Earlier this year the MINI Superleggera debuted as a stunning design study of what a next-gen roadster from the iconic British brand might look like. The MINI Superleggera may be more than just wishful thinking though, if these production-ready patents found by JokeForBlog are any indicator of the flyweight roadster’s future.
The path from concept to production car is still unsure for the MINI Superleggera, and there have already been at least a few changes, like a fully-framed windshield, regulation-meeting side mirrors, and an overall shape that seems slightly more grounded in reality. That also likely means the all-electric drivetrain will be replaced by one of the new TwinPower engines MINI’s owner BMW rolled out last year. The closest we’ll get to an electric MINI anytime soon is probably this scooter concept.
There’s still talk of introducing a plug-in hybrid model to the lineup as well, and a low-volume model like the Superleggera wouldn’t be the worst vehicle to electrify. This is all still preliminary though, as MINI seems to be downsizing its lineup rather than expanding, showing the maligned MINI Roadster the door after a short and disappointing sales stint.
Convertibles in general have not fared well in the market as of late, and the Superleggera would have to compete with the all-new Mazda Miata for the shrinking share of sales. Convertible sales in generally have been plunged in the last decade, down an estimated 44% since 2004, and a number of automakers are forgoing droptop models altogether. Can the MINI Superleggera usher some life back into this dwindling market segment, or will it remain forever young as a concept of what could-have-been.