Prince Charles channels inner Michael Caine driving new electronic Mini- 'Doors still on!'


    The visit was arranged to help mark 20 years of modern Mini production. The Duke of Cornwall met and chatted to staff at the manufacturing site, before delivering a short speech. He emphasised the importance of developing green technology, saying it was vital for maintaining “the health of our world for future generations”.

    Charles then stepped into a green electric Mini and drove the car about 20 metres – before hitting the brakes.

    Commenting on his performance behind the wheel, the Prince of Wales playfully said: “If I may say so at least my test drive a moment ago was on the whole without incident and only went to prove that the new Mini is silent but deadly and also a very good colour indeed.

    “And to paraphrase the immortal words of Sir Michael Caine ‘at least I didn’t blow the bloody doors off’.”

    The Duke of Cornwall was referring to hit 1960s film ‘The Italian Job’ which starred Sir Michael Caine, 88.

    In the iconic movie, Sir Michael’s character, Charlie Croker, leads a group of British thieves to pull off a daring gold bullion heist in Italy.

    The film included a spectacular car chase involving Minis around the northern Italian city of Turin.

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    Prince Charles revealed his late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, had experimented with vehicles using green technologies.

    “Twenty years ago, an electric Mini would have seemed impossible, and yet I understand that, by 2030, Mini will be the first BMW Group brand to go fully electric,” he said.

    “Incidentally, my late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, used an electric vehicle based on the Bedford Lucas CV as early as 1981, and of course famously drove his eco-friendly liquid petroleum gas-powered Metrocab all over London.


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    “It is now on display in the museum at Sandringham in Norfolk.”

    The Prince of Wales is the proud owner of 51-year-old Aston Martin, which runs on English white wine and whey from the dairy industry.

    He told his audience: “Aston Martin engineers have had to admit that, much to their surprise, it runs better on that fuel than it did on petrol!”


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