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The quintessential British roadster is back! Sort of. Designed and built in collaboration with Italian coach builder Touring Superleggera, this one-off Mini Superleggera Vision concept and it’s a look at Mini’s idea of an MX-5 rival.

A production version would replace the current Mini Coupe and Roadster models. Like those cars the new Roadster would share many components with the donor hatch such as the three-cylinder petrols and diesel engines, 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol, and the front-wheel drive platform. There are even talks of an electric powertrain derived from the BMW i3.mini-superleggera-concept-011It’ll share more than just mechanical parts with the hatch, the design is largely influenced by the current generation Mini. Most of the design was carried out by BMW’s designers in Munich while the Italian carried out the construction. The large round headlights, wraparound windscreen and trapezoid grille are still a major part of the design.There’s no denying the ‘Britishness’ of this roadster though. The proportions are those of a classic roadster with a long bonnet, pushed back cabin, and short overhangs. The taillights are even modelled on the Union Jack flag. The ‘tail fin’ on the boot is a stand out design feature which harks back to Le Mans racers from the 1950s and ’60s.mini-superleggera-concept-014

Inside, the design is very Mini-malist. Fuss-free yet oh-so stylish, the Italian influence is very apparent here. Again the Mini touches remain. The large central dial on the dashboard, the singular dial above the steering column, and the Union Jack-inspired door grabs couldn’t be anything but Mini.

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Its an interesting concept which I think looks great, if not a bit reminiscent of the Daihatsu Copen at the front. That’s by no means a negative. The Mini Superleggera promises an interesting new addition to the ever increasing Mini family.

In fact, if the Italian influence remains in the production version it could very well be the most European car out there. A car designed by Italians, developed in Germany and built in the UK. It couldn’t be more European if it were a singing bearded lady. Mini Superleggera Vision concept? Should’ve been called the Mini EuroVision concept.mini-superleggera-concept-018

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