While under clear German ownership that has steered MINI toward a more premium placement in the segments it competes, the British brand has ample affordable heritage to refer to whenever it needs to. That also happens during troubled car market conditions triggered by the ongoing health and economic world crises.
MINI is wrapping the two new special edition models it has prepared for the U.S. market with a heritage value ribbon, but it’s quite clear the emphasis falls on being “attainable and uniquely positioned across the spectrum of customer appeal,” as well as delivering “an immense value proposition for consumers and MINI enthusiasts alike.”
That means both the 2021 MINI Cooper 1499 GT (we have seen this moniker before, actually) and the new 2021 MINI Countryman Oxford Edition are not exactly breaking the bank. As such, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the former is $27,040, while the latter is $26,500 or $28,500 if you want the ALL4 all-wheel-drive version.
MINI has been churning out quite a few special edition models for the U.S. market as of late, and the Cooper 1499 GT is a direct callback to one of the most renowned sporty Minis of lore – the Mini 1275 GT from 1969.
The modern reincarnation comes with a few exclusive perks – Midnight Black Metallic exterior shade with gold 1499 GT side stripes, Piano Black touches, as well as LED headlights and Union Jack taillights. Some John Cooper Works styling touches have been added for good measure, both outside and inside, while the special edition also rides on 17-inch Track Spoke Black wheels.
Under the hood, there’s just one engine choice – Cooper’s 1.5-liter 3-cylinder mill packing 134 hp and 162 ft-lbs. of torque. It’s mated to a purist six-speed stick shifter in standard guise, but one can also call reinforcements in the form of MINI’s 7-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission. Both are great choices when it comes to sprinting to 60 mph (96 kph) in 7.5 seconds and reaching the 130-mph (209 kph) top speed.
Meanwhile, the Countryman Oxford Edition aims to attract new fans to the British brand with a Cooper and Cooper ALL4 version that includes all the latest 2021MY goodies from the brand, as well as “$5,600 worth of optional equipment as standard at no additional cost.” Among the highlights, of note are the standard 18-inch alloys, anthracite headliner, or the choice of six spectacular exterior shades.