If customizing and tweaking your car’s looks to suit personal tastes is your thing, Mini has a long track record of catering to that need. It also has a long history of releasing special editions in tribute to past classic models, and that’s what we have here. This Mini 1499 GT Special Edition debuted Friday as a unique-looking take on the fifty-year heritage of another sporty Mini — the 1275 GT, shown below.
Mechanically, the 2021 Mini 1499 GT offers the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine as the standard hardtop. That powerplant offers up 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque, as well as a 7.5 second 0-60 time, per Mini’s estimates. Fortunately for those classic enthusiasts, though, you also still get a 6-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. Across of its model range, Mini customers tend to lean into the three-pedal option (particularly with the hatchback) than the rest of the market, and that option remains here.
A word of warning, however: Only 150 of these special edition cars are coming to the U.S. Of those, 30 will have a clutch pedal, so if you want a manual you’ll need to act fast. If you’re one of the other 120 customers, you’ll get a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission instead.
Leaning on cues set by the 1275 GT, the 2021 Mini 1499 GT has a black paint scheme with a gold stripe down the side. The stripe carries a similar layout to the old car, but the color scheme is obviously reversed. You know, goldish hatchbacks like the 1275 aren’t exactly en vogue here in 2020. Instead, designers opted for a much more tasteful, blacked-out appearance accentuated by the John Cooper Works appearance package.
JCW styling, without the cost
On the inside, the 2021 Mini 1499 GT also has John Cooper Works sports seats with Chili Red stitching. You also get dual-zone automatic climate control, a 6.5-inch infotainment screen with navigation onboard, as well as Apple CarPlay support and a standard digital instrument cluster.
Apart from the unique styling touches, another way to look at the 2021 Mini 1499 GT is a JCW without the price tag. You still get the appearance package here, and it costs another $3,500 on top of the standard Mini Cooper Hardtop’s $23,250 asking price (including destination). All in all, the 1499 GT will soon go on sale with a $27,890 price tag.