Rumors: Mini Superleggera Headed for Production?
By Bradley Iger
December 17, 2014
Earlier this year Mini unveiled a design study that showcased what a next-generation drop top might look like, were the automaker to actually build such a car. Most pundits agreed that it was unlikely that the concept would amount to much more than a clay model, but if these patent images are any indicator, the Superleggera might just become a reality in a showroom near you very soon.
Unearthed by JokeForBlog, these patent images reveal a Superleggera design that’s for more suited for the real world with a full-frame windshield, regulation-compliant side mirrors, door handles, and other production-spec design components. Though it’s not specified in the patent information, according to Gas2, it’s likely that the Superleggera has also ditched the all-electric drivetrain seen in the concept and replaced it with one of the new TwinPower engines seen in the new Cooper and Cooper S.
In those cars, the turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine in the standard Cooper provides 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, with an overboost feature pushing that up to 170 pound-feet. This pushes the car from 0-60 miles per hour in 7.3 seconds when equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission, and 7.4 with the standard six-speed manual.
In the Cooper S, the 2.0-liter turbo-four produces 189 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque (221 pound-feet with overboost). 0-60 happens in 6.4 seconds with the automatic, and 6.5 seconds with manual transmission. Top speed for the automatic is 145 mph, while the manual-equipped Cooper S can reach 146 mph.
If the name is any indicator, the Superleggera should be substantially lighter than the Cooper, which bodes well for its performance potential with those powerplants.
Whether the Superleggera will ever make it to production is still anyone’s guess, but it’s safe to say that the likelihood of that happening is substantially more probable than previously thought. Keep an eye on this space for updates as we have them.