You’ve got to give it up to MINI for being almost relentless in its development of models that celebrate driving despite the fact that it has limited market penetration in the U.S.: for the first three quarters of 2020 it has delivered just 19,589 vehicles, and as this year is not exactly “normal,” know that in the same period in 2019 the number was 27,408, so that gives you a good sense of what’s what.
But MINI motors on.
For many, MINI isn’t just a single car that they own but part of a heritage of cars that have come out of the U.K. for the past 61 years.
So to that end, the company has announced the development of two special-edition models:
- 2021 MINI Cooper 1499 GT
- 2021 Countryman Oxford Edition
The 1499 GT is predicated by the 1969 Mini 1275 GT. In the current rendition the car is powered by a 1.5-liter (which is where the “1499” comes from: just add a decimal point to the right of the “1”), three-cylinder engine that provides 134 hp. It comes standard with a six-speed manual. It rides on 17s. The 0 to 60 time is 7.5 seconds.
MINI 1499 GT. Look closely at the taillamps. (Images: MINI)
The exterior of the 1499 features Midnight Black Metallic paint and gold side stripes; there is a Piano Black grille frame, door handles, headlight rings, and taillight rings. (The LED taillights show a Union Jack.)
As this is a car that is meant to be driven hard, there are John Cooper Works mods inside and out, including front and rear bumpers, side skirts, split-level spoiler and more. On the interior, there are John Cooper Works Sports seats and steering wheel. There is plenty of Piano Black trim and the headliner is “Anthracite.”
The MSRP is $27,040.
Higher Education. Lower Cost.
Oxford isn’t just the place where there is that famous university, but where the MINI factory is located.
Which explains the “Oxford Edition” of the Countryman, both Cooper and Cooper ALL4 variants.
Admittedly the background is not Oxford. But this is the Countryman Oxford Edition.
The thing about this is that it is an edition that takes into account that those who go to university (not just Oxford) tend to be dealing with student debt. So it is contented in such a way that it is less expensive than it would be were each of the optional items purchased separately.
That is, there are 18-inch wheels with run-flat tires, metallic paint, heated seats, auto climate control, and that aforementioned Anthracite headliner. Were someone to make those selections, the MSRP would be $32,100.
However, the 2021 MINI Cooper Countryman Oxford Edition has an MSRP of $26,500, or a $5,600 savings. (The ALL4 Oxford is a bit more expensive: $28,500.)
The little car that could still can. And this time as a car that not only gets great fuel economy, but which has ride and handling that makes it more than an econo-box (and its styling is anything but boxy).
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