Do yourself a favour and check out the collaboration between Mini and coach building company Touring Superleggera.
Concept cars are usually wildly exaggerated versions of the vehicles that makes it to final production. Some never get that far, instead spending an eternity as a 3D model or, at best, a heap of clay. We hope the Mini Superleggera gets further than a glorified Play-Doh model though, because it is absolutely gorgeous.
Mini and coachbuilding company Touring Superleggera worked together to create the marvellous two-seater roadster you see before you. The Mini Superleggera is said to fuse British and Italian design, resulting in a car with ‘unique emotional appeal’.
Emotional or not, we think it looks fantastic. Like a miniature Jaguar F-Type has been shrunk and sent back to the 1960s. You’ve got the unmistakable bug-eyed headlights indicating there is a Mini in there somewhere, but otherwise it looks unique. And cute. Who cares it lacks a roof?
There are very few gaps in the body, according to its creators, because it is comprised of large sheets of aluminium, which are hand-beaten into shape and then finished in a unique paint colour known as Como Blue. Polished aluminium, elaborate alloys and special mirrors help with the elegant look.
At the back are LED rear lights in the shape of the Union Jack flag either side of a chrome bar. Below that is a carbon fibre-reinforced polymer diffuser ─ a material you would find on a BMW i8 and other exotic machinery.
Step inside and you will see, well, not a lot actually. Mini and Touring Superlegerra have kept the interior detailing to a minimum. There’s a three-spoke steering wheel, bucket seats, a single gauge, some sort of digital display and, bizarrely, a camera for taking selfies. Black chrome, brown leather and aluminium add a touch of sportiness. Meanwhile the dashboard is made from a single piece of aluminium.
BMW is yet to divulge much on the powertrain other than it is all-electric, so it’s likely to be powered by the same gubbins as the Mini E. That would give it a top speed approaching 100mph, which is way too much in a car you want passers-by to appreciate, and a range of 120 miles.
BMW senior vice president at BMW Group Design commented: “Touring Superleggera and MINI have much in common: both companies attach great importance to their history and this is something which defines their outward appearance to this day. What is more, they both emphasise iconic design and distinctive solutions.
“These elements are merged in the Mini SuperleggeraTM Vision to create an elegant automobile which interprets a British roadster under the influence of Italian style and hand craftsmanship.”
Milanese company Touring Superleggeras was responsible for the officially-endorsed Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, which is based on the 8C Competezione.
No doubt the question on your lips is to do with production. So far only one Mini Superleggera exists and you are looking at it. Rumours suggest a Mini sports car is on the horizon. If this is it, take our money already.