P90151097-MINI Superleggera Vision Roadster Concept

Love the MINI Superleggera concept? You’re not alone. We’re fans here at MotoringFile, and for obvious reasons. The concept is an exciting view of what else a MINI can be when it reaches beyond its hatch roots. Yet concept cars can be fickle lovers. When a car is as conceptual as it is beautiful, it often simply passes in the current of a car company’s forward progress.

However the MINI Superleggera is looking very likely to actually see some production form. In an interview with Auto News’ Luca Ciferri, MINI head Peter Schwarzenbauer expressed his unabashed enthusiasm for this new vision of what a MINI can be. He also hinted to real-world production likelihood and there’s even a price floating around: $35,000 euros. Given how EU to US pricing typically works we’d expect something around the $40k + mark if this figure holds true.

“It was love of at first sight,” Schwarzenbauer told me with some tears in his eyes, which he could not take off the stunning concept while we spoke. “With cars it is like with people: the first seven seconds are crucial. I needed much less than that to fall in love with the Superleggera concept.”

Mini parent BMW Group typically uses the word “Vision” for true concept vehicles that offer small details of what’s to come next. The Mini Superleggera Vision seems to be an exception to that rule.

BMW executives already has a starting price in mind: 35,000 euros.

There is no doubt in my mind that when it comes time for the BMW Group to decide whether to make the car the vote will be a loud and clear, “YES!”

So the obvious concept car caveats apply. Many details will be different. That lack of a-pillars would be the first to change in a production model. The tail fin is likely to get lopped (which is a shame, if you ask me). Yet as with previous MINI concepts, we’ll likely see the main attitude and proportions of the car see the light of day.

I’m sure for many readers here, the real eye-popping moment is that price. Is there a market for a $40,000+ two-seater? Yes, obviously there is, however I think that the lament of this community would be that it’s a very different market segment than helped build MINI as a brand in the first place. As MINI continues its move up-market, and its evolution away from some of what many consider core values to the brand as we know it, what does that up-market move in cars like this sacrifice in middle-market accessibility?

Yet when I think about it from a different angle, this particular $40,000+ halo two-seater has the potential to extend the brand’s presence and market reach in a way that none of the existing models really can (even though models like the Roadster and the Paceman have tried). It pushes the boundaries of what a MINI can be up into a space that’s both exclusive and highly profitable. The business case is easy to make. The open question, I think, is will this rising tide eventually lift the price on all the boats in the MINI lineup? As MINI’s small car competitors have gotten more and more premium since the MINI’s debut, it would seem some sort of strategic vision would be in order. It would appear then, at least if the Superlaggera is any indication, that MINI is planning to double down on premium. That move could, quite literally, come at a price.