Mini is using today’s Shanghai show to wheel out its most exclusive special edition yet: a Rolls-Royce-fettled Cooper S that could carry a price tag as high as £50,000.
The ‘Mini Inspired by Goodwood’ features a bespoke cabin whose spec was overseen by Rolls-Royce interior designer Alan Sheppard. It features elements synonymous with the Sussex-based luxury brand, including walnut burr veneers on the instrument panel and door pulls, Corn Silk beige leather on the fascia, centre console, seats, door sides and pillar trim, and deep lambswool fleece carpets.
Even the roof lining, sun visors and boot compartment cover are coated in a Rolls-Royce-spec cashmere blend. Rolls’ own typeface features on the speedometer and revcounter, and there’s a piano black finish on the steering wheel-mounted controls and centre console switches.
The car’s exterior mixes Cooper S parts — specifically, the front and rear bumpers — with the non-vented bonnet of the Cooper D. The standard colour will be metallic Diamond Black, which was developed, again, by Rolls-Royce Design — but Mini’s own Reef Blue metallic will be offered as an option.
Underneath there’s a standard Cooper S turbo petrol powertrain, producing 181bhp and 177lb ft (192lb ft on overboost). That’s enough for the Goodwood edition to hit 62mph in 7.0sec. The transmission is a six-speed manual, but a six-speed automatic will be a cost option.
Standard kit in the Mini Roller will include xenon headlights, Harman Kardon speakers, automatic climate control and parking sensors.
The Rolls-Royce connection with Mini has been cemented through BMW’s common ownership of both British brands. But there are also historical links to specially coachbuilt versions of the original Mini; in particular, actor Peter Sellers ran a car that was customised by Rolls coachbuilder Hooper.
Mini has confirmed that the Goodwood edition will be built alongside regular three-doors and the new coupés and roadsters at Oxford, starting in spring 2012. It says 1000 examples will be produced but has stopped short of naming a price. Given that previous special editions of the JCW have nudged £35k, it’s likely that the more sumptuous, ultra-exclusive example will see another hike, perhaps to as much as £50k.