• Patent Images of a Production-Ready Mini Superleggera Roadster Hits the Internet

    Remember the Superleggera concept from Mini? Well, some rather production-ready patent images have made their way onto the Internet, making us believe that a prodution model is in the works.

Mini’s decision to scrap the Coupe and Roadster models was initially believed to be part of a plan to clean up the clutter of its model lineup. Well, now it looks like the German automaker had other reasons in taking those steps. Maybe it was being a little sneaky and doing a little addition by subtraction, eliminating the Coupe and Roadster to give way to the production version of the Superleggera Concept.

The emergence of patent renderings of a car that is nearly identical to the Superleggera adds some weight to rumors that Mini’s giving the green light to build a halo model for the brand. Granted, Mini has yet to confirm any plans to build a production version of the Superleggera, but these renderings are good indications that the German automaker may be going down that road.

The styling of the production model is largely similar to the concept, albeit with a few modifications like the elimination of the rally-style lamps integrated into the concept’s grille. The images also show a secured windshield and nothing like the flimsy interpretation on the concept. The mirror arms are also shorter and thicker, something most production Minis have in their design profiles. On the flip-side, the renderings also show some design elements that were clearly taken from the concept including the extractor vents on the hood, the fin in the center of the trunk lid, and the taillight design that’s actually a clever homage to the Union Jack.

A production model of the Superleggera is also likely to carry a standard engine in place of the electric powertrain fitted into the concept version. It’s unclear what kind of powertrain Mini plans on using on a potential production version of the Superleggera but my best guess includes the same three- and four-cylinder engines that are currently used by Mini models. We’re also not shutting down the possibility of a range-topping John Cooper Works version for the car that will carry the same 2.0-liter engine as the new JCW model.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Superleggera Vision Concept.

Why it matters

Mini made a good move when it decided to drop the Coupe and Roadster to declutter its lineup. It just had too many of the same thing and customers have become sophisticated enough to know when a company is trying to offer two models whose only difference lies in their respective badges.

But a production version of the Superleggera is an entirely different thing. If the concept version is any indication, this vehicle will be built as a sports car, something we all didn’t think Mini wanted to get itself into. Such a car would not only create buzz for Mini — something we know it loves — but it would also vault to the top as the company’s halo model that could legitimately compete against a legend like the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

That’s unchartered territory for Mini and quite frankly, we’re excited to see if the German automaker decides to produce it. Bring on the Superleggera, Mini!

2014 Mini Superleggera Vision Concept

2014 Mini Superleggera Vision High Resolution Exterior
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The Mini Superleggera Vision Concept was introduced at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in May 2014, much to the surprise of a lot of people. It wasn’t that people were shocked that Mini could produce such a dynamic car; people were shocked because Mini actually did it.

For some people, the Superleggera Vision Concept, or a potential production unit based on the concept, was the one car that Mini had to build. With so many of its existing models looking hilariously similar to one another, a production version of the Superleggera would be a break from the norm of Coopers, Coopers, and more Coopers.

Mini has yet to divulge the specific performance numbers of the Superleggera Concept’s electric powertrain, but it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, as long as the rumored production model comes to life.

Source: De Telegraaf

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