► Mini Superleggera is approved for sale
► Expected in early 2018
► Replaces unpopular roadster model
Remember last summer's Mini Superleggera concept car, shown at the 2015 Villa d'Este concours d'elegance? It's worth recalling, as it has been greenlighted for production.
CAR magazine can reveal that the Superleggera roadster is earmarked for production in early 2018, having won approval as one of the BMW board's proposed five 'super-heroes' to give the third-gen Munich Mini family some added zip.
Mini Superleggera: why it's going on sale
As previously reported by CAR, the Mini range is being refocused to concentrate on fewer, better models. Hence the super-hero analogy employed by board member in charge, Peter Schwarzenbauer.
He's keen to avoid the pluralisation of the Mini range, which has created models deemed niches-too-far by Munich, including the rare-groove Paceman, Coupe and Roadster.
According to CAR's sources, none will be replaced in this generation.
What can we expect from the 2018 Superleggera?
Despite certain type approval-related modifications, the production version is said to retain the character and charisma of the 2014 concept car. Good news!
Although its makers are keen to adopt the complex one-off plug-in technology featured in the design exercise (e-motor up front, combustion engine driving the rear wheels), the two-seater soft-top must still be matched to the modular front- and all-wheel drive FAAR architecture which underpins the current Mini range.
This points to a range of three- and four-cylinder engines and the prospect of a Mini Superleggera Cooper S running a 189bhp 2.0-litre turbo.
CAR was first to drive the Mini Superleggera concept car. Click here for our quick road test.