‘They don’t make them like they used to’.
It’s a phrase we hear often in 2017, especially in the automotive world, and when it comes to the Mini, it’s very true. The current third-generation Mini Hatch is worlds away from the 1969 original that continues to conjure much romantic sentiment amongst car purists.
The decision makers at Mini HQ are aware of these accusations more than anyone else so they’ve thrown together the new 1499 GT – a new limited edition model that serves as a nod to one of the best-known sporty classic Minis of all time: the 1275 GT.
Available to order now from £16,990 on the road, the 1499 GT recalls the entertaining drive, distinctive styling and low running costs of the 1969 original, which was one of the most affordable performance cars of its day.
The 1275 GT badging reflected the increased engine capacity over the standard 998cc Mini and the 1499 GT adopts a similar approach again here.
With 100bhp to play with, the lively Twin Power Turbo three-cylinder engine can get up to 60mph in 10.1 seconds, making it perfect for drivers seeking an entertaining drive and unique runaround, so Mini says.
The 1499 GT is available in a choice of two colours: Midnight Black, which features distinctive gold 1499 GT side stripes, and Pepper White, which also boasts side stripes but in black.
Other exterior features that set the car apart from any other Mini Hatch include black 17-inch track spoke alloy wheels, dark tinted windows and white indicator lenses; all part of the Mini John Cooper Works sport pack.
Also included in that pack are John Cooper Works front and rear bumpers, side skirts, a split level spoiler and John Cooper Works door entry plates.
Inside, there’s John Cooper Works 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.
Its list of equipment includes cruise control, air-con, sports suspension, a visual boost radio with Mini Connected smartphone compatibility, carbon black interior details and an anthracite headlining.
Why the 1499 name though? Well, that’s how many will be available to UK buyers between November 2017 and February 2018, so if you fancy one, you’d better be quick…