Bulgarian customization studio Vilner is raising eyebrows and turning heads with its latest project: a special edition MINI Cooper S that’s inspired not just by MINI’s own luxurious ‘Inspired by Goodwood’ edition but also by Bentley, the epitome of British luxury. Vilner has taken the challenge of transforming what some critics call the “plastic” experience of the MINI Cooper S into something that rivals high-end luxury vehicles.
Breaking the mold, Vilner didn’t mince words when talking about the standard MINI Cooper S. “Anyone who has driven a Mini knows that the interior of this roofed cart is too plastic for an exceptional car,” stated Vilner. The studio aimed to prove that “the Mini’s plastic crate may turn into a really luxurious salon.”
While Vilner is still keeping the cost of its customisation package under wraps, the transformation of the MINI is undeniable and is expected to command a steep price, possibly close to the $77,500 sticker on the MINI ‘Inspired by Goodwood’ edition.
For the interior, the focus was entirely on opulence. Brown Nappa leather, the same type used in modern Bentleys, is wrapped around the seats and extends to the door panels, infusing the cabin with that characteristic Bentley aroma. In addition to leather, two tones of Alcantara grace the cabin, including the headliner and center console. Notably, the Bentley rhomb pattern is faithfully replicated across the seats and ceiling liner, enhancing the cabin’s posh atmosphere. Even the rearview mirror is lavished with a leather and Alcantara finish, leaving no stone unturned in the quest for luxury.
The remaining plastic elements haven’t been ignored either. These sections have been refinished with a sparkling grey coat, giving them a more premium feel.
If the interior whispers luxury, the exterior shouts ‘attitude.’ Vilner decided to go against the grain, eschewing the Cooper S’s usual chrome elements for matte black, offering what it describes as a more “hooligan” appearance. The roof, racing lines, and the ’01’ numbering on the doors are also covered in this audacious matte black finish.
But the audacity doesn’t stop there. Following the launch of the MINI Cooper S ‘Inspired by Goodwood’ at the Auto Show in Shanghai, Vilner unveiled another special edition called “The Italian Job.” This version takes the exterior boldness up another notch with matte gray wrap accented by two black racing stripes extending to the hood. The car also features a set of robust 18-inch black wheels, completing the aggressive look.
This special project by Vilner is undoubtedly a tribute to multiple British motoring icons, bringing together elements from MINI, Rolls-Royce (through the ‘Inspired by Goodwood’ model), and Bentley. It shows how a daring vision can successfully meld contrasting design philosophies – the quirky sportiness of a MINI with the grandeur of a Bentley.
Both editions, whether it’s the Bentley-inspired transformation or “The Italian Job,” represent Vilner’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of automotive customization. Each offers an exciting blend of style, audacity, and luxury, serving as prime examples of how even small cars can make a big statement. .
While the ‘Inspired by Goodwood’ edition gave us a glimpse of what a luxurious MINI could look like, Vilner’s interpretations present an even more lavish possibility for the car, especially for those willing to pay the price for such opulence. It will be interesting to see how these special editions influence future MINI designs and whether they encourage other customizers to rethink what’s possible with this iconic compact car. Be sure to check our list of the most beautiful cars in the world.