Mini Superleggera Gets 2018 Production Nod to Be One of Brand's Superheroes

Ronnie Schreiber
by Ronnie Schreiber

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The UK’s CAR magazine is reporting that the Mini Superleggera roadster, first shown as a concept at last year’s Villa d’Este concours in Italy, has been given the go-ahead for production by BMW management, slated to begin in early 2018. The news isn’t much of a surprise. The concept car was a joint project of BMW and the Touring Superleggera design and coachbuilding firm. When it was introduced, BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer, who is in charge of Mini, Rolls-Royce and BMW motorcycles, indicated that the Mini marque, seen by some as carrying brand extension to the point diminishing returns with their proliferation of niche vehicles, would instead be concentrating on a handful of what he called “super heroes” and that the Superleggera had the potential to be one of those models going forward.

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Schwarzenbauer’s remarks were followed by design patent applications that indicated that while the concept’s spare, aluminum interior, and frameless speedster glass wouldn’t make it to production, most of the concept’s styling features, including the Union Jack shaped taillights and the ’50s looking fin, will.

Original BMW sketches

While the concept featured a through-the-road plug-in hybrid all-wheel-drive system with an electric motor driving the front wheels and an ICE powering the rears, the production version will be based on the BMW corporate platform for small FWD and AWD cars and be powered by three and four cylinder combustion engines.

Patent drawings revealed in December

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

Ronnie Schreiber
Ronnie Schreiber

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, the original 3D car site.

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2 of 15 comments
  • Tstag Tstag on Mar 18, 2015

    BMW are making a mistake here. Had they branded this as a Triumph then could have spawned an entirely new range of premium models to sit above Mini. I for one wouldn't buy a BMW but a new Triumph 2000 with Mini charm? Why not....

  • ...m... ...m... on Mar 19, 2015

    ...if mini's superleggera indeed makes it into production, i'd love to read a head-to-head comparison against lotus' old elan m100: this could be the yang to mazda's yin...

  • Mike Evs do suck, though. I mean, they really do.
  • Steve Biro I don’t care what brand but it needs to be a compact two-door with an ICE, traditional parallel hybrid or both. A manual transmission option would be nice but I don’t expect it - especially with a hybrid. Don’t show me an EV.
  • ToolGuy Lose a couple of cylinders, put the rest in a straight line and add a couple of turbos. Trust me.
  • ToolGuy Got no money for the Tasman, it is going to the Taxman. 🙁
  • ToolGuy They should have hired some Ford Motor Company employees. No, I'm kidding -- they should have hired some Ford Motor Company executives. 😉