Mini Announces its Auto-Only Future
As the industry transitions into the era of electrification, brands are slowly phasing out the manual gearbox. We recently learned that VW is sending off the manual in their performance cars, with the last edition being the 380 GTI. Now, it appears that Mini is following suit.
This decision aligns with Mini's electrification plan as the brand further pushes towards a full EV lineup. At the IAA mobility show, Mini showcased its new EV Cooper and Countryman. Reports suggest that all future models will, at the very least, be equipped with a mild-hybrid system.
So, as a parting gift for the manual Mini, it showcased a special Cooper, paying tribute to the model's origins as we enter a new era. Called the John Cooper Works Bulldog Racing Edition, it comes with 17-inch OZ Hyper GT wheels, no rear seat for weight-saving, adjustable KW V3 suspension, Pirelli P-Zero performance tyres, a Remus exhaust, and, of course, a 6-speed manual gearbox.
The Bulldog will come with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 170kW of power and 320Nm of torque.
The Bulldog is Mini's project to honour its racing heritage and petrol-powered sports car past, but this isn’t the end for the brand's racing name. Mini's boss, Stefanie Wurst, meanwhile, expressed the brand's interest in pursuing EV-based motorsport. With Mini's apparent commitment to embracing the electric future, it will be interesting to see how Mini continues to innovate and adapt in the ever-changing automotive industry.