Call it the cocktail of British motoring. The Mini Inspired by Goodwood (yes, that is the car’s full name, though I’ll be calling it Mini Goodwood henceforth) puts Rolls-Royce luxury in a Cooper body with BMW engineering under the hood.
If you’re a fan of Rolls-Royce, you’ll know that Goodwood has been their headquarters ever since BMW acquired the marque and bought the land in West Sussex from the Earl of March (while the UK still attempts a charming impression of the Chivalric Age). The result is the swankiest Mini ever produced — or the world’s smallest Rolls. Either way, it’s a treat.
I put the Mini Goodwood through its paces this past weekend, starting by rocketing down the 404 from Richmond Hill to downtown Toronto. You might hardly associate the diminutive car with highway driving, but that isn’t the case. After all, it’s turbocharged.
The turbo spools up quickly, generating effortless acceleration. Hit the “Sport Mode” button and the already nimble Mini Goodwood becomes even twitchier, easily flitting between lanes. Bigger cars on the road (i.e. almost every car on the road) are much less intimidating in the rear view.
Of course, the Mini Goodwood is built for city driving, especially a city like Toronto. Weaving amongst cars parked in the right lane and hapless drivers idling in the left, the city’s many narrow streets and tangle of one-ways make an ideal testing environment.
If Mini provides the driving, then Goodwood brings the gravitas. The interior is elegantly designed. Dashboard and door handle surfaces are finished in walnut, the roof is lined in cashmere, the floor mats are deep-pile lambswool, and everything else is wrapped in leather.
BMW is producing exactly 1,000 Mini Goodwoods; about 200 are destined for Canada. It’s the perfect car for the well-heeled man about town who finds a regular Rolls just a bit too large for his taste.
Mini Inspired by Goodwood
Starting at $56,200
Photography by Ran Della Stua