Mini is continuing to evaluate the impact of the Superleggera Vision concept. In some quarters it has gone down so well, says Mini brand head Jochen Goller, that customers have visited dealers to place orders.
The Superleggera was built to see ‘“how the public would react to a Mini stretched in a way that it had never been stretched before”, says board member Peter Schwarzenbauer, “and react to design cues that were back to basics, reduced to the max. We got an extremely positive reaction to it, although some hardcore Mini fans said 'no, that’s not a Mini'."
Schwarzenbauer reckons its rear-drive layout "is a natural," and the "simpler interior and electric drivetrain are where the brand is going direction-wise." But of the roadster concept itself "we are not sure yet – the volume is low, and how many open cars do you need in a range?"
When the model was revealed at the Villa d'Este Concours in May, it was thought the Superleggera could easily become a range-topping car for the Mini line-up. The production version of the concept would serve to replace the current Mini roadster and coupé models.
In the nearer term, Goller says that the Mini "will be differentiated more in terms of concepts and design, but we will not lose its identity. The face has to be recognisable. The smile of the hatchback has to be different from the Clubman’s." And the next Clubman, he says, "will be a stronger character."
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