Monday, May 30, 2011

The Mini Cooper That Costs As Much As A Porsche


How much are Rolls-Royce-caliber leather and woodwork worth if they’re in, say, a Mini Cooper?

About $67,000, if the Mini Cooper Inspired By Goodwood is any indication. That’s how much the Rolls-Royce-esque coupe costs under current exchange rates from its European price of 46,900 euros–just about the same as the Porsche Cayman R ($66,300) and Cayenne S Hybrid ($67,700).

The car is a limited-production model meant to combine the rally-car heritage of the Mini with the workmanship of Rolls-Royce. One thousand of them will be made in Mini’s Oxford plant (not, ironically, in Goodwood).

Mini Inspired By Goodwood certainly is plush, if not quite as roomy as a Ghost: The dash, console, carpeting and seats are clad in the exclusively Rolls-Royce “cornsilk” tone (beige, in common parlance); the door handles and control panels are cased in walnut burr, a finish also exclusive to Rolls-Royce.

The car itself is based primarily on the Mini Cooper S, with similar front and rear styling and the l.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that debuted in the 2011 Mini S. (The engine gets 181 hp and up to 192 ft-lbs of torque, with a zero-to-60 mph sprint of 6.6 seconds.) Fuel economy ratings are 35 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in the city under the manual transmission variant. A six-speed automatic is also available.

Inspired By Goodwood comes painted in Rolls-Royce Diamond Black metallic with 17-inch light alloy wheels in an ever-so-posh multi-spoke design. Aluminum badges stamped “MINI INSPIRED BY GOODWOOD” and “One of 1000,” flank various points on the car.

It’s a lot of luxury for one little car, as the price reflects. But by the time this Mini hits U.S. shores, its sticker will likely have been adjusted to be slightly more palatable for American buyers.

Deliveries start in Europe in March 2012.