Friday, August 19, 2011

The $52,000.00 MINI

$52,000.00.  Let that soak in for minute.

The folks at MINI have introduced something they are calling MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD. This particular MINI is being massaged by the craftspeople of Rolls-Royce with luxuries such as burr walnut accents, lambswool carpets and cashmere headliner. Rolls and MINI are both owned by BMW and the inspiration for the cross-pollination may come from the classic "booted" Minis of the 1960's  - the Riley Elf and Wosleley Hornet.

While I've giggled at Aston Martin's tarted up Toyota IQ, this one has me scratching my head. Here is the MINI press release for your perusal:

MINI fans in the US will have their first chance to see two exciting and very different, new MINI vehicles at the world-famous Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California this week. Both vehicles can be found at the MINI Display, located at the intersection of Pedestrian Walkway and 17-Mile Drive.

The MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD is an exclusive special edition of the MINI Hardtop which has been produced in close collaboration with the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars design team, and it will be displayed alongside the new two-seater MINI Coupe which will also be shown publicly in the USA for the first time.
Your butt could be here for just 52 large

MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD adds another layer to the MINI brand experience, bringing a generous measure of automotive luxury and exclusivity in its highest form. It will be priced at $52,000 (including $700 D&H), when advanced orders begin later this month.

Working with the development center of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, England, MINI has produced a limited-run special edition MINI, whose exterior and interior design is complemented by fine materials and the British luxury car marque’s commitment to flawless workmanship.

It will be produced in a limited edition of 1,000 units – 140 of which will be available to US customers – and combines typical MINI driving fun with the same discerning craftsmanship, select materials, styling and all-round ‘typical British understatement’ that are hallmarks of the world’s leading producer of luxury automobiles.

Deliveries of the 2012 model year vehicle, which will be launched as part of the exclusive ‘MINI Yours’ range of special edition vehicles and options, are scheduled to start in the second quarter of 2012.

Two of the most striking features of the exterior design are the body finish in the exclusive Rolls-Royce color of Diamond Black metallic and 17-inch light alloy wheels sporting a multi-spoke design. Alternatively, the MINI color Reef Blue metallic can be specified.
A Cooper S engine and no faux bonnet scoop
 Inside, the dashboard (including the surrounds of the central instrument and the air vents), the center console, carpet surfaces, the Lounge leather seats, the roof lining as well as the door, side and body pillar cladding boast the exclusive Rolls-Royce color Cornsilk, a warm and natural shade of beige. Only the upper section of the instrument panel is in black.

In terms of Rolls-Royce materials in the MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD, the interior includes seats covered in Lounge leather, Lambswool floor mats, a cashmere headliner, fascia and front door grab handles in burr walnut veneer and a sports steering wheel with Walknappa leather and Piano Black controls.

Each MINI Inspired by Goodwood is powered by the turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that was featured for the first time in the 2011 MINI Cooper S. This engine includes a Twin Scroll turbocharger, direct injection and variable valve control and generates 181 hp, so the sprint from 0 to 60 mph is completed in 6.6 seconds. A choice of either six-speed manual and automatic transmissions will be offered

Now, will MINI return the favor to Rolls? Will we see a Ghost with a white roof, dinner plate-sized speedo and supple vinyl seating? Stay tuned. 

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