Mini 1499GT: Limited Edition Exploits Classic ’70s History ""

By | October 13, 2017

Mini 1275 GT and Mini 1499 GT

The history of Mini is rich with remarkable and collectible models. One of them is the 1275GT, launched in 1969 and fitted with the same engine that powered the original Cooper S. Now, Mini tries to cash in by evoking that legendary model’s spirit with the new 1499GT.

As with its historical predecessor, the 1499GT’s model designation is derived from its engine displacement in cubic centimeters. The new model is fitted with a 1.5-liter three-cylinder that makes 101 horsepower. Though short on power, this engine may fit the Mini’s character better than the unremarkable four-cylinder engines of the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models. It sounds good, and it puts little weight on the front axle.

Mini 1275 GT and Mini 1499 GT

BMW has gone to lengths to emulate the 1275GT’s style, with special-edition stickers on the flanks, 17-inch black wheels, white lenses for the turn signals, and dark-tinted windows. It also picks up John Cooper Works bumpers and side skirts, doorsill plates, and a split-level rear spoiler.

Inside, the Mini 1499GT package includes a sport suspension and John Cooper Works sport seats with leather trim. These are accompanied by JCW badges, a steering wheel wrapped in perforated leather with red stitching, and piano-black interior trim. The car is otherwise about the same as the 1.2-liter three-cylinder Mini One hatchback, which is not offered in the United States. Here in the U.S. the least powerful three-cylinder Mini is turbocharged and makes 134 horsepower. Predictably, then, this Mini 1499GT is for the the U.K. exclusively; its production run is limited to, of course, 1499 units.

The element that’s wrong here is that the 1275GT was the pinnacle of Mini’s range, and that’s definitely not the case with this low-powered 1499GT, for which its maker claims a modest zero-to-60-mph time of 10.1 seconds.

Mini-1499-GT-REEL

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