13 April 2011

MINI Roller

This is no ordinary MINI. This limited edition model launched at this year's Shanghai Motor Show. This one-off MINI has the Spirit of Ecstasy that commands a fat signature from your chequebook...

ROLLS-ROYCE are going to be making (sorry coach-building) a limited run of 1000 MINIs. Take a standard MINI, have them re-upholstered and re-trimmed with hand stitched leather. Then a slab of wood on the dashboard; new dials, thick carpets and (possibly) picnic tables, etc. From the headliner to the floor, a luxury interior with the finest materials. Courtesy of Rolls-Royce.

Besides the internal treatments, the MINI RR is based on the Cooper S model. With the bodykit and alloy fuel cap giving that away. Some may notice that the air scoop on the bonnet is absent, to give the MINI Roller a smoother and understated look. Another is the rather snazzy multi-spoke wheels. To the Rolls-Royce gospel, air scoops or anything remotely "sporty" is strictly forbidden.

Being based on the Cooper S, the MINI Roller will be powered by the standard 1.6 litre turbocharged engine. Producing 181bhp and gets it to 60mph in an eye-watering 7 seconds and then goes all the way to 142mph. It will be shifted with a six-speed manual gearbox. "Hang on! You shouldn't change gear in a luxury car?" Quite right as the MINI Rolls will also be available with a six-speed automatic, which comes at an extra cost.

So how much is this luxury MINI going to set you back? Well, it won't come cheap that's for sure. Standard MINIs are already expensive enough as it is for a small car. With the huge demand for the standard cars as well. No question that there will be for this limited edition MINI Rolls-Royce. I won't  batter an eye-lid if they're already sold out. Especially as there's only going to be only 1000 MINI Rollers made - sorry coach built.

Be prepared to be gob smacked as this MINI Roller will cost you a staggering £50,000! Yes, you read right there! 50,000 notes will get you this one-off MINI. Granted you may possibly get Rolls-Royce levels of comfort and refinement. You won't get the space or the legroom that you'll get in a Roller. You won't get the running costs of one either. At the end of the day, this MINI is ludicrously expensive for what it is - even if it is an exclusive model.

If you have £50,000 in your wallet for a car. You can get yourself a brand-new mid or high spec executive saloon like a Jaguar XF or a Mercedes E-Class. That will be £50k well spent as they have decent levels of space, luxury and refinement. Trust me on this, it will be and you won't regret that. Not only that, they're faster too and just as economical as the MINI with a diesel engine. In short, they're much better all-round cars.

And I thought the Aston Martin Cygnet was shocking for being an over-priced Toyota iQ. A MINI Rolls-Royce is just as bad - if not worse. What's next? Smart Maybach? Bentley Polo?

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