Mini is trying its hardest to keep its little two-door hatchback relevant in this day and age. But, the design is stale. It’s been around, albeit with some minor refreshing, since the brand was relaunched by BMW way back in 2000. Some can argue that the nostalgic link to the Mini brand of 1960s through 1980s is wearing off. Mini, however, is doing its best to stay pertinent. It’s revealed wagons, and crossover SUVs. But, the little two-door needs some fresh spice. To that end, the manufacturer has debuted the 2021 Mini Cooper 1499 GT.
2021 Mini Cooper 1499 GT
Let’s get the obvious out of the way right away. This special edition Mini Cooper 1499 GT isn’t that different from what has already been put out there by the manufacturer. In a nutshell, it is a nice appearance package. But, it is a play on a dated design.
The exterior has a paint and stripe package combination that is striking. The car is draped in black with a gold accent stripe for a sporty contrast. The 17-inch wheels, of course, are bathed in black paint as well. So are the grille and headlight surrounds. Special bumpers and side skirts lend to an aggressive persona. And, out back there is an homage to the British origins of the company with tail lights that reflect the Union Jack.
Inside, the Mini receives sporty John Cooper Works microfiber-covered seats with red stitching. The red stitching shows up on the steering wheel as well. Occupants will find a dual-zone automatic climate control, an infotainment system with navigation, and Apple CarPlay support.
Power for the 2021 Mini Cooper 1499 GT comes from a 1.5-liter, thee cylinder that pumps out 134 hp. It’s enough pep for a 0-60 mph time arriving at 7.5 seconds.
This Mini is a limited special edition
A total of 150 copies will be designated for the United States. Thankfully, 30 have been set aside to be manual transmission cars. The rest will have a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The new 1499 edition has a price tag of $27,890 for the units equipped with the manual transmission. It is an additional $1,250 for the automatic transmission vehicles. So, at least the extra sporty look doesn’t come with the pricey upgrade of a full John Cooper Works edition.
Sales are sliding and have been
The Mini brand has been scrambling a bit in recent years to gain sales. Although the mini brand as a whole continues to move units, the rate at which it does has been trailing off. According to Good Car Bad Car, sales have been sliding year-over-year for the last four years for the entire brand. The trend seems like it might continue this year.
Overall, however, an economical, sporty little car is an idea that seems to make sense, even if the on the whole the flavor is somewhat dated. Many people are looking for commuter cars, not family cars. So, the Mini Cooper is a valid option for their needs. The Cooper 1499 GT at least dresses up the offering to be a little more appealing than other trims of the car, even more so if one can score the manual transmission version.