The Mini Superleggera Vision Concept a beautiful all-electric Mini Cooper Roadster. A vision of beauty designed by Italian Touring Superleggera.
MINI is well known for its stylistic appeal and strong brand image when it comes to elegant aesthetics. Yet many longtime fans of the brand (myself included) would argue that MINI has not done anything innovative style-wise since the 2001 Mini Cooper R53, the first of the new generation reborn Minis produced during 200-1-2006. I have owned an R53 Mini Cooper S JCW in the past, I currently own an R56 Mini Cooper S and recently test driven the current 2014 Mini. In terms of their design language, frankly, I see no major difference; Minis are just becoming larger, shinier and more loaded with gadgets and gimmicks. Yet the Mini Superleggera Vision Concept was love at first sight.
Upon reading that it was designed by Touring Superleggera, I immediately knew that this was going to be interesting. I still recall their previous concept, the stunning Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, a brilliant concept car in its own right. The only question was, would the Italians manage to blend Italian Style, British Tradition, and elements of German design language all together? Well this little barchetta proves they can!
Maybe it is was the fact that I always wanted to see a purist Mini Cooper Roadster, maybe it was the all-electric drive, or perhaps it’s that awesome retro-futuristic look, but the Mini Superleggera Vision just ticks all the right boxes.
The Mini Superleggera boasts a traditional roadster layout, with a long hood and a shorter rear end. The front end is the only part of the car that bears a clear resemblance to the current production Mini, mostly due to the traditionally styled Mini headlamps, which sit above a version of the new Cooper’s gaping grille. Beyond that point though the Mini Superleggera Vision takes design to a completely different level.
The profile is brightened by a pair of character lines, the most noticeable of which runs from ahead and over the front wheel wells toward the back of the diminutive droptop. The rear of the car is even more impressive, thanks to those magnificent Union Jack taillights and their rounded rectangular enclosures. I bet nobody would want to overtake that car, especially at night, and risk losing sight of those beautiful taillights. But of course the highlight is the amazing retro-looking fin, MINI should put this one on all Mini roadsters, even retrofit it if needed.
Moreover, there is the cabin, that super sleek minimalist cabin. No gimmicks and rows of plastic buttons here, just the essentials with beautifully crafted form and built using quality materials. The cabin is awash in aluminum and leather trim. The overall theme blends classic roadster characteristics with traditional Mini styling, which is most notable when looking at the large, thin-rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel bearing a clear reference to old British roadsters. Again it’s all about quality over quantity and thought out details (yes I am refereeing to the iconic union jack pattern at the doors).
There are no information available yet regarding its performance. We know that under the hood lies an electric motor and drivetrain, yet we’re completely lacking any technical specifications. Does it matter though? Not really. The Mini Superleggera Vision is a concept of style, aesthetics and form. After all as the Tesla Roadster demonstrated many years ago if they want to make such a small two-seater all-electric, it is doable, the technology is there tested and proven.
While gorgeous, tit is unlikely that this little gem will make it to production, but if it was up to us, we say: Just make it happen!