What is the Mini 1499 GT? And why I want one
Could this be the best non-JCW JCW?
The Mini 1499 GT is a car that has recently been brought to my attention and I love it. Many people may look at the 1499 GT and just think "what's so special about it?" or "it's just a mini?". Well I'll prove them wrong!
The 1499 GT is a mini which pays homage to the 1971 1275 GT which was essentially the Cooper S which wasn't a Cooper S. It was just a sportier Mini Clubman with a 1,275 cc engine. Great fun and if you can find one in good condition now, I urge you to get one.
Mini 1275 GT
Anyway, the 1499 GT is basically a John Cooper Works (JCW) without the power. You may think this sounds strange but in fact it's a genius idea on BMW's behalf. This means it's the perfect car for the young petrol head. It has the body kit from the JCW which makes it look better, all the badges from the JCW inside, as well as the seats being identical. This truly is a great little car. It costs about £16k and is a limited production car of only 1,499 (very appropriate amount).
Let's talk spec, the 1499 GT has a 1.5L 3 cylinder turbo engine which produces around 101 bhp (which is 42 bhp more than the 1275). It has a 0-60 time of 10.1 seconds. This doesn't make it the fastest Mini ever but all theses stats mean that for a young driver like myself, insurance will be a lot less than a JCW and you almost get the same amount of fun but without getting yourself killed. It's also great on fuel with averaging 58 mpg (this is another huge aspect of driving for us young folk). The gold graphics down the side are a big thing to point out also, I love this. I don't normally like cars with graphics on the side but the contrast with the black looks superb. The only thing I'm not too keen on is the exhaust. To me it looks a bit funny. Maybe that's just me?
From what I can tell, this limited edition Mini hasn't really taken off like Mini maybe anticipated as it wasn't very widely discussed and lot's of people don't know what the 1275 GT is. This is a blessing and a curse, as there means there's hopefully a few kicking around. Would I have this over a Mini One? Definitely. Would I have one over a JCW? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, it's a fab little car but as you get older you want that little extra power. If you prefer exclusivity and rarity, then the 1499 GT is the obvious choice.