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2014 Mini Superleggera Vision

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Mini has always been one to adhere to the saying "thinking outside the box" and that was no more evident than its a recent collaboration with Italian design house Touring Superleggera to create an open-top, two-seater concept called the Superleggera Vision.

The concept made its debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 over the weekend, catching more than just the interest of those who attended the event.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the design of the Superleggera Vision because it’s been a while since Mini has a vehicle that looks as sporty and as athletic as this one. (Apologies to the current Mini Roadster, but you’re still a roofless Cooper at best).

But the Superleggera Vision is far from a disguised Cooper. Other than those headlights and the new grill on the new Cooper, this concept has its own retro-styled look and is as dynamic a Mini as there’s been in recent years.

Hopefully, this isn’t the last we see of the Mini Superleggera Vision. If we had our way, this would be in line for production in the next few years. But even if we don’t get to make that kind of decision, we’re confident that Mini will hear the public calls and consider it anyway.

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

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Mini Superleggera Roadster Will Compete With The MX-5

Mini Superleggera Roadster Will Compete With The MX-5

Even as Mini cleans house in an attempt to consolidate its product offerings, it looks like the 2014 Mini Superleggera roadster concept that was revealed last year in Italy made enough of a splash to justify the creation of a production version. The new model will reportedly see a launch in 2019 and will be a direct competitor with the venerable Mazda MX-5.

Mini’s boss, Peter Schwarzenbauer, recently told the U.K. publication Autocar that interest in the concept was so high, the idea of making a production version quickly accumulated widespread popularity throughout the company. Schwarzenbauer added that the new roadster was still “economically challenging” and that it was not 100 percent confirmed, but a lot of folks were pushing for its creation, including himself. “I think it would be extremely good for the brand,” he said.

The new car will be part of a future lineup of five individual Minis as a separate derivative of the Cabriolet model.

The new roadster would reportedly be built on the BMW-derived short-wheelbase UKL platform, which is also seen underpinning the current Mini hatchback. The platform would work particularly well for a car like the Supperleggera given its high rigidity and low weight. 

Rather than being a replacement for the older, recently axed 2014 Mini Roadster, the new Superleggera will be much more focused, with Schwarzenbauer calling it a “serious sports car.”

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Mini Superleggera Could Still Make it to Production

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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Mini Superleggera Vision Should Arrive in 2018

Mini Superleggera Vision Should Arrive in 2018

Mini is planning to release a lightweight roadster based on the Supperleggera Vision concept first unveiled last year at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este last year. UK-based publication CAR recently broke the news, garnered from unidentified sources, stating the new two-door drop-top has received the go-ahead for production sometime in early 2018. 

This coincides with a much-needed refresh which sees Mini reducing its lineup to five core models, eschewing the previous broad niche focus going into a third generation. The new-gen stable is expected to include a three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback, the Countryman, the Clubman, and now, a superleggera two-seater.

The Paceman, Coupe and Roadster are all expected to get the axe. 

While the concept vehicle originally came equipped with a hybrid AWD driveline featuring an electric motor driving the front wheels and a gas-powered engine driving the rear wheels, CAR says the production version will most likely be fitted with an assortment of three- and four-cylinder powerplants, including a top-range, 189-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo stuffed into a Superleggera Cooper S. 

Mini has been dragging its feet when it comes to updating its lineup, and if CAR’s inside sources turn out to be correct, a superleggera Mini will be most welcome indeed. “Despite certain type approval-related modifications, the production version is said to retain the character and charisma of the 2014 concept car,” CAR says.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mini Superleggera Vision.

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

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

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.

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2016 Mini Superleggera

2016 Mini Superleggera

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.

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2014 Mini Superleggera Vision

2014 Mini Superleggera Vision

Mini has always been one to adhere to the saying "thinking outside the box" and that was no more evident than its a recent collaboration with Italian design house Touring Superleggera to create an open-top, two-seater concept called the Superleggera Vision.

The concept made its debut at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014 over the weekend, catching more than just the interest of those who attended the event.

It’s hard not to get caught up in the design of the Superleggera Vision because it’s been a while since Mini has a vehicle that looks as sporty and as athletic as this one. (Apologies to the current Mini Roadster, but you’re still a roofless Cooper at best).

But the Superleggera Vision is far from a disguised Cooper. Other than those headlights and the new grill on the new Cooper, this concept has its own retro-styled look and is as dynamic a Mini as there’s been in recent years.

Hopefully, this isn’t the last we see of the Mini Superleggera Vision. If we had our way, this would be in line for production in the next few years. But even if we don’t get to make that kind of decision, we’re confident that Mini will hear the public calls and consider it anyway.

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

Read more