Mini introduces the nostalgic 1499 GT

Launched in 1969, the Mini 1275 GT was essentially a slower but cheaper alternative to the contemporary Cooper S. In a partly similar vein, the new 1499 GT is a slower but dearer alternative to the current Cooper Hatch.

This UK-exclusive special edition features a stiffer suspension set-up and 1275 GT-inspired body-side graphics. Available only in three-door guise, there's a choice of either Midnight Black or Pepper White paintwork.

Mini 1499 GT 3-Door Hatch (2018) Front Side

An enhanced specification also includes the John Cooper Works Sport Pack. It comprises a rear spoiler, side skirts, restyled bumpers, dark-tint windows, white indicator lenses and black 'Track Spoke' 17” alloy wheels.

Inside, the theme continues thanks to JCW Sports seats, Dinamica and leather upholstery, Piano Black cabin trim pieces, an anthracite headlining and a multi-function JCW steering wheel.

Mini 1499 GT 3-Door Hatch (2018) Dashboard

The 1499 GT is the first Mini to be powered by a detuned version of the familiar 1.5 litre, three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine. Like the outgoing 1.2 litre three-cylinder unit, output is rated at a fairly modest 101 bhp (75 kW / 102 PS).

Consequently, the car looks a lot quicker than it actually is. The 0-60 mph (96 km/h) sprint takes 10.1 seconds, for example, so any drivers expecting high performance will be disappointed.

Mini 1499 GT 3-Door Hatch (2018) Rear Side

Other potential customers might be put off by a relatively steep on-the-road price of £16,990. By comparison, the three-door 134 bhp (100 kW / 136 PS) Cooper costs £790 less.

Exclusivity should be a plus point for the 1499 GT though, because just 1,499 examples are going to be built. Mini dealers are accepting orders now.

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