- based on the standard cooper hardtop, the 1499 gt special edition model adds racy appearance items pilfered from the john cooper works parts bin.
- inspiration for the car's design is courtesy of the 1275 gt model from 1969, which intended to offer buyers "cheap thrills" according to mini's advertising campaign at the time.
- only 150 1499 gts will make their way stateside and only 30 of them will feature the coveted six-speed manual transmission; the rest get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
the mini brand is no stranger to special and limited edition models of its cooper models, having done over 50 such exercises since 2001. the company's latest is the 1499 gt, which pays homage to an affordable performance model from the brand's past: the 1275 gt. the 1969 original was powered by a 60-hp 1275-cc four-cylinder engine and needed 13.3-seconds to reach 60 mph, but it offered driving enjoyment without a massive price tag.
this modern-day equivalent represents a giant leap in performance. it's powered the cooper hardtop's standard powertrain: a 134-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter (or 1499-cc, get it?) three-cylinder engine and either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. this setup should be good for a 7.3-second zero-to-60-mph time according to mini—a far cry from the 1257 gt's time.
a john cooper works aero kit and rear spoiler give the 1499 gt the racy look of its high-performance stablemates wearing the jcw badge and its blacked-out exterior trim gives it a stealthy appearance. inside, sport cloth seats, aluminum pedal covers, and a jcw leather-wrapped steering wheel continue the theme. all 1499 gt models will come with a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers and mini's active driving assistant suite of driver-assistance features as standard.
if the unique look of the 1499 gt and the idea of cheap thrills has piqued your interest, act quickly as only 150 of these cars will make their way to the united states. of those, only 30 will be available with the manual transmission and will carry a base price of $27,890. the rest will feature the automatic transmission and will cost $1250 more.