MINI of Chicago: The Largest MINI Goodwood Dealer in the World

As a name, MINI Inspired by Goodwood is a mouthful. MINI couldn’t use the term Rolls Royce or even reference the storied brand. So instead they simply referenced the place all Rolls are made – Goodwood England. And it’s a shame because the Goodwood is nothing less than jaw-dropping once you open the door and your senses fully experience the car. The only problem? They’re relatively rare with many dealers not even getting more than one (if any). However MotoringFile sponsors MINI of Chicago not only has one or two but eight of the ultimate MINIs. Currently the dealer has delivered four and have another four in the showroom (all priced only $1,000 over invoice to celebrate the store’s one year anniversary). So with all the opulence just a few miles away from MF HQ, we thought it was worth a trip down the street to go check them out.

The first question we had of the MINI of Chicago Motoring Advisors; who’s buying the car? With the dealership being located in the posh Lincoln Park neighborhood just north of Chicago, there’s no shortage of upwardly mobile potential buyers. And apparently the buyers thus far have ranged from young professionals (who just want something special to drive around town) to well off stay at home moms. Either way it’s the car is a conversation piece for owners thus far.

It’s also quite subtle from the outside. The Goodwood doesn’t have a defining exterior characteristic like the JCW brand or other limited edition MINIs. In fact from a distance, it just looks like a very well specced dark colored MINI Cooper. And that’s completely by design.

Designers at Rolls Royce didn’t want to create a car that was an extrovert. As is their philosophy, they simply wanted to created understated elegance that led into a rich and sumptuous driver environment. For a MINI owners used to seeing Union Jacks decals and white wheels, it’s a foreign idea. But for the Roll Royce owner (or anyone with a similar mind-set) the exterior is for the world, the interior is for them.

And what a world awaits you when you open the door. With four in the showroom at MINI of Chicago, it was hard to not comb every inch of the interior. The leather (which covers almost everything), isn’t what we know from the rest of the automotive world. Where almost all cars use leather with printed patterns on them to hide the mediocre quality of the hide, Rolls Royce uses hides that are carefully prepared to ensure consistency of color throughout. Every millimeter is inspected by eye to make sure there are no imperfections. Additionally the leather is pre-shrunk and specially dyed so that it won’t squeak or crack with age.

Then there’s the carpeting which will likely be one of the softest and most luxurious things you’ll ever lay your hands on. One change (welcome in my eyes) to the interior was the change from plush carpet matt in the boot to a thick and long-lasting leather matt.

Yes $52,000 is a lot of money for a MINI. But when you see it up-close, you start to understand the truly bespoke nature of this car.

And at the moment, MINI of Chicago is the king of the Goodwood MINI. With four in the showroom you can easily compare and contrast the two colors available, Rolls Diamond Black or MINI’s Reef Blue (the only options on the car). Who knows, they may actually start to make sense once the scent of leather hits your nose.

  • RJ

    The picture at the top right – what is that? Rear seat cushion?

    • r_k_w

      I believe that’s the leather boot mat.

  • RJ

    Ahhh..found the answer..boot mat….

    • A sumptuous thick leather boot matte. My favorite part was the warning card placed in the thick wool matt that says dry-clean only.

  • Chris Underwood

    Step 1: Hit really large lotto jackpot Step 2: Buy this thing Step 3: Cover impractical leather boot floor with rubber, get some Union Jack mirror caps, add “Die Yuppie Scum” sticker to back window.

  • Where any vehicles standard shifts?

  • RJ

    Any idea if the Goodwood continues on into the next generation of MINI, or is it a one-and-done idea?

    • If it comes back I wouldn’t look for it until the end of the F56 model run – sometime near the end of the decade.

  • piperbud

    The Goodwood would make a good number to stow away along with your rare vintage wine collection then in ten years ship it to Bonhams and collect your appreciation reward for patience.

  • I’ve got one in my showroom. Absolutely stunning! Every ince of the interior is either Leather, Cashmere, Lambswool or Hand-Polished Wood! Just waiting for the right person to come by and buy it.

  • SFRedMcc

    I wonder why they didn’t add the “black headlight housings”. Were they available when these were built?

  • We had two at our dealership, a man with two other MINIs bought our first one. The second is in our display area. They’re gorgeous cars, I would LOVE to own one if I could afford it…. and if they were manual. I DO believe they sell them in a manual transmission, but they’re extremely rare.

  • les

    I really like this car. Maybe I’ll pick one up in 3 years when the value of the car has dropped.


    Great car but we pay $81,000 for them in Australia. We are only getting 10 in Australia and I have 1 of the 10.

  • Ike

    They’re advertising it at 4k off msrp on the dealership website… Guess 8 was too many for any market.

    I feel bad for the few guys that spent 5k more than they had to.