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Report: Mini to Bring Superleggera Roadster to Market by 2019

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/15/2015 Megan Stewart
Report: Mini to Bring Superleggera Roadster to Market by 2019 Mini Superleggera Vision Concept© Provided by MotorTrend Mini Superleggera Vision Concept

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has been one of the top affordable roadsters on the market with no real direct competition, but within the next few years, that may change. Mini will move forward with its flagship Superleggera roadster concept, but we don't expect to see the production version until 2019.

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Based off the short-wheelbase UKL platform from BMW, the new Mini Superleggera will most likely be an offshoot of the Mini Cabriolet model. This specific platform has been described as the perfect structure for a convertible model, as its design is lightweight and rigid.

"The interest was tremendous when we showed this concept car. We are now working hard to get it on the street. It's an economically challenging project and there is no firm decision, but we have a lot of people here that are fighting for it. I think it would be extremely good for the brand," Mini boss Peter Schwarzenbauer told Autocar.

The Mini Superleggera is expected to use a range of three- and four-cylinder gas and diesel engines, ranging from 1.5 to 2.0 liters. Horsepower will most likely range from 136 and 230 hp. However, unlike the rear-wheel drive Mazda MX-5 Miata, the base Superleggera will most likely be front-wheel drive, with the option for four-wheel drive in more powerful variants.

Mini is also considering a hybrid system, which will first debut on the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. This front-mounted turbocharged 1.5-liter engine paired with a rear-mounted electric motor is expected to deliver 219 hp and 209 lb-ft of torque. The new Countryman, due out in 2017, will be the first Mini model to feature the new hybrid system, followed by the Superleggera roadster.

Source: Autocar

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