MINI Superleggera Vision: British History Meets Italian Elegance

BMW-owned MINI and Italian coachbuilder Touring Superleggera have teamed up to create the MINI Superleggera Vision concept sports car. The open-topped, electric-powered two seater flaunts a hand-shaped and formed aluminum body styled to evoke the classic roadsters of British automotive history.

Displayed at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2014 held near Lake Como in northern Italy, the one-off roadster's elegant yet muscular appearance was inspired by some of Great Britain's iconic post-war sports cars like the Jaguar D-type and the Austin-Healey 3000. Of course there's no mistaking this is a MINI, though the hoary old marque has come a long way from being The Car owned and loved by Mr. Bean.

The MINI Superleggera Vision is mainly just that: a vision of MINI's design ethos moving forward that doesn't ignore the triumphs of the past. As such, practical engineering details have been given far less priority – that gorgeous frameless windscreen would never see the light of day in real-world production, for instance.

“MINI and Touring both believe that proportions are the key factor of beauty,” explained Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design at Touring Superleggera. “In this car all unnecessary equipment or decoration is sacrificed, as performance is gained through lightness and efficiency of the bodywork and interior. The Italian touch is in the proportions and the typical waistline.” Bella indeed.

Those proportions work wonderfully when applied to a dedicated two-seat body spread over a wheelbase slightly extended from that of the standard MINI Hardtop. As well, the Vision's smooth and flowing lines are given extra touches of personality such as the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante-esque central rear tail fin and taillights that mimic two halves of the Union Jack flag.

As mentioned, the MINI Superleggera Vision is a one-off concept car crafted especially for the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, an event that un-coincidentally has been organized by BMW Group for the past decade. Though we may never see the Vision in dealer showrooms, one hopes at least some of its exquisite design cues will crop up on future production MINIs. (via Autobild and Stevenson)