The BMW Group created a very special concept: the MINI Superleggera Vision. This exclusive interpretation of an open-top two-seater was created by MINI and Touring Superleggera, the tradition-steeped design and coach building house based in Milan.Edward Green ▼ Saturday May 24, 2014 6:01PM ET
Jolly MINI Superleggera Vision
The MINI Superleggera Vision is on the one hand a classic roadster, a compact and agile two-seater, expressing the most minimalist and emotional style of motoring; and on the other hand its electric drivetrain gives the car distinctly modern driving dynamics. In collaboration with MINI, Touring Superleggera has designed and built an elaborately crafted, unique model which blends the tradition of classic coachwork construction with the MINI's authentic British styling to create timeless aesthetic appeal.
Modern Britishness meets Italian flair in the design of that famous auto. Balanced proportions indicat what the electrically powered MINI Superleggera Vision has to offer: the stretched bonnet, long wheelbase and cool, short overhangs convey pure driving fun. As in every MINI, the wheels are set widely on the body, promising a high degree of agility. The passenger cell is slightly set back, further underscoring the car's dynamic impression. The overall effect of the MINI Superleggera Vision is sporty, elegant and dynamic.
The front of the MINI Superleggera Vision features the traditional MINI design icons: two circular headlights and a hexagonal grille define the unmistakable front section, providing a contemporary interpretation of features which have become firmly established over decades. There are also striking classic sports car elements such as a wide track and distinctively curved wheel arches that give the front a dynamic presence. The classic MINI bonnet stripes are three-dimensionally embossed and run on into high-quality polished aluminum accents.
The inlaid bonnet harks back to classic British roadsters of bygone days. Meanwhile the horizontal rib look of the radiator grille adds a classic sporty touch. The fact that it is closed is a discreet indication of the car's electric motor.
The exterior and interior design of the MINI Superleggera Vision merge seamlessly. Only a surrounding shoulder line in polished aluminium visually separates the exterior and interior from each other. The border creates an encircling, sporty gesture that consistently perpetuates the clear elegance and generous surfaces of the exterior. In its styling and in the look and feel of its materials, the interior design celebrates the tradition and the essence of classic coachwork construction.
It reflects how the automobile was created: the essential features are quoted - the untreated aluminium sheeting and the tube-shaped structural elements - and they are made visible in the interior by means of a high-quality interpretation.
The doors and the sporty 3-spoke steering wheel reveal the traditional method of construction. The structural elements in the doors form a Union Jack, discreetly indicating the British origins of the MINI Superleggera Vision. The Center Instrument draws on MINI design styling and has been extended to include a touch-sensitive control element and two circular instruments with metal surrounds. In addition to the analog clock, the second framed instrument activates the camera which is integrated between the driver and front passenger seat.
The camera has the function of capturing those particularly worthwhile moments on the road.
Aluminium and leather in a virtually untreated state define the reduced aesthetics of the MINI Superleggera Vision in the interior. Below the shoulder covered in brown leather in the classical color Sabbia, the materials are kept to the essentials. The structural elements in the doors and centre console are finished in high-quality black chrome, exclusively set apart from the aluminium surfaces and the raw finish in the footwell area. This contrasting mixture of structured surfaces and high-end materials gives the MINI Superleggera Vision an exceptional charm.
The MINI Superleggera Vision epitomizes the potential of "Carrozzeria" in today's automobile industry: blending creativity and flexibility with rigor and respect of high standards. The result is a car of classic beauty that is also state of the art. ■