One Mini Special Edition Points to Heritage, Another Aims for Value

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

No brand is immune from putting out special editions to honor its heritage, and so it is with Mini. The company is launching two – the 2021 Mini Cooper 1499 GT and 2021 Mini Countryman Oxford Edition.

The former is meant to be a homage to the classic Mini 1275 GT, while the latter does not, as far as we know, come with a tweed blazer with elbow patches.

The 1499 GT has a “bespoke” (note to PR departments – that word is getting a bit out of control in press releases) look with Midnight Black Metallic paint and gold stripes for the sides. The grille, door handles, and headlights are framed by a Piano Black finish. The headlights themselves are LEDs and the car has fog lamps, too. The LED taillights are in the shape of the Union Jack and the finish around them is also Piano Black.

Some of the John Cooper Works styling package makes its way over – the front and rear bumpers, side skirts, split-level spoiler, and door plates all come from the JCW package. Seventeen-inch wheels wear all-season rubber.

This special edition is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder that makes 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. The car has performance specs of 0-60 mph in 7.5 sec and a 130 mph top speed. A six-speed manual is standard (hooray!) and an optional seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic for the party poopers out there.

Inside, the JCW theme continues, with the cloth seats from that package. They’re in Carbon Black/Dinamica cloth here. The JCW steering wheel with perforated leather and red stitching is present, there’s Piano Black finishing, and an Anthracite headliner. Available features include dual-zone climate control, 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and digital gauges.

Pricing will be set at $27,040 plus $850 for destination.

The Countryman Oxford Edition will be available on both Cooper Countrymans and Cooper Countryman ALL4s, and it has the standard features that come with Classic trim. Those include leatherette upholstery, 8.8-inch screen, Bluetooth, rear camera, rear park-distance control, seven-speed automatic transmission (dual-clutch), and a panoramic sunroof. The car now has this spring’s updates: LED headlights, fog lights, and taillights, with those taillights having the Union Jack shape.

The Oxford Edition adds 18-inch wheels in either silver or black, run-flat tires, Anthracite headliner, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and a choice of six exterior paint colors. One of those is, of course, British Racing Green. Body-color roof and mirrors are available, or the buyer can contrast a white or black roof and mirrors with the body color.

Mini has set the MSRP for this one at $26,500 for Cooper Countrymans and $28,500 for Cooper Countryman ALL4s. Like with the 1499 GT, that doesn’t include the $850 destination fee.

[Images: Mini]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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  • Slavuta Slavuta on Oct 23, 2020

    This countryman is junk - horrible sounding engine - terrible seats - runflat tires make it a washboard - outside of the shape and cool interior controls, there is nothing to like there

    • See 2 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 24, 2020

      @slavuta Just go buy a Town Car or a Buick...that'll be nice and comfy.

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Oct 24, 2020

    But for the weird roofline used on the Countryman, I kind of like the blue guy. That said, is 134 horsepressures really meant for a special edition anything. Is this an attempt at having an "understressed" three cylinder engine, when the engine of the same size from Ford offers 181 hp, and the smaller 1.3 from FCA offers 200 if memory serves.

    • See 1 previous
    • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Oct 26, 2020

      @HotPotato I honestly have no real personal barometer by which to calibrate my opinion. I've never driven a vehicle with a 3 cylinder, turbocharged or otherwise, and so can't guess. I know 25 years ago 134 horsepressures out of 4 cylinders was pretty significant, having had a 93 Escort with all of 95. The only oddly cylindered engine I've experienced was a Jetta with the 5 cylinder, which by all accounts of what I've read was fairly robust. The other bits on the car were generally the pain points.

  • Grg I am not sure that this would hold up in snow country. It used to be that people in snow country would not be caught dead in a white car. Now that white cars have become popular in the north, I can't tell you how many times I have seen white cars driving in the snow without lights. Almost all cars are less visible in a snow storm, or for that matter, rain storm, without lights. White ones become nearly invisible.
  • Douglas I have a 2018 BMW 740e PHEV, and love it. It has a modest electric only range compared to newer PHEV's (about 18 miles), but that gets me to the office and back each day. It has a small gas tank to make room for the battery, so only holds about 11 gallons. I easily go 600 or more miles per tank. I love it, and being able to take long road trips without having to plug in (it just operates like a regular Hybrid if you never plug it in). It charges in 75 minutes in my garage from a Level 2 charger I bought on Amazon for $350. Had an electrician add a dryer outlet beside the breaker box. It's the best of both worlds and I would definitely want a PHEV for my next car. 104,000 miles and ZERO problems with the powertrain components (so far).
  • Panther Platform I had a 98 Lincoln Mark VIII so I have a soft spot for this. The Mark VIII styling was not appreciated by all.
  • Grant P Farrell Oh no the dealership kept the car for hours on two occasions before giving me a loaner for two months while they supposedly replaced the ECU. I hate cords so I've only connected it wirelessly. Next I'm gonna try using the usb-c in the center console and leaving the phone plugged in in there, not as convenient but it might lower my blood pressure.
  • Jeff Tiny electrical parts are ruining today's cars! What can they ...
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