World Class Luxury In a Small Package: BMW Unveils The MINI Inspired By Goodwood
By Carl Malek
Even though the MINI brand is currently seated at the bottom rung of BMW’s brand ladder, the company has always positioned itself as being more premium than mainstream. To help prove that point, MINI has pulled the curtains off the MINI Inspired By Goodwood Package, which will be on display at the Shanghai Auto Show. MINI has had its fair share of special edition models produced throughout the company’s long history, but the MINI Inspired By Goodwood will be positioned as the most expensive model in the MINI lineup.
Starting with a MINI Cooper S hardtop model, the company leveraged its connections with fellow BMW brand Rolls-Royce to bring some of the elegant equipment and features that would otherwise be more at home in Rolls Royce models like the Ghost and the Phantom. Nearly every surface in the new MINI has been covered in the same type of leather that is regularly reserved for Rolls products, and the door handles and dashboard are covered with burled walnut accents.
Other touches include the replacement of standard plastic controls with Piano Black buttons, and the use of a Rolls-Royce-style font on the tach and speedometer. Standard equipment for the MINI Inspired By Goodwood includes xenon headlights, a Harmon-Kardon Stereo, and park distance control.
Exterior changes will be very slight and with exception to the hood, which is borrowed from the MINI Cooper Diesel model, and special badging. Otherwise, the car’s styling should look very familiar to consumers who own the normal Cooper S model. Paint choices for The Inspired By Goodwood will include the addition of two new hues. Known as Diamond Black Metallic and Reef Blue Metallic, both colors are normally reserved for Rolls-Royce models and should help add some exclusivity to the car. MINI engineers have also traded the car’s stock wheels for 17-inch multispoke wheels to create a more elegant look. The Inspired by Goodwood will be powered by the same 1.6 liter turbo four that powers the normal Cooper S. That engine brings 181 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque to the pavement with the help of either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.
However, just like the limited production Rolls Royce models that the Inspired by Goodwood is influenced by, production will be limited to a mere 1,000 copies. The first deliveries are expected to begin in spring of 2012. Pricing for the Inspired By Goodwood has not been finalized as of this writing, but consumers can expect the Inspired By Goodwood to have a sizable premium over the $23,700 USD price tag of a normal MINI Cooper S. Despite this though, this new model is perhaps the best way customers can take home a slice of Rolls Royce style and luxury for a bargain price.
If the MINI Inspired by Goodwood doesn’t work for you in your search for a leather-swaddled economy car, there’s always the Aston Martin Cygnet to consider. Relative to the Cygnet, many buyers would probably find the Inspired by Goodwood model to be a veritable limousine.