Special Minis capture London styleComment on this story
Let's face it, there's only one way to sell a B-segment car with a C-segment price tag - it has to be cute, it has to be fashionable and it has to be fresh.
Which is why BMW has become an expert at re-inventing the Mini, with a succession of new models - the Countryman, Coupé and Roadster being the most recent - and an even more varied string of specially-themed trim packages, some of which have been very clever, others painfully pretentious.
Given the Mini's English roots, we were expecting a really sporty version (perhaps upholstered in tracksuit material?) to take advantage of the hype around this year's London Olympics.
But BMW has caught us out with a couple of classy special-trim packages celebrating two of London's parks, those quiet green oases that define the lifestyle of the English capital, as much as do the Tower and the Thames.
Just as Paris would not be Paris without the Jardin du Tuileries, London would not be the same without Hyde Park and Green Park.
Hyde Park spans 140 hectares and is famous for its Speakers' Corner on the north-eastern side. The park is a green haven right in the centre of London, between the shopping hot spots of Kensington and Oxford Street.
It's also the starting point for the annual London-Brighton Run for veteran cars and this year it will host the Olympic triathlon and marathon swimming events.
The Mini Hyde Park captures the unobtrusive elegance of fashionable London in white with chocolate brown roof and side mirrors - a combination that's never been offered before - with smartly tailored matching stripes on the bonnets and sides, and white indicator lenses.
Inside, the hard surfaces are finished in white, with the seats trimmed in either a leather/cloth combination or all leather. The standard upholstery colours are black or beige with a two-tone, black and beige leather-trimmed dashboard, but the full range of Mini upholstery and Colour Line options are available to order.
Green Park is a 19-hectare recreational area near Buckingham Palace, and forms a key element of the city's green belt, linking Hyde Park to St James' Park and making possible a four-kilometre walk through the Royal Parks, from Kensington Palace in the west to Downing Street in the east.
The Mini Green Park reflects the English sporting tradition with British Racing Green roof and side mirrors, bonnet and side stripes, over a clean white base colour with white indicator lenses.
As with the Hyde Park, the standard interior is predominantly black and beige, with hard surfaces in white but, once again, the full spectrum of Mini trim options are available to order.
The Mini Hyde Park and Green Park trim packages will be available in South Africa from the last quarter of 2012 in either standard or Clubman format with either 90kW Cooper or 135kW Cooper S power. A six-speed manual 'box will be standard issue, with a six-speed auto available to order.
How much extra they will cost will be confirmed closer to the time.