Considered by many the concept car of 2014, the MINI Superleggera will finally transition from a design exercise to a production series car. According to CAR magazine, BMW's board approved the Superleggera production for 2018.
MINI will reduce the lineup to five models, down from eight. The British brand plans to focus on the three-door and five-door version of its classic hatchback, as well as on the Countryman crossover and Clubman wagon. Schwarzenbauer says that niche models are not only too expensive to produce given their small sales, but they also take up a lot of the marketing budget.
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Sources says the Superleggera will either adopt the complex one-off plug-in technology featured in the design exercise (e-motor up front, combustion engine driving the rear wheels) or the front-wheel drive architecture seen in the MINI range. If the latter is chosen, MINI Superleggera will be driven by three and four-cylinder engines, with a top model S developing 189 horsepower.
The new Mini was conceived, created and produced in a project between its Munich-based design department and Touring Superleggera’s coach building works in Milan. The former led the styling of the low slung two seater, while the latter undertook its traditional hand shaped metal sheet construction. Many classic MINI design cues have been carried over, including a hexagonal shaped grille, oval shaped headlamps, bonnet stripes and multi-spoke wheels.
They are combined with a series of traditional styling touches found on a long history of Touring Superleggera models.