• 2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT

    2018 Mini Cooper 1499GT
  • Pays Homage to the 1971 Mini 1275GT
  • Available in Black or White exterior colors
  • Black models get a gold stripe; White models get a black stripe
  • Looks good next to its ancestor, huh?
  • Mini Cooper 1499 GT in Midnight Black with gold side stripes The Mini Cooper 1499 GT hit all the right spots as far as paying homage to the 1275 GT is concerned
  • The 17-inch wheels are sporty too
  • 1971 Mini 1275 GT The 1971 1275 GT is one of the most famous cars Mini has ever produced.
  • 1971 Mini 1275 GT The 1275 GT was also the first Mini in history to receive a tachometer
  • 1971 Mini 1275 GT The 1275 GT laid the foundation for what would come to be known as the “People’s Car” in Britain
  • John Cooper Works door entry plates
  • John Cooper Works rear bumper
  • John Cooper Works front bumper
  • Tinted windows and a spoiler too
  • John Cooper Works Sports seats in Dinamica and leather
  • JCW steering wheel in perforated leather with Chilli Red stitching
  • Piano Black interior trim, along with Carbon Black interior details and an Anthracite headlining

A tribute piece for an iconic Mini worth paying tribute to

It’s a funny thing what a special edition car can do to polish an automaker’s shine. Nobody knows this better than Mini, which has created its fair share of special edition models, including one that it had just announced for the French market: the Mini Blackfriars Edition. Now, it’s doubling down on the SE goodness with yet another offering called the Mini 1499 GT.

In essence, the 1499 GT is not a special edition model that was concocted out of someone’s imagination, but rather, a tribute piece to one of the most iconic Minis to have hit the pavement: the 1971 1275 GT. Most of the functioning 1275 GTs have probably been lost in the sands of time and rust, but the 1499 GT is now here to breathe some life back to the legacy of the legendary hatchback. Between exterior features that pay homage to the classic Mini to suspension tweaks that ensure that it can perform as well as advertised, the new Mini 1499 GT is a stunning example of the best of what Mini can come up. The only downside is that only 1,499 units of the car will be made, and worse, all units will be sold exclusively in the UK market. It’s a bummer, sure, but don’t let dampen your spirits. It’s rare enough to see a special edition tribute car that properly pays homage to the car it’s supposed to be tipping its hats to. It’s even rarer to see one that takes the inspiration to a level that makes people actually reminisce about the classic. The 1499 GT does that, and then some.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper 1499 GT.

What makes the Mini Cooper 1499 GT special?

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT Exterior
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Looks good next to its ancestor, huh?
There’s a lot to like about the Mini Cooper 1499 GT, especially if you count yourselves as fans of the original 1275 GT

There’s a lot to like about the Mini Cooper 1499 GT, especially if you count yourselves as fans of the original 1275 GT. I may not be old enough to remember the latter’s rise to fame, but I do remember riding in one when I was a little tot. It wasn’t the most luxurious car to begin with, and the interior space was literally unbearable even for a petulant child. But boy, oh boy, the old 1275 GT had character, something that a lot of today’s cars continue to lack. Not only that, but the 1275 GT also attracted plenty of attention, something I’m confident the 1499 GT will also have in droves.

The biggest and most important styling cues of the 1499 GT can be found in the exterior where customers are given a choice of getting the special edition hatchback with either a Pepper White finish or a Midnight Black paint. Here’s the catch though: depending on the color, the color of the distinctive graphics on the body will also change. Should customers opt for the Pepper White version of the 1499 GT, the graphics will be featured in pure black. On the other hand, a Midnight Black body will be treated to gold side stripes, the same exact stylistic feature that elevated the 1275 GT into one of the most famous cars Mini has ever produced. Don’t take my word for it; look at the photo. You’ll see what I’m talking about.

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT Exterior
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1971 Mini 1275 GT
The 1971 1275 GT is one of the most famous cars Mini has ever produced.

Outside of the choice in body color, the 1499 GT also received a slew of aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades, most notably the inclusion of John Cooper Works front and rear bumpers, spoiler, side skirts, and even bespoke door entry plates. The special edition Cooper also benefits from getting tinted windows, clear indicator lenses, and a set of 17-inch black allow wheels.

Step inside the car and the upgrades to the interior are just as dramatic, maybe even more so than the exterior. Greeting you once you open the door are sports seats dressed up in leather and Dynamic. Just in front of the driver’s sports seat is another JCW transplant: a sports steering wheel with its own Chili Red stitching. There are also scattered Piano Black trimmings throughout the cabin, to go with carbon black details, an Anthracite headlining, and enough JCW badges to emphasize the contributions made by the German automaker’s performance division.

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT Interior
- image 737851
JCW steering wheel in perforated leather with Chilli Red stitching
2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT Interior
- image 737853
John Cooper Works Sports seats in Dinamica and leather
Step inside the car and the upgrades to the interior are just as dramatic, maybe even more so than the exterior

Suffice to say, the Mini Cooper 1499 GT hit all the right spots as far as paying homage to the 1275 GT is concerned. It even has the whole “affordable” spiel down pat, thanks in large part to the car carrying nothing more than a small-capacity Twin Power turbo three cylinder engine that produces a total of 102 horsepower. Powerful it is not, and the 1499 GT shows as much with an acceleration time from 0 to 60 mph of 10.1 seconds and a top speed that’s likely locked in at around 120 mph.

