Mini Superleggera Could Still Make it to Production
Though it has been a slow process, Mini is still considering developing a production version of the Superleggera Roadster, according to a new report.
The roadster, which the 2014 Mini Superleggera Vision previewed, has been a bit on and off as of late, but this report indicates that the automaker is still trying to build a business case for the niche roadster. According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, head of the Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorcycle brands, “...the interest was tremendous when we showed this concept car. I think also the technological part is extremely interesting because we are working on electrification for Mini.”
Though there is still plenty of interest, Schwarzenbauer made it clear that a decision on its production future is still up in the air because it is “an economically challenging project.” This comes as no surprise, as the Superleggera is nothing like its potential siblings, despite sharing a basic design language. Whereas other Mini models are gasoline powered and have a squashed-hatchback look, the Superleggera is slated to have an electric powertrain and proportions that no Mini before it has had.
So for now we just wait and see if Mini and BMW can come up with a good reason to build this tiny sports car. If it did make its way to the production line, initial estimates put it at around €35,000 ($39,375 as of 2015). At this price point, it could give higher-end Miata shoppers something to think about, particularly those who prefer alternative fuels.
With more than a year in the books since the concept debuted, look for Mini to make a decision soon or risk losing momentum.
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Why it matters
Mini needs something to give its lineup a little flavor, as it is starting to become a little stale. Even with a redesigned Cooper and the new Countryman, the lineup still feels like more of the same old stuff. Adding a true roadster to the lineup, particularly one with a new look and an electric powertrain, could be huge for the brand. Even if Mini were to drop the electric powertrain and install a powerful, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, this would still be a huge step in the right direction.
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Source: Automotive News