Remember that very un-MINI MINI concept? It seems the automaker is examining the idea of creating a production version.
MINI recently confirmed it was moving to a lineup of five core models, and one of these is to be a sports car-like offering to fill the void left by the discontinued Coupe and Roadster models. Based on the latest comments from MINI chief Peter Schwarzenbauer, that sports car-like offering will most likely be a production version of the stylish Superleggera Vision concept that we first saw at the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
“The interest was tremendous when we showed this concept car,” he told Autocar. “We are now working hard to get it on the street.”
In his interview with the British publication, the MINI chief conceded there was still no firm decision on production, though he also said there were a lot of people at the brand in support of the project. If there's a business case to be made, an automaker typically goes with the flow... the potential dollar flow.
If built, the car would be more of a pure sports model along the lines of the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and it’s possible a number of powertrains could be made available including a range-topping plug-in hybrid setup (the Superleggera Vision concept was actually a battery-powered electric). This is because the car would be based on the BMW Group’s UKL platform, which was recently shown with a ‘through-the-road’ hybrid all-wheel-drive system. The setup makes its debut in the UKL-based 2-Series Active Tourer from BMW next year.
Autocar speculates we’ll see the new MINI sports car in 2019.