The MINI Superleggera Vision Concept has made its debut at the world-famous Concours d’Elegance at Villa d’Este – a classic car event that, during recent years, has become a popular venue for car manufacturers to unveil their latest supercars. MINI follows its parent company in choosing the high-brow Italian show to reveal its latest concept – a wacky-looking electric speedster.
The car has been built in association with Touring of Italy and, although at first sight this car looks like stylists’ fluff, it does rather back-up our view that MINI has ambitions to build a Mazda MX-5 rival and has done for a very long time. The arresting looking car was designed by Anders Warming – he who penned the current model and who told AROnline that his family enjoyed a series of BMC cars during his childhood – and incorporates the front-end architecture of the MINI hatch with a sharp-looking barchetta bodied roadster and cheeky little Jaguar D-type fin.
Despite that, it’s clearly not at all retro – confirmation that MINI’s retro design cues are slowly being replaced by post-modernism. We can’t help but be reminded of the 1997 MINI ACV30 Concept – which was similar in so many ways.
We don’t know much about what’s going on under the skin, but whatever EV drivertrain it’s packing, you can be sure that if a production version appears, it will undoubtedly be powered by higher-powered versions of MINI’s TwinPower three- and four-cylinder engines. The interior of the Vision is a lovely, minimalist affair, fashioned from aluminium and featuring a large, centrally mounted monitor. It’s clearly influenced by the orignal Mini. The Union Flag tail lamps and interior door grab handles may be a detail too far, though.
It will be interested to see how the Vision goes down with buying public, as well as Mini enthusiasts, but the press seems to like it, and it’s clearly another example of the new, longer MINI nose working with alternative body styles. It’s a thumb’s up from us… how about you?