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Shanghai show: Rolls-Royce does a Mini

That's how Mini Rolls: Luxury special-edition Mini the result of a collaboration with BMW stablemate Rolls-Royce.

Mini gets posh makeover with sumptuous Rolls-Royce crafted ‘Goodwood’ special

13 Apr 2011

MINI will debut a luxurious special edition hatch produced in collaboration with BMW Group stable mate Rolls-Royce at next week’s Shanghai motor show.

Just 1000 of the ‘Inspired by Goodwood’ Minis will be produced at Mini’s Oxford plant in a project reminiscent of Aston Martin’s Toyota iQ-based Cygnet luxury city-car.

Mini claims that Rolls-Royce not only oversaw the re-design but also was involved with in fine-tuning the production process to “ensure unimpeachable quality standards”.

BMW Group Australia told GoAuto that it is in talks with the factory to secure some of the cars for Australia but does not yet know how many it will get its hands on.

Speculation Britain suggests the UK price could reach 50,000 ($A77,840), making it by far the most expensive Mini and eclipsing the Aston Cygnet’s £30,995 ($48,253) ask.

Rolls-Royce interior designer Alan Sheppard is credited with overseeing the Goodwood’s cabin, which Mini describes as reproducing “the hallmark majestic allure of the historic luxury brand”.

39 center imageThe dashboard and interior door handles are finished in a traditional burr walnut veneer that is otherwise exclusive to Rolls-Royces and created at the brand’s Goodwood factory.

Rolls-Royce specification ‘Tipped Leather’ upholstery in ‘Cornsilk’ colour is used on the interior door panels and is colour-matched by Lounge leather seats from Mini’s own catalogue. Other interior surfaces are swathed leather of the same hue, while the dash-top is trimmed in contrast-stitched black leather.

Further Rolls-Royce interior touches extend to sumptuous-looking floor mats in deep wool fleece, piano black gloss finishes for the steering wheel buttons and centre stack, and downsizing Rolls-Royce owners will instantly recognise the typeface used on the Mini’s instruments.

The headlining, sun visors and parcel shelf are all trimmed in Rolls-Royce-spec cashmere blend and the ‘diamond black metallic’ exterior paintwork is another Rolls-Royce development – although buyers can alternatively specify Reef Blue metallic from the Mini Yours catalogue.

Mini describes the effect of Rolls-Royce’s involvement as creating “interior ambience born of exquisite materials and outstanding workmanship”. The final interior touch is a plate beside the gear selector engraved with the car’s production number out of the thousand made.

Other than the paintwork and exclusive 17-inch alloy wheels, the Goodwood is identified by the fact it has front and rear bumpers from the Cooper S but the scoopless bonnet of a Cooper D. The front side indicator surrounds and door sills also feature special engraved aluminium badges.

Standard equipment on the Goodwood includes adaptive Xenon headlights, parking sensors, automatic climate control, on-board computer and ‘Visual Boost’ infotainment system featuring Harman Kardon speakers.

Mini hasn’t succeeded in shoehorning a Rolls-Royce engine under the Mini’s bonnet, rather making do with a 1.6-litre Cooper S-derived four-cylinder petrol engine producing 135kW and 240Nm (rising to 260Nm using Overboost) and mated with a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

Zero-to-100km/h comes in 7.0 seconds and EU-rated average consumption is 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres, with CO2 emissions of 136 grams per kilometre.

Also on the Mini stand at Shanghai will be the zany carbon-fibre, transparent-roofed Rocketman concept that debuted last month at Geneva, along with the Mini Clubman Hampton special edition that was used at Geneva to showcase the new ‘Mini Yours’ personalisation programme.

While present-day Mini buyers are offered a vast range of personalisation options – which were recently extended further with the addition of ‘Mini Yours’ – the idea of a bespoke, coach-built Mini dates back to the 1960s when the original Mini was the car of the moment and stars of the era like the Beatles and Peter Sellers drove unique and highly individualised versions of Sir Alec Issigonis’ creation.

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