A fashionable special edition is a great way to get extra goodies and pizzazz without the extra outlay. We pick our favourites

Special edition models stand out from the rest of the range and come with plenty of kit, without a big price hike. Fender, Jasper Conran and Gucci are among the brands to collaborate with manufacturers in our pick of the best.

1. Mazda MX-5 Conran Edition (1999)

Mazda teamed with British designer Jasper Conran to create a couple of limited-edition versions of its perennially popular roadster. The model is based on the 1.8i S variant and comes in either black with a black leather hood, interior carpet and leather upholstery, or a platinum silver and red combination.

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Other goodies include a leather and aluminium steering wheel and a Sony CD player and Minidisc multichanger — a once cutting-edge addition that betrays the car’s age. Only 500 were made (100 in silver and 400 in black); each will be numbered. They’re available on the used market for around £2150.

2. Volkswagen Beetle Fender (2013)

Classic guitar maker met motoring icon in this unlikely match-up. Underneath it is a standard contemporary Beetle, fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and the choice of a six-speed manual or dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

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Fender inspired the more interesting touches, including an interior reminiscent of its classic guitars, a deep pearl black exterior finish and — most interesting of all — a 400W stereo complete with a boot-mounted subwoofer. They’re quite scarce, so be prepared to pay about £11,995.

3. Fiat 500C by Gucci (2012)

The modern version of the Fiat 500 is already a style icon, so it was only a matter of time before a fashion powerhouse decided to put its mark on it. The Fiat 500C by Gucci is available in either black or white infused with glitter and adorned with chrome-plated details.

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Inside, the 500 is as lavish as a pair of Gucci shoes, with lashings of satin and leather stitched into the cabin, while the radio panel is finished off with a velvetlike material. Fiat also ensured the 500 is as practical as it is fashionable, with rear parking sensors, climate control and a leather steering wheel as standard. There are numerous examples available on the second-hand market for less than £7000.

4. Peugeot 206 Quicksilver (2001-2006)

Peugeot and stylish surfing brand Quiksilver have had a long association. The company’s logos have been emblazoned on the 106, 806 and 307, but the 206 Quiksilver is the most common among the used car classifieds. This small hatchback acted as the entry-level sport model to the range.

See Peugeot 206 for sale on PistonHeads

It came in silver (naturally) with matching bumpers and door handles, while inside you get sports seats, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, silver instrument dials and more Quiksilver motifs on the floor mats, seat trim and boot tray. There are plenty available in the classifieds from as little as £440.

5. Mini Paul Smith Limited Edition (1998)

During its 40-odd years in production, numerous special editions of the original Mini were made. This Paul Smith version was based on the Mini Sprite, which used a 1.3-litre petrol engine. Only 300 of the 1500 built were sold in the UK. Each was painted blue and fitted with a gold Paul Smith bonnet badge, decals, charcoal grey alloys and enough chrome bling to stand out a mile.

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Inside were black leather seats, a citrus green glovebox and a boot liner, while a Paul Smith-branded denim jacket and tool bag were also included. Expect to pay at least £8000 for this British fashion icon, although we can’t guarantee that the jacket and bag will still be included…

Our Verdict

Here is the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 - the definitive small sports car

Fourth-generation MX-5 heads back to the roadster's roots

Join the debate


4 August 2016
...quite a cool looking car in my opinion.

I also remember a Paul Smith 'striped' X Type Jaguar running round Nottingham a few years ago. Paul Smith is from Nottingham so maybe it was a one off for someone at the shop/warehouse/offices?

4 August 2016
I believe amongst mini(not MINI) enthusiasts the Japanese market Paul Smith mini with the multitude of different coloured stripes is more revered than the ultra conservative all blue UK version. I personally had a soft spot for the Italian Job even with its white plastic grill

4 August 2016
hardshoulder - The multi-striped Paul Smith Mini was a one-off show car, not a production model. The Japanese Paul Smith Mini was offered in blue (like the UK), black or white.

4 August 2016
To promote Toyota taking over sponsorship of the World matchplay golf at Wentworth, they brought out a special edition of their Toyota Carina - the Carina Matchplay. It differed from the standard car in that it had a 'Matchplay' badge and you got a free golf ball with every test-drive.

4 August 2016
Did I just read that in the history of the motor car, one of your favourite special editions ever is a Peugeot 206 Quicksilver?

5 August 2016
These are less special editions than they are brand association editions. A better example of a Beetle special edition would have been the RSi from 2001. 251 built, fitted with the 3.2 litre VR6 and four-wheel drive.

As for Minis, surely none has ever been so deserving of the term special edition as the one Radford adorned with wicker for Peter Sellers in 1963. Others copied it, but never with the same level of craftsmanship as the original.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left


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