By on March 18, 2015

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.

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

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

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

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15 Comments on “Mini Superleggera Gets 2018 Production Nod to be One of Brand’s Superheroes...”

  • avatar

    Well, the Union Jack lights just remind me of K-Mart, so I dunno if that works so well in The America. But the rest of this thing sure is slick!

    Pity it will cost more than the Mercedes equivalent, and be saddled with a Peugeot engine or something.

    Roadster FTW!

  • avatar

    I wonder how good the production version will look after they jack it up 4 inches and slap black plastic fender cladding on it.

    • 0 avatar

      What? Not even sure what you are talking about.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m talking about this:×475.jpg

        Carmakers currently seem to think that all their models must look the same to “enhance brand awareness” or something. So get ready for some black plastic fenders.

  • avatar

    Well, they’ve tried every other silly style any insane person could dream up and stuffed it on top of the MINI chassis.

    My vote for next attempt would be a bright yellow MINI School Bus, for North America only.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    Sadly this will probably be more popular than the mx-5, probably because it will have an engine with specs that the mx-5 should have for the US market (at least as a hi output trim)

    This will be good looking, but nevertheless a FWD (or fwd based awd) 2 seat roadster which in my mind is wrong. It needs RWD.

  • avatar
    John R

    BMW, it’s a Ford Thunderbird! Congrats!

  • avatar

    Great looking car. Drivetrain specs, curb weight, and price are salient unknowns.

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    I knew I saw this car before

    BMW is bringing back the MG-F!

  • avatar

    I like it. Probably wouldn’t buy it, but I like it. Nice touch on the tailights.

  • avatar

    Union Jack lights and FWD will make it the ideal Barbie roadster and I very much doubt that with this configuration it will come anywhere near the MX-5 popularity…even among metro-sexual curios…

  • avatar

    It needs a bit of work- the front end has too many ulcers.
    It will be a super lightweight (pun intended) with front wheel drive, and would lose any comparo with the Miata. As long as the wives and girlfriends think it’s cute, though, at least a few will get sold.

  • avatar

    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….

  • avatar

    …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…

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