Mini has never built anything aside from countless iterations of the Cooper , but that could change over the next couple of years if the BMW board approves production of the Superleggera Vision Concept .
Showcased with great success at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este , the lightweight roadster was created in cooperation with Italian design house Touring Superleggera and a production version may arrive just in time to drag Mini out of its decade-long design hole.
Of course, the study borrows a few cues from the 2014 Cooper design language, but the overall approach is entirely different, with a new feel attached to it. It’s no longer feeding on the classic Mini , but relying on the same British heritage that spawned sports cars such as the Jaguar F-Type . The rear body fin, the low-cut windshield are there to tell us about a classic, sporty Mini that never existed.
Will these cool features make production? Probably not. But this concept car has huge potential and Mini has all the necessary instruments to take on a brand-new market. Because of its coolness and the possibility of production, we created a rendering of what we think this car may look like if it hits dealerships (above).
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mini Superleggera.
*Note: Above image is a TopSpeed rendering, not the actual Mini Superleggera.
We expect a number of details to change once the Superleggera hits the production line and a rendering is the best way to underline them. The futuristic headlamps, the front grille, the windshield and the rear fin are the first things that are likely to be replaced. The lights and the grille will be ditched in favor of production units, most likely sourced from the 2014 Mini Cooper . The low windshield will be replaced by a taller one, while the rear fin will disappear altogether, leaving the trunk lid completely flat.
Additionally, the doors will gain proper handles, the front bumper will be fitted with fog lamps, while a standard fuel cap will show up on the left rear fender. Our rendering also comes with a more common, black interior and panel gaps for both the front and rear bumpers.
When it comes to sports roadsters, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is the first vehicle you need to look upon. It’s appealing by design, it’s nimble and, more importantly, it’s quite affordable. Sure, the current-generation has been around for nearly 10 years, which means old by today’s standards, but a brand-new model is expected to arrive next year.
Until that happens, the model 2.0-liter four-pot with 167 horsepower on tap — 158 horsepower with the automatic transmission. The 2014 Miata is priced from $23,720, making it nearly $2,000 cheaper than the current Mini Roadster . However, the 25th Anniversary Edition Miata — a special edition to commemorate the final iteration of the NC model — fetches more than $32,205, and has modified engine internals, special badges and a exclusive color scheme. We expect the next-generation Miata to be cheaper than the Mini Superleggera.