The MINI 1499 GT special edition is inspired by a classic version of the small car but also signifies a change in powertrain direction for the BMW-owned range.
The 1499 GT is inspired by the 1275 GT, a sports-pitched version of the original Mini launched in 1969. Obvious links to the original include the distinctive stripes running along the sides under of the doors, and the increased engine capacity.
However, while the 1969 car achieved its 1275cc capacity by boring out the engine of the then 998cc standard Mini, the new special edition replaces the 1.2-litre engine previously used in the MINI with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo unit – it is understood the 1.2 engine is being phased out of the range to make it easier for the car to meet future emission regulations.
In the 1499 GT, the new engine produces 102hp and takes the car through 62mph from rest in 10.1 seconds. Mechanically the only other change over the standard car is the addition of sports suspension.
Yours in black or white
However, the special edition boasts a number of styling and equipment upgrades. It is only offered in black or white, with the side stripe in gold or black accordingly.
A John Cooper Works Sport Pack is added, consisting of 17in black alloy wheels, dark tinted windows and white indicator lenses, while the car also gains a JCW styling pack of bespoke front and rear bumpers, side skirts, spoiler and door kick plates.
Inside there are sports seats in a Dinamica fabric and leather combination, a perforated leather steering wheel with red stitching and black interior trim. The wheel includes controls for various functions, while cruise control and smartphone compatibility are also part of the package.
Order books are open for the new car, at prices starting from £16,990, and the 1499-strong production run will only be sold through UK dealers.
MINI is also launching a new finance package with the 1499 GT – ‘MINI Ready Fuel Go’ offers one year’s inclusive insurance with a £299 customer deposit and £299 monthly payment.