Written by Brandon Turkus
Mini Superleggera Vision is the all-electric roadster Mini needs to make
It could be argued that Mini has not built a pretty car since the R53, the first of the reborn Minis, was put out to pasture at the end of 2006. I’ve owned two R53s, so yes, I’m horribly biased. The styling situation in Oxford hasn’t improved much for 2014, either, as the bigger, more frightened-looking Mini begins to arrive in dealerships, boasting a very un-Mini-like front overhang. This, though… this works.
It’s called the Superleggera Vision, and straight away, we should point out that it’s not designed by Mini. It’s a product of Touring Superleggera, whose other creations include the stunning Disco Volante. It’s a darn nice piece of design, and we’re especially fond of its tiny, Jaguar D-type-like rear fin. It’s also perfectly designed for its debut location – the Concours d’Elegance at Italy’s Villa d’Este.
Despite being a Mini, the Superleggera still boasts a traditional roadster layout, with a long hood and a shorter rear deck. The front end boasts a pair of traditionally styled Mini headlamps, which sit above a version of the new Cooper’s gaping grille. 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. Of course, we can’t not mention that amazing fin. It should be fitted to every Mini Roadster posthaste. The rear of the car, meanwhile, almost reminds us of an old Aston Martin Vanquish, thanks to the shape of its taillights and their rounded rectangular enclosure. And yes, those are Union Jacks inside the taillights. God save the queen.
The cabin is awash in aluminum and leather trim, but it’s a generally minimalist design. The overall theme blends more classic roadster characteristics with traditional Mini touches, and is most notable when looking at the large, thin-rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel harkens back to old British roadsters. That’s accented by the centrally mounted speedometer and the column-mounted tachometer, both classic Mini features.
Under hood, there’s an electric drivetrain, although we’re completely absent of any details on it. Still, we should point out what a 180 this has been for BMW – at last year’s Villa d’Este, it showed a V12-powered, ultra-luxury coupe. Now, it’s showing a tiny, convertible EV.
Take a look up top for our full gallery of images provided by BMW. Then, hop below and have a look at the official press release on this striking, eco-friendly concept.