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2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT

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.

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Video: MINI wishes British Olympic athletes good luck with horn orchestra of national anthem

Video: MINI wishes British Olympic athletes good luck with horn orchestra of national anthem

The countdown to the 2012 London Olympics is on its last legs, and as such, MINI is preparing to give British athletes a proper motivational boost with a new promotional video featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

The video features a handful of 2012 MINI London Special Edition models - nine in total! - with members of the world-famous London Philharmonic Orchestra each getting into one of the models to play a unique version of the British national anthem.

Instead of their instruments, they’re musical equipment this time around is the car’s horn. Pretty sweet, if we do say so ourselves.

We don’t doubt the talent of these guys in blending anything that makes a sound into a unique composition, but this really does take the proverbial cake. If you’re a British athlete and you get to watch this video, how can you not be motivated.

Heck, it even got our juices going, no small feat considering we have the athletic competency of a living room couch.

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2012 MINI Rocketman Olympic Concept

2012 MINI Rocketman Olympic Concept

We already know that MINI is a staunch supporter of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. But true to their quirky and aggressive nature, the German automaker took to a different level to show it’s support for the Olympics.

If special edition MINI Coopers and videos aren’t enough, MINI has decided to release a special edition model of the Rocketman Concept. Nevermind unconfirmed reports that the Rocketman Concept has been canned; MINI still sees some strong branding mileage in decking their concept model with an extensive exterior and interior make-over.

The concept vehicle is not a production model, which is a real bummer. But with all the enhancements it has received, we sure wouldn’t have any problems see it in dealerships in the future.

The 2012 London Olympics is a little over a month away, and MINI picked the perfect time to release this special edition concept. Too bad it’s going to remain strictly that.

Find out more about the MINI Rocketman Olympic Concept after the jump.

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Video: MINI promotes 2012 London Olympics with the "Britalian Job"

Video: MINI promotes 2012 London Olympics with the "Britalian Job"

The 2012 London Olympics is a little over a month away so it’s hardly surprising that we’re seeing a lot of promo videos coming out hyping up the quadrennial sporting spectacle.

One automaker that has taken this route is MINI and their recently unveiled video called the "Britalian Job."

Produced in the same vein as the 1969 classic "The Italian Job," the video features a number of MINIs trying to chase after a thief who stole gold. Well, if you’ve ever seen the Italian Job, you’ll know how the video ends. The special edition MINIs chase after the thief and relive some of the more iconic scenes from the movie, particularly driving down the Duke of York Steps off the Mall, chasing through through Leadenhall market, and the cars coming out of the same Park Lane basement as the movie. The video even has a couple of British Olympic legends in it, including Daley Thompson and Matthew Pinset, as well as racer and model Jodie Kidd.

"It was great fun making this film and London makes such a brilliant setting for an action sequence like this," said James Cracknell, British rowing champion and double Olympic gold medalist.

Check out the video and see exactly what Mr. Cracknell is talking about.

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2012 MINI Cooper Baker Street Special Edition

2012 MINI Cooper Baker Street Special Edition

MINI has never been the shy type when it comes to rolling out special edition models, especially when certain situations call for it.

As an official sponsor of the 2012 London Olympic Games, you can’t come up with a more ideal situation for a special edition Cooper. Heck, they even made two of them.

Joining the Cooper Bayswater Special Edition is the Baker Street Special Edition, a unique trim of the popular Cooper line that pays homage to London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games. Similar to the Bayswater model, the Baker Street comes with plenty of unique trims, highlighted by a Rooftop Grey metallic finish with special racing stripes on the hood, black mirror caps, and a new set of 16" alloy wheels. Optional paint finishes - Pepper White and Midnight Black - are also part of the package.

Inside, the Baker Street model comes dressed with unique seating surfaces with a Cross Check Rooftop Grey color for the dashboard and door trim and diamond pattern, light grey contrast stitching for the floor mats, gearshift/selector lever, handbrake gaiters, and seat tags.

The Cooper Baker Street Edition is set to be available on the MINI One, Cooper, One D, and Cooper D models with sales expected to begin in Spring 2012.

UPDATE 02/29/12: The MINI Cooper Baker Street Special Edition will be one of a handful of models MINI will be bringing to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Stay tuned for any and more info regarding this special edition MINI Cooper.

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2012 MINI Cooper Bayswater Special Edition

2012 MINI Cooper Bayswater Special Edition

With the 2012 London Olympics drawing closer and closer, official sponsors like MINI are starting to get their publicity machines going with hopes of squeezing every last ounce of marketing potential that goes with being an Olympics sponsor.

In the case of the German automaker, the marketing initiative involves the release of two bespoke MINI Cooper models: the Baker Street Edition and the Bayswater Edition.

The Bayswater Edition comes with an exclusive Kite Blue metallic finish with optional Midnight Black and Eclipse Grey finishes available for the Cooper S and SD models. In addition, the special edition "Bayswater" Cooper also received special racing stripes on the hood and side mirrors, a black-finished roof, and a new set of 17" wheels.

As for the interior, MINI dressed up the special edition Cooper’s seats in leather with exclusive colors and two-tone stitching on the gearshift/selector lever and handbrake gaiters. The car also has "Bayswater" lettering on the seat tags and door sills, a Piano Black cockpit trim, stainless steel pedals, and MINI’s standard Chrome Line Interior package.

