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Is the Mini Superleggera Vision Concept a Worthy MX-5 Fighter?

Editorial / 74 Comments

The fight for the best all-around roadster may soon begin.

We'll admit that we were taken by surprise with the reveal of Mini's latest concept, the Superleggera Vision. It's unlike anything the brand has ever done, and it's a far cry from either the Mini Coupe or Roadster (in a good way). Mini is diverging away from its roots into the realm of not only something unique, but also potentially relevant. A simple, two-seat roadster with decent power has always had a loyal following. The Mazda MX-5 Miata has led the pack in this segment for 25 years.

It appears that Mini is not only interested in possibly expanding its lineup, but also wants to use the concept as a design showcase. After all, there is a certain Mini traditional look that needs to remain, only this time it's been given some Italian flair. Could something like this work as a production Mini? Perhaps, but there are a few things that need to be clarified first. One, Mini hasn't made clear whether this thing is front- or rear-wheel-drive. A fair assumption is the former, so consider that strike one. Next, what's under the hood? All Mini is saying is that this is a hybrid-electric concept. Strike two right there.

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Lastly, if the Superleggera Vision were to make production, how much of its design would remain intact? It is a coachbuild project, and those are usually nothing more than design exercises. If Mini wants to do an MX-5 fighter, then it needs to do it right.