Big Luxury, Little Package: Mini Cooper Inspired By Goodwood Unveiled

Although seated on the bottom tier of BMW's brand hierarchy, Mini has always felt more premium than pedestrian. Now, Mini is bringing the luxury of a Rolls-Royce interior to its Cooper S in a special edition called Mini Inspired by Goodwood, which is debuting at the Shanghai auto show.

Mini has had no shortage of special editions since its reemergence in 2001, but its latest offering will assuredly top the list in terms of price. Based on the Mini Cooper S hardtop, the Mini Inspired by Goodwood is anything but plain -- Mini has leveraged its relationship with Rolls-Royce and uses lavish equipment more at home in a Ghost than a Cooper.

Nearly every interior surface is wrapped in the same high-quality leather found in Rolls-Royce's offerings and, walnut burr adorns the Mini's dashboard and door handles. Piano black buttons are substituted for the standard plastic controls on the dash and steering wheel, while the speedometer and tachometer receive Rolls-Royce fonts. Standard equipment found on the Mini Inspired by Goodwood includes xenon headlights, a Harmon Kardon stereo, and park distance control -- but strangely no navigation.

Exterior alterations are minimal, including the front and rear fascias from the Cooper S, and hood from the European Cooper D. Paint choices include diamond black or reef blue metallic - both Rolls-Royce colors -- while stock wheels are swapped out for 17-inch, multi-spoke wheels. Special badging can be found on the front quarter panels and door sills, and inside a plaque signifying the build number sits near the gear selector.

Power comes from the same 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 found in the standard Cooper S models. Customers can choose between the six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes, which both send 181 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. Like the standard S, selecting the overboost function increases power output by 8 percent to 192 pound-feet.

The Inspired by Goodwood special edition will be limited to just 1000 examples, with deliveries scheduled to commence in the spring of 2012. As for pricing, Mini has yet to make any firm announcement, but we suspect it will command a healthy sum more than the $23,700 base price affixed to the Cooper S. Still, this Mini will certainly be the cheapest way to experience the luxury touches typically reserved for Rolls-Royce owners.

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