In addition to the Cooper S and SD models, the Bayswater Edition will also be available for the Cooper and Cooper D models with a sale date pegged for early spring of 2012.

UPDATE 02/29/12: MINI recently announced their line-up for the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, and to no one’s surprise, the Cooper Bayswater Special Edition will be one of a handful of MINI models that will be headlining the company’s Geneva contingent. Nice to see these Cooper special editions get some shine under the Geneva spotlight.

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MINI Folding Bike

MINI Folding Bike

What’s the deal with all these automakers each coming out with their own set of new bicycles? In the last two months, we’ve seen something new from Audi, McLaren, Range Rover, and Maserati, none of which can be described as anything close to being a four-wheeled vehicle. Bicycles. That’s been the ‘in’ thing these days, and lo and behold, another brand has decided to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of their new – and collapsible – bicycle.

The irony of the bicycle’s uninspiring name given by a brand that’s usually the most creative of the lot isn’t lost on us. But nonetheless, here it is: the MINI Folding Bike. The bicycle is built around a lightweight aluminum frame that can be folded in mere seconds to be stowed inside the car’s trunk – preferably a MINI, we suppose. In addition to the frame, the bicycle’s crossbar, handlebars, and pedals also fold up while the gel seat retracts to save up even more space for when the bicycle is ready to be stored in the trunk. To add to the convenience of it all, the bike only weighs around 11 kilos, which is somewhere around 24 lbs, making it extremely lightweight even relative to the other new bikes we’ve seen in recent months. And to top it off, the MINI Folding Bike also comes with eight gears, a pair of 20-inch wheels with mud guards, an under-seat pouch, and a Teflon-coated chain.

We’ve seen some nicer looking bicycles, particularly the Audi Duo. But in terms of overall style, performance, and ease-of-use, this MINI Folding Bike is one that’s definitely right up our alley.

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2010 Mini Cooper by Paul Weller

2010 Mini Cooper by Paul Weller

Rock icon, Paul Weller, gave quite a performance during MINI’s 50th birthday celebration at Silverstone a year ago and the British automaker is paying the rock star in kind by giving him the opportunity to design his own special edition Mini Cooper. The car, which was designed by Weller himself and built in Oxford where it was hand-painted by MINI craftsmen, was sold in a global online auction from November 11th to December 10th with all proceeds to be given to two charities, Nordoff Robins and War Child.

“I’ve decided to donate the car to two charities,” Weller said. “War Child is an amazing organization which works tirelessly to provide protection for kids who live in some of the world’s most dangerous places – Iraq, Afghanistan, Uganda and DRC. Nordoff Robbins is the charity that really uses music to transform the lives of kids and adults fundraising to help and support these vulnerable people.”

Details after the jump.

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New Mini concept to be revealed in London on September 23rd

New Mini concept to be revealed in London on September 23rd

The Mini Countryman is quite the popular vehicle these days as Mini is in the middle of their marketing campaign for the crossover. So far, their marketing has consisted of the usual quirky commercials that only Mini can dole out, and well, more of thesame type of commercials. And if those aren’t enough to peak the interest of consumers everywhere, Mini will also be unveiling a new concept in London on September 23rd. This new concept will be presented by BMW’s Head of Design, Adrian van Hooydonk, just one week before the Paris Motor Show. It will be another version of the current Countryman: a JCW version or a two-door Countryman.

Mini UK posted a teaser image of the future concept on their Facebook page, only to grab the attention of the press. The image was quickly removed and no details were given for the concept. The information that was given, however, is quite promising for those readers living out in the UK. Mini UK is offering them a chance to see the unveiling in person. All they have to do is get on Mini UK’s Facebook page and enter for a chance to win. The subject line needs to read ’MINI Design Concept Event’, and entries must be received by Monday, September 13th. So, if you live in the UK - no entries from other countries will be accepted - then get on Facebook and sign up!

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Mini gets stupefyingly enormous diesel engine; to make appearance at Goodwood

Mini gets stupefyingly enormous diesel engine; to make appearance at Goodwood

What happens when you put the largest independent diesel engine manufacturer – Cummins - in the world and put the biggest engine they have – the QSK78 – on one of the world’s most compact cars in the form of a little old Austin MINI?

We’ll save you the descriptions and just show you the photo, but be warned, it’s definitely a sight for sore eyes.

Running by the engine’s numbers alone, it’s hard to imagine how a tiny car like the MINI can fit all of that and still have the capacity to move an inch out of the block. For starters, the QSK78 comes with 78 liters of displacement, eighteen cylinders, about 12 turbochargers, a mind-numbing 3,500 horsepower, and over 10,000 lb-ft of torque. And they just put it on Mr. Bean’s car? Someone’s lost a few screws in his head, don’t you think?

According to Cummins, the whole atrocious spawn of a car was commissioned by a customer who apparently decided that he either wanted to have the most powerful MINI in the world – technically speaking, put a check on that – or he just has a thing for wanting a monstrosity of a car in his garage. Check that one, too.

As for those who are curious to see the not-so-mini MINI up close and personal, the vehicle will be on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where we’re completely expecting it to be one of the most visited – for better or worse - displays the whole weekend.

Press Release after the jump

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MINI Cooper S Works GP.

MINI Cooper S Works GP.

Mini get the cooper works.

Super mini is no car to be toyed with.

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