If anything is ever going to convince you that the Mini brand no longer represents cheap transport for the masses, this is it.
The Mini Inspired by Goodwood is the most luxurious special-edition model the company has ever launched - and with total production of only 1000 examples, of which exactly 10 are coming to South Africa, it's arguably the most exclusive as well. At R511 592 it's certainly the most expensive.
So what makes a 1600cc hatchback worth half a bar?
In this case, it's the trim, designed by sister company Rolls-Royce and executed in the finest materials available, to Rolls-Royce standards of fit and finish, to create a very different small car.
The dashboard, centre console, air vents, carpets, heated lounge-leather seats, roof lining, doors and interior cladding are all finished in a very pale beige that Roll-Royce call “cornsilk”, while the fascia and door-handle surfaces are trimmed with burr walnut veneer at the Rolls-Royce works in Goodwood .
DEEP-PILE LAMBSWOOL CARPETS
The roof linings, sun visors and rear storage tray are finished in pale tan cashmere, and there are deep-pile lambswool carpets (own does not insult such luxurious floor coverings by refering to them as 'mats') under foot.
The body is finished in one of two special Rolls-Royce colours - metallic black or metallic blue, with special 17” multi-spoked alloy rims.
Standard kit includes xenon adaptive headlights, parking sensors, automatic aircon, trip data computer, satnav and Visual Boost audio feeding into a Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system.
Power comes from a standard 135kW Mini Cooper S engine with twin-scroll turbocharger, direct petrol-injection and variable valve control - nothing unusual there - and the Mini Inspired by Goodwod comes with Mini's usual two-year, unlimited distance warranty and three-year or 75 000km service plan.