2011 Shanghai Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The Mini Inspired by Goodwood, which has been quickly rechristened the Rolls-Royce of Minis in the media, will make its world debut next week at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show.
- The high-end Mini borrows the Rolls-Royce color Diamond Black metallic on the exterior and adds such luxury touches as Walnut Burr and black leather in the cabin.
- The limited-edition Mini will arrive in showrooms in spring 2012. Expect a princely price tag.
WOODCLIFF LAKE, New Jersey — The Mini Inspired by Goodwood, which has been quickly rechristened the Rolls-Royce of Minis in the media, will make its world debut next week at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show.
This is a Mini Cooper fit for the Queen of England, should she have a hankering for a small, somewhat pretentious premium car that returns 35 mpg on the highway. If there were an automotive equivalent of Debrett's Peerage & Baronetage, the Mini Inspired by Goodwood surely would merit a reference. In short, this is not a Mini for the hoi polloi.
Production of the limited-edition Mini will be limited to 1,000 units worldwide. It will arrive in showrooms in spring 2012. Pricing has yet to be announced, but expect a princely figure, since this Mini is the spawn of a collaborative arrangement with Rolls-Royce that links BMW's bottom of the range with its top of the range. Goodwood, England is the home of Rolls-Royce, hence the lofty nameplate.
The cosmetics package bundles the exclusive Rolls-Royce color Diamond Black metallic paint and 17-inch light alloy wheels on the exterior. The cabin gets a big dose of the Rolls-Royce color Cornsilk, from the carpeting to the headliner. Black Napa leather rounds out the interior package and dresses up the top of the dashboard. The black dials for the speedometer and rev counter use the same regal typeface as their Rolls-Royce relatives.
Mini notes in a statement that there are also "high-class" aluminum badges stamped with "Mini Inspired by Goodwood" above the front wheel arches and on the door sills (although the Old Money would never advertise that they are "high-class.") When it comes to money and manners, the Debrett's etiquette guide addresses this in a flawlessly British way and provides some insight on the wisdom of showing off your wealth — whether you're driving a Mini or a Rolls-Royce. Debrett's characterizes showing off as "bragging" and a "transparent, primitive bid for supremacy."
"We still live in a world of economic imbalance," says Debrett's etiquette guide under Money. "There will always be Joneses to keep up with. So is it not a better, friendlier approach to keep inequality as under wraps as possible?"
Standard equipment includes xenon adaptive headlights, park distance control, automatic air-conditioning, an onboard computer and an audio system with a Harman Kardon "hi-fi" speaker system.
The Mini Inspired by Goodwood gets the turbocharged 181-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine found in the 2011 Mini Cooper S. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic transmission is optional.
Edmunds.com says: Warning: This charm-school Mini is not for the unwashed masses. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent