Mini UK Car reviews

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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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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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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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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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