Last year, Mini showed up to Italy’s Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance with a winner on its hands. That concept was the Superleggera Vision; designed by legendary coachbuilder Touring and intended to envision a Mini roadster of the future.
While quite the looker, the drop-top’s production viability had since been in question, however earlier patent renderings and a new report from CAR magazine suggest that the project is very much green-lighted. In fact, CAR reports that production of the Superleggera will commence in early 2018.
The report does note a rather large concession however. Whereas Touring’s Mini Superleggera concept toted an electric powertrain, the production-ready Superleggera is expected to ride atop the front- and all-wheel-drive architecture currently employed by the Mini range.
Mini’s enthusiasm for a standalone EV has been noted in the past, and the Superleggera could eventually offer that powertrain, but until then a higher-powered Cooper S drivetrain will most likely underpin the car.
The plans nod to Mini’s strategic downsizing of its model lineup to five core vehicles, popularized by executives as its “superheroes” plan, which has already seen the slow-selling Mini Coupe and Roadster receive the production axe beyond 2015. Thankfully, external styling from the concept is alleged to reflect that of the now tipped production version.
Bear in mind, this isn’t gospel from Mini, but it does add significant weight to some already quite popular industry murmurs.