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Auto Show:  2011 Shanghai Auto Show

Mini's Goodwood Rolls Out The Luxury - Shanghai Auto Show

April 18, 2011

In a bow to the health of the Chinese economy, BMW's Mini chose Auto Shanghai to unveil its latest derivative of the Mini Cooper S, the Mini Inspired by Goodwood. And if that appellation would seem a bit of a mouthful, wait until you read its full menu of upscale adds.

With Rolls-Royce as a corporate partner (both Mini and Rolls-Royce are owned by BMW), it seemed only natural to tap into Rolls' design capabilities when dressing a new Mini interior. And dressing – or 'tarting' – a Mini is certainly not a new phenomenon. At the dawn of the first Mini, London's movers and shakers were all about the Mini's compact size and kart-like handling, but really wanted an environment a titch 'nicer' as they moved and shook around England's capital. To that end, many utilized the services of Great Britain's coachbuilding community for special paint and upholstery, bringing a touch of luxury to their otherwise hum-drum commutes.

With the Mini inspired by Goodwood (so named for the ancestral home of Rolls-Royce), Mini has done the above mods for them. Rolls craftsmen have trimmed the Mini's cabin in Cornsilk leather, Walnut Burr wood trim (a very good wood), Nappa leather covering the upper dash, and Rolls' extra-thick pile carpeting. Outside, Rolls' own Diamond Black Metallic communicates to your valet where it should be parked – so you don't have to. And since that valet won't have a clue as to its price point (reportedly right at $70,000 USD), you can tip your typical $2, regardless.

Under the hood, the Mini Inspired by Goodwood soldiers on with the same 1.6 liter turbo four which rallied a nation. Alloys – 17-inchers – unique to the Goodwood deliver that power to the ground, while special badging communicates to the world (or at least the financial community) your good taste. And with a reported MSRP equivalent to two of the more 'cooking' Coopers, you'll (probably) have already spoken to the financial community – on a bent knee.

This, of course, is but one of several shots taken at the upper social strata by an automotive community of one-time upstarts. Fiat introduced a Ferrari edition Abarth, and Aston Martin is about to launch a Toyota-based Cygnet. Regrettably, with the Goodwood scheduled for its launch in mid-2012, no examples will be on hand for this month's Royal Wedding. A pity, really…

DAVID BOLDT began his automotive career in BMW and Saab showrooms in the 1980s, and he moved to automotive journalism in 1993. David has written for a variety of regional and national publications, and prior to joining AutoTrader, he managed media relations for a Japanese OEM.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Mini's Goodwood Rolls Out The Luxury - Shanghai Auto Show - Autotrader