminal gang trying to steal mountains of gold.
Classic Mini Coopers photographed alongside Cooper Car Company founder Charles Cooper
The Alex Issigonis-designed Mk1 Mini was launched in 1961 and was developed by the Cooper Car Company, founded by Charles Cooper and his son John.
Equipped with a more powerful engine, larger brakes and a few other tweaks, the Classic Mini Cooper 997 was introduced and subsequently became a rally favorite thanks to its light weight and extra grunt.
The Mini has become a key symbol of British popular culture, but after 62 years of being produced with a stick shift, the last manual version of the world’s Mini Cooper will roll off the assembly line early next year.
Several car companies are switching to producing only automatic cars as more Britons buy electric vehicles and have less desire to drive a manual one.
Mini’s parent group BMW unveiled the new all-electric Mini Cooper and battery-powered Countryman at the Munich Motor Show last week.
But car expert Stuart Masson said The Telegraph that the end of the manual Mini Cooper will be a big loss for car enthusiasts as it is often called “the driver’s car” because of how fun it is to drive.
The editorial director of The Car Expert website told the paper that “it was a brilliant car to drive because it was so small, pretty and agile.”
The car also won the Monte Carlo rally three times.
A 1966 Austin Mini Cooper S owned by Beatles guitarist George Harrison.
The brand presented the new all-electric Mini Cooper last week in Munich
More recently, however, the Mini Cooper’s fast pedigree hasn’t been a unique selling point, as drivers become more captivated by the car’s design and brand.
Bath University motoring analyst Andrew Graves added that decisions on trading costs appeared to have prevailed against the Mini Cooper’s successful motorsport brand, and said he was surprised by the move.
Masson also said this was another step on the path to the “extinction of the manual car”, as carmakers make supply chains more efficient.