For quite some time, the Mini hasn’t been quite the same.
Although it was great to see the name reborn under BMW Group ownership, Minis aren’t so mini anymore and they’ve only grown larger and further away from the original Mini Cooper of the 1960s with every new generation and spin-off.
Look at the chunky Countryman for instance, how can anyone call that ‘Mini’?
Well, the honchos at Mini HQ have clearly been listening to these sorts of gripes because they have just revealed a new limited edition model – the 1499 GT – that nods to one of the best-known sporty classic Minis of all time: the 1275 GT.
Produced between 1969 and 1980, the original 1275 GT was named as such to reflect the increased engine capacity over the standard 998cc Mini, and the 1499 GT adopts the same approach, boasting a 1,499cc unit over the entry-level 1,198cc model.
It also ties in neatly with the fact that only 1,499 units will be produced.
Available to order now from £16,990, Mini says the 1499 GT “recalls the entertaining drive, distinctive styling and low running costs of the 1275 GT, which was one of the most affordable performance cars of its day”. Even in its most basic form, the Mini Hatch is a super-fun drive so we’re willing to accept their word on this.
As you’d expect with any limited edition model, there are plenty of design tweaks to make it that little bit more special.
It will be available in two colours: midnight black – which gives the black car distinctive gold 1499 GT side stripes – and pepper white, which has the same graphics but in black on a pale exterior.
Other exterior features that differentiate the 1499 GT from any other Mini Hatch include black 17-inch track spoke alloy wheels, dark tinted windows and white indicator lenses. Also included are front and rear bumpers pinched from the John Cooper Works (JCW) model, side skirts, a split level spoiler and JCW door entry plates.
There are more performance-focused features inside with JCW sports seats in dinamica and leather with JCW badges, and a JCW steering wheel in perforated leather with chilli red stitching and multi-function controls.
Standard equipment includes cruise control, air-con, sports suspension, a visual boost radio with Mini Connected smartphone compatibility and carbon black interior details.
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “The Mini brand has become notably more removed from its compact beginnings over the years, so it’s heartening to see a model that harks back to those humble origins.”
Get your FREE Drivers Club fuel-finder app – let’s go.
Fast, easy refuelling is only the start. Log on and get your FREE Drivers Club fuel-finder app, plus exclusive offers. For you, your family & your friends.