Electric Mini Superleggera Decision Delayed For Months


MINI Superleggera Vision concept

MINI Superleggera Vision concept

Unveiled earlier this year, the MINI Superleggera Vision concept was a refreshing counterpoint to current MINI production models, which seem to grow larger and uglier by the day.

Parent company BMW has considered putting the Superleggera into production with an electric powertrain, but doesn't plan to make a firm decision for some time.

The German carmaker will wait at least six months to decide on a production version, BMW board member Peter Schwarzenbauer told Reuters.

The Superleggera is in limbo while BMW decides whether to expand or shrink the MINI brand.

MORE: A MINI Two-Seater Sports Car? Superleggera Vision Teases Us

Two plans are reportedly under evaluation. One would expand the MINI lineup to 10 models, the other would contract it to five.

While the current MINI lineup has grown well beyond the premise of the original Mini it's intended to emulate, the Superleggera Vision's looks could win it support.

MINI Superleggera Vision concept

MINI Superleggera Vision concept

Constructed by Italian coachbuilder Touring Superleggera, the concept featured a minimalist design rendered in aluminum bodywork.

BMW board member Schwarzenbauer noted that if the total number of models was reduced, there would still be room for new ones.

So while the Superleggera won't be ruled out under either plan, it's not guaranteed for production either.

ALSO SEE: First Drive: Mini E Electric Vehicle Is Far From Ready For Primetime

If built, the two-seat roadster would be MINI's eighth model, and its first mass-production electric car.

MINI also deployed a test fleet of MINI E two-seaters from 2008 to 2010. Based on the previous-generation MINI Cooper, the cars preceded the BMW ActiveE in providing real-world usage data on electric cars.

As with other prototype electric cars, the MINI E fleet was returned to its maker at the conclusion of the two-year program, after receiving plenty of praise from test drivers.

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