While I’ve long admired the marketing, advertising and branding of MINI, I’ve never been a big fan of their automotive design. This gorgeous open top two-seater is probably the first MINI body design I’ve ever really liked, but unfortunately it’s an exclusive one-off design.
The MINI Superleggera Vision
“The MINI Superleggera™ Vision elegantly perpetuates what the Classic Mini started 55 years ago: reduction to the essentials.” – Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design
the following copy is courtesy of MINI:
One of the most persistent MINI traditions is its love of looking over the horizon. With one eye on timeless design, the marque has always had the other fixed on imaginative new possibilities. Bold design concepts and novel manufacturing methods highlight perpetual exploration.
The result of a unique collaboration between MINI Design and the Milan-based design and coach building company Touring Superleggera,The MINI Superleggera Vision is a concept vehicle that combines the past and future of the automotive industry – traditional coachwork craftsmanship and modern design styling.
The MINI Superleggera TM Vision cuts a standout silhouette, synthesising unconventional design elements from MINI and Touring Superleggera. The MINI ‘bulldog’ stance pushes the wheels right to the corners, delivering go-kart agility. The famous Superleggera body is crafted by hand, not machine: smooth aluminium sheets mould over a frame of lightweight aluminium tubes, while a ‘Touringline’ runs from the front wheels to the fin-shaped rear. From behind, the striking rear lights form a two-part LED Union Jack, separated by a sparkling chrome bar. It’s a wave to the past, as you roar into the future.
Boasting high-end materials like black chrome and bespoke Italian leather, the exclusive concept vehicle is saturated with refined features. Paired with traditional Italian body construction, an authentic British look and nods to classic roadsters, it culminates in an iconic aesthetic appeal that MINI design is known for. At the same time, state-of-the-art elements like hand-shaped aluminium body panels, electric drivetrain and select carbon fibre components indicate it’s as illustrative of the future as it is deferential to the past.
The MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision showcases traditional MINI design on a classic Speedster bonnet, with the iconic round headlights and hexagonal grille. Plating on the grille gives it sporting character, while three-dimensional bonnet stripes emboss the hood, leading to polished aluminium accents. A wide stance and muscular wheel arches contrast against sleek aluminium mirrors and rims, finished off in eye-catching Como Blue paint.
Inside, the MINI SuperleggeraTM Vision is stripped back to bare racing aesthetics. The framework stays uncovered, but touches of luxury appear throughout. The feel: aluminium and leather. The instrument panel is built from a single aluminium sheet in which the iconic MINI Centre Instrument rests – a hub of futuristic technology. British racing heritage is clear throughout, with doors structured in a Union Jack design and bucket-shaped black leather sport-seats. Italian flair meets MINI attitude.
Listen to the creators of MINI Superleggera™ Vision describe the unique process of designing, fabricating, and constructing a timeless automobile in the video below:
“The MINI Superleggera™ Vision elegantly perpetuates what the Classic Mini started 55 years ago: reduction to the essentials. Its energetic, minimalistic design embodies the dynamic essence of an automobile. At the same time it creates unique emotional beauty in combining the past and future of the automotive industry, i.e. traditional coachwork craftsmanship and modern design styling. It was a pleasure for me to design a concept like this,” says Anders Warming, Head of MINI Design.
Design/Concept Sketches and renderings (courtesy of Autoblog):
“In this car all unnecessary equipment or decoration is sacrificed, as performance is gained through lightness and efficiency of the bodywork and interior. The Italian touch is in the proportions and the typical waistline,” explains Louis de Fabribeckers, Head of Design at Touring Superleggera and collaborator on the MINI Superleggera™ Vision.
The MINI Superleggera™ Vision was unveiled to the public this past week at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.