Yet another Mini variant? How many is that now?
Hold your tongue, this one's a bit special. The Mini Superleggera Vision is a collaboration between Mini and Italian coachbuilders Touring Superleggera (as the name suggests).
So what have the Italians done to Britain's beloved Mini?
We'll skip over the fact that the original Mini was designed by a Greek and the current model is built by BMW. Adding Italy to the mix has made the Superleggera Vision rather beautiful. The body's made from hand-beaten aluminium panels, riffing on the Mini's design cues while adding some characteristic Italian flourishes.
More after the break...
Well, you get the LED-ringed headlights, short overhangs and gaping hexagonal grille from the new model Mini – as well as the characteristic twin bonnet stripes, here embossed onto the nose. And there are some cute details pointing to its British heritage; Union Jack rear LED light clusters, echoed by the Union Jack bracketry in the doors.
But they're augmented with Italian proportions – a lowered body, swept-back windscreen and the characteristic "Touring" line running from ahead of the front wheels to the rear wheels, plus a cheeky little fin at the back. It's a genuine "superlight" car, too, with an alloy spaceframe chassis, plus side sills and a rear diffuser made from the same carbon fibre-reinforced plastic found on the BMW i3 and i8.
Where's the roof?
Ye-es. It doesn't appear to have one. But since you'll only be using it to swan around Tuscany, that's surely not an issue. And you'll be travelling in style, in a luxurious leather-clad cabin with a minimalist dashboard, made from a single piece of aluminium. We're less certain about the camera in the dash, designed to snap selfies of the driver and passenger.
What's under the bonnet?
Mini's keeping schtum on the exact details, but has revealed that the Superleggera Vision will have an electric powertrain – likely similar to that found in the Mini E. Assuming it hasn't been tweaked, that means you get 0-60mph in eight seconds, with a top speed of 95mph and a range of 120 miles. And the smug glow of satisfaction that goes with knowing you're saving the planet.
How much is it?
Priceless; Mini has only made the one Superleggera Vision, seemingly just for the sake of doing so rather than to preview designs for a road-going car. Although rumours persist that Mini's ditching its Coupé and Roadster models to create a new standalone sports car – in which case, Mini: please, just stick this car on sale.
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