Reports have been emerging saying that the German carmaker BMW is seriously contemplating a new extremely high-end Mini that will be re-trimmed by the Goodwood facility of Rolls-Royce. Further reports say that the project is about to be approved. The planned Rolls-Royce-trimmed Mini is not a one-off but a recent test car designed to be an established premium custom variant of the Mini.
Customers will be provided an opportunity to select their own interior trim and dashboard elements inside the Rolls Royce factory after which they can receive the completed customized car. The planned high-end Mini demonstrates further that the German carmaker is motivated by the original Mini in its aim to expand the Mini brand.
In the early 60s, Mini Coopers with redesigned interiors and very high standards of trim became widely accepted and were owned by celebrities of the highest caliber such as all four of the Beatles. Automotive history states that the popularity of the first high-end coachbuilt Mini was ordered in 1963 by Peter Sellers.
The cost of the Mini was €2600 while the standard cooper was only €679. The Mini of Seller was follow swiftly by the same offering from Harold Radford dubbed the Mini de Ville and came with three specs levels and all variants came with fresh instrument packages, wooden dashboards, Rolls-Royce-style seats and new headlights. Beginning in 1965 the de Ville was offered in hatchback configuration with foldable rear seating.
Ringo Starr owned one example of this. Wood and Picket, both coachbuilders, created a high-spec Mini in the same vein. Mini top execs see that Minis with the interior of larger cars has made a comeback due to the ongoing trend at downsizing particularly for well heeled urban users.