BMW is actively considering introducing a new super high-end Mini that will be re-trimmed by Rolls-Royce’s Goodwood operation.
Autocar understands from well-placed sources that the project is close to getting the green light.
The Rolls-trimmed Mini caught in these scoop pictures is not a one-off, according to the source but is a late prototype for what’s intended to be an established premium custom version of the Mini.
Buyers of the high-end Mini will be able to visit the Rolls Royce factory to select the various interior trim and dashboard finishes and will also be able to collect the finished vehicle.
The project is more evidence that BMW’s expansion of Mini brand continues to draw inspiration directly from the history of the original Mini.
Mini Coopers with re-worked interiors and extremely high standards of trim became popular in the early 1960s, and were often owned by the highest profile celebrities of the era, including all four Beatles.
It’s popularly believed that the first high-end coachbuilt Mini was commissioned by actor Peter Sellers in 1963. It is said to have cost £2600 when a standard Cooper cost £679.
The Sellers’ Mini was quickly followed by a similar offering from Harold Radford called the Mini de Ville. This came in three specification levels, but all versions included new instrument packs, wooden dashboards, Rolls-Royce-style seats and even new headlamps.
In 1965 the de Ville was also available with a hatchback and folding rear seats, an example of which was famously owned by Ringo Starr.
Coachbuilders Wood and Pickett also produced a high-specification Mini along the same lines.
Some Mini bosses believe that a Mini with the interior luxury of a much larger car has again become relevant thanks to the current trend of downsizing, especially for affluent city drivers.