Designed to pay homage to the classic 1275 GT, the car will be limited to just 1,499 units in the UK market. The automaker says just like the car that inspired it, the new 1499 GT is affordable, offers unique styling features and an “entertaining drive.”

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT Exterior
- image 737854
Mini Cooper 1499 GT in Midnight Black with gold side stripes
The Mini Cooper 1499 GT hit all the right spots as far as paying homage to the 1275 GT is concerned

In other words, the Mini 1499 GT is an affordable Mini hatchback with a unique personality of its own. Don’t confuse it for a road-wrecker because it’s far from one. It does offer a good and hearty slice of Mini nostalgia, something that very few of its kind have been able to do. By that merit alone, the 1499 GT already stands out from other special edition Minis around, including the Blackfriars Edition.

What’s the deal with the Mini 1275 GT?

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT Exterior
- image 737864
1971 Mini 1275 GT
The 1275 GT was also the first Mini in history to receive a tachometer

The Mini 1275 GT’s history dates all the way back to 1970 when then Mini owner British Leyland decided to bring Ford designer Roy Haynes into the fold. Haynes, as some of you may know, is the designer of the Ford Cortina Mk II, and his initial responsibility was to revamp the Mini lineup. Tapping into his experience with Ford, Haynes went and restyled the Cooper, giving it larger headlights, a revised bumper, a boxy snout with a fender-to-fender grille section, and was fitted with a set of 10-inch Rostyle alloy wheels. That design eventually came to be the Mini 1275 GT as we know it today.

The 1275 GT ended up being a unique car of its own, owing to the fact that it was offered with a 1.275-liter four-cylinder engine that used a four-synchro close-ratio four-speed manual transmission. More to that, the 1275 GT was also the first Mini in history to receive a tachometer, a pretty useful trivia for the next time you find yourselves talking to someone who claims he knows more about the automaker than he actually does. Soon enough, the 1275 GT laid the foundation for what would come to be known as the “People’s Car” in Britain, a status that not a lot of other cars have been able to replicate in the years since. The 1275 GT even proved successful enough that its production ran for nine years before it was replaced by the Austin Metro in 1980. In that time, a total of 110,673 1275 GTs were made.

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT Exterior
- image 737863
1971 Mini 1275 GT
The 1275 GT laid the foundation for what would come to be known as the “People’s Car” in Britain

Incidentally, one of those 1275 GTs actually went up for sale earlier this year in Los Angeles, California. According to Petrolicious, the model in question came with a Bronze Yellow exterior and a Black Vinyl interior. It also underwent significant restoration, owing to the fact that its owner actually found it “unloved on his brother’s work premises at Somerford Mini” back in 2004. The unidentified owner eventually bought the car and spent good money restoring it, even going so far as to get specialists from Somerford Mini to carry out the car’s complete restoration.

In the end, the car itself sold for $25,000, as good of a deal as you can find for a restored 1971 Mini 1275 GT that, at that time, only had 10,000 miles in it since it was rebuilt.

References

Mini Cooper

2014 Mini Cooper High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Mini Cooper.

2017 MINI Electric Concept AutoShow High Resolution Exterior
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Read more Mini news.

Press release

The latest special edition to join the MINI UK line-up celebrates the brand’s rich heritage with a nod to one of the best known sporty classic Minis of all time, the 1275 GT.

Available to order now, the 1499 GT recalls the entertaining drive, distinctive styling and low running costs of the 1969 original, which was one of the most affordable performance cars of its day.

The 1275 GT badging reflected the increased engine capacity over the standard 998cc Mini. The all-new MINI 1499 GT treads a similar path for 2017. With 102 hp on tap and 0-60mph in 10.1 seconds courtesy of its lively Twin Power Turbo three-cylinder engine, the 1499 GT is perfect for drivers seeking an entertaining drive and unique vehicle.

The 1499 GT will be built in a limited production run of just 1,499 cars between November 2017 and February 2018, and is sure to be in high demand.

For the launch of the 1499 GT, MINI Financial Services has launched an enticing new finance offer. MINI Ready Fuel Go* offers one year’s inclusive insurance (subject to terms**) with a £299 customer deposit and £299 monthly payment. On the road pricing starts at £16,990.

There will be a choice of two colours, Pepper White or Midnight Black. In Midnight Black, the car gets distinctive gold 1499 GT side stripes. Pepper White models feature the same distinctive graphics, but in black.

Additional exterior features include the MINI John Cooper Works Sport Pack, featuring 17” Track Spoke alloy wheels in Black, dark tinted windows and white indicator lenses. The styling pack includes distinctive John Cooper Works front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a split level spoiler and John Cooper Works door entry plates.

Interior features include John Cooper Works Sports seats in Dinamica and leather and JCW badges, a JCW steering wheel in perforated leather with Chilli Red stitching and multi-function controls, cruise control, a Visual Boost radio with MINI Connected smartphone compatibility and Piano Black interior trim, along with Carbon Black interior details and an Anthracite headlining.

A sports suspension completes the MINI 1499 GT package, which also includes all of the standard equipment found on the MINI One Hatch. This includes features such as independent rear suspension, a six-speed manual gearbox with sports-car inspired rev matching technology, air conditioning and all-round disc brakes.

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