According to super-sleuth Georg Kacher (who usually gets things mostly correct) the BMW board approved the MINI Superleggera for production in 2018 earlier this year. However that was quickly followed up with plenty of denials from BMW and MINI indicating that a decision had yet to be reached. Its true our sources have told us that BMW was looking to make a decision before the end of the year on several initiatives, this being one of them. Alas nothing has even been whispered to the press which would indicate nothing has been decided at this point.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, BMW’s board member in charge of Mini, has said the Superleggera would be a “great addition to the Mini range”
Reportedly Schwarzenbauer has been “pushing” to get the Superleggera into production since last year which is generally a good sign considering he is ultimately responsible for the brand.
The Superleggera was an incredibly important concept for MINI when it debuted as it previewed the brand’s evolution that officially began this year with the Clubman.
Taken as a whole the concept represented what MINI Design Head Anders Warming has been prepping us for – a progression of MINI’s design language into something more modern yet with clear links to the past. In many ways this was the boldest change we’ve seen from MINI design since the R50 debuted in 2001. At the time of the debut we said “Look for subtle adoptions of this more refined yet retro design philosophy to find its way into future MINIs in the coming years.” We’ve now seen some of that retrained interior design approach show up in the new Clubman. But we expect much more in the next generation MINI due out in 2020.
The Production Superleggera
The good news is that MINI may still be making this car. The bad news (for electric car fans) is that if MINI produces the Superleggera they’ll surely sticking with its current range of petrol engines. Engineering and tooling costs along would be hard enough to get past for production approval. Adding a hybrid and electric drivetrain the mix would surely rule out production entirely. Instead if the Superleggea comes to market look for Cooper, Cooper S and JCW models only.
Timing is an open question with the Car report referencing 2018. To us that sounds right (assuming it’s late 2018) given MINI’s product roadmap. But the bigger question remains “if” not “when”.
Read and see more in MF’s Superleggera section.