Mini May Have Just Built The Best Roadster Ever
We were MX-5 guys, but we’re rethinking our position.
Right now, Mini sells the Roadster, a chopped Cooper convertible with a boxy butt and a weird silhouette. Forget that car. (Mini is—production ends later this year.) According to Car magazine, Mini has finally green-lit production on the much sexier Superleggera Vision it unveiled last year at the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance.
Built out-of-house by Milanese studio Touring Superleggera (also responsible for the gorgeous Ferrari Lusso and Alfa Disco Volante concepts), the Mini Superleggera is a trim, retro droptop with sweet, Anglophilic features like Union Jack taillights and a rounded aerodynamic fin. The proportions, fantastic for what will be a front-drive car, evoke the long hood/rear deck shape of classic British roadsters like the Austin Healey 3000.
The interior, for a change, takes its cue from the future, with a huge clean sheet of polished aluminum with almost no buttons or vents. The steering wheel is thin-rimmed, and the shifter looks to be crystal, much like that in Volvo’s brand new XC90 T8 hybrid.
While the concept car harbored an electric motor under its long hood, we’d bet on the engines from the standard Mini (a 1.5-liter three cylinder and a 2.0-liter four cylinder) to provide the necessary punch for such a racy-looking roadster. And though purists (and MX-5 drivers) might chide the wee convertible for having front-wheel drive, few cars handle better than a Mini, regardless of drivetrain, so we’re nothing but excited to take this blue beauty for a spin.