MINI has revealed a stunning two-seat roadster concept called Superleggera Vision: built by MINI and Touring Superleggera, it’s rumoured to preview a future MINI rival to the Mazda MX-5.
It would also consign today’s half-hearted MINI Coupe and Roadster to the history books.
The MINI Superleggera Vision has been built in the traditional way: new MINI underpinnings have been mated to a coachbuilt hand-shaped body made by Touring in Milan.
BMW Group design senior vice president Adrian van Hooydonk says it is “an elegant automobile which interprets a British roadster under the influence of Italian style and hand craftsmanship”. Hands up: it’s convinced us. Just look at it.
The simple, elegant design has a long bonnet, long wheelbase but short rear overhang. The two passengers sit far back, emphasising the effect.
Mainstream, iconic MINI elements are clear at the front, and the curved wings are more retro than ever. But instead of a wraparound clamshell bonnet, there’s an inlaid one, just like on classic Lotus.
It’s the side profile that really makes the MINI Superleggera Vision. The characteristic ‘Touring’ line running from front to rear features, setting off the “aesthetic” handcrafted look quite perfectly. It’s proportionally spot on and the fact it’s made from large panels gives it a smooth, ‘join-free’ appearance.
And at the rear? Praise be, it has a fin! The firm suggests it could be for ‘longitudinal dynamics’ but there’s no need: it’s cool, it’s fine.
Also check out the elegant slope of the rear, the cut-off tail, the Union Jack tail laps. All brilliant.
Inside, gorgeous Sabbia brown leather features heavily, setting off black chrome, aluminium and matt textured paint. All exquisite, and the black leather bucket seats are decidedly 1960s in their style.
The dash is interesting, Building upon the now-familiar ‘central speedo’ look with two additional dials and a touch-sensitive control element. Unlike the original Cooper, though, they don’t depict water temperature and oil pressure, but show an analogue clock and a reversing camera…
… Which doubles up as an onboard drive cam “capturing those particularly worthwhile moments on the road” from a viewpoint between driver and passenger seats.it’
A built-in GoPro!
So, it’s beautiful. It’s on show at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2014. Does it preview the forthcoming MINI Mazda MX-5 challenger, though?
How we hope so.