Expect Mini Coopers’ just released 1499 GT Special Edition and the Mini Countryman Oxford Edition to stoke excitement among its fans. The automaker has only about 0.21 percent of the U.S. market share, but Mini owners are loyal. I had weekly invitations to drive my own Union Jack-decorated Mini Coupe to an array of enthusiast events or buy bling that harkened back to the Mini’s 1959 birth.
The spunky Mini didn’t arrive in the U.S. until 2002, and I can tell you there are plenty of owners that want to use meetups and all manner of British accessories to relive the Mini’s true glory days. These two special editions have surely been in the development pipeline for years, but fate was truly on the automaker’s side with this announcement date. What better time to introduce two nostalgic models than in this era of longing for years past?
Mini built the 1499 GT to pay homage to the iconic 1275 GT from 1969. The other special edition is the Mini Countryman Oxford Edition. The Countryman is Mini’s best-selling U.S. model, and this new edition jazzes up the offering. Let’s take a quick look at both, starting with the 1499 GT.
You’ll find this model in Midnight Black Metallic with gold stripes and black accents on the grille, door handles, and headlight rings. The automaker has added Union Jack taillights, which are sure to be a selling point. It also has a Mini John Cooper Works styling package with extras such as a split-level spoiler and a perforated steering wheel with red stitching. The model has 17-inch Track Spoke Black wheels with all-season tires.
Under the hood is a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed manual transmission and comes standard with a third pedal. Buyers can opt for a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Mini Countryman Oxford Edition
The Countryman Oxford Edition, which Mini announced in May, was never meant to look as sporty as some other models, but it has plenty of allure for a daily driver.
Mini fitted it with all the Classic Trim’s standard equipment, including leatherette upholstery, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and a panoramic sunroof. The Oxford Edition also gets plenty of other features, including LED headlights and fog lights, Union Jack LED taillights, 18-inch wheels in either silver or black with run flat tires, and heated front seats.
Buyers can choose from six exterior colors, including British Racing Green IV metallic, Midnight Black Metallic, White Silver metallic, Moonwalk Grey metallic, Chili Red, or Island Blue metallic. Other options include body-color roof and mirrors and a white or black roof/mirror combination.
There’s not much new under the hood. The Countryman Oxford Edition comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 134 horsepower and 162 lbs-ft. of torque. It’s paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission.
Pricing & Destination Charge
These special editions have plenty of flash that should catch the eyes and wallets of Mini enthusiasts. The Mini 1499 GT starts at $27,040, while the Countryman Oxford Edition begins at $26,500. If you want your Countryman Oxford Edition with all-wheel drive, add an extra $2,000 to the starting MSRP. Both Mini special editions have a destination charge of $850.
Nancy Dunham is a life-long journalist whose work appears in many national automotive and general interest magazines and accompanying websites. Her dad was an executive with Western Auto Supply Co. (sold to Sears), so the smell of tires still brings back a flood of childhood memories. Favorite professional assignment: driving on the Texas Motor Speedway. She lives in Austin, Texas with her cat Prudence.