The MINI Superleggera Is Super Swanky

What happens when you cross a Briton with an Italian?

Well, you might get this:

English-Italian actress, Claire Forlani.

But, if they are the British automaker, MINI, and Italian coach building company, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera, then you get this – the MINI Superleggera!

No you cannot have them both. Actually, the chances of you actually dating Forlani might be higher (though we’d advise against getting your hopes up) than owning a MINI Superleggera, as the latter is only a concept built for lawn display during the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este which took place last weekend.

The Concorso is best described as a beauty pageant for cars, where historic cars, concept cars and prototypes, and motorcycles vie for the jury’s favour. The Concorso began as far back as 1929 and in the late 90’s, caught the attention of the BMW Group; ever since, the parent company of MINI has been a co-organiser of the annual event.

The MINI Superleggera is certainly a stunner. There are no obvious parallels between this concept car and the typical MINI, except for the circular headlamps, the shape of the grille and possibly its electric platform, which is most probably the same as the MINI E. Are the side indentations on the bonnet suppose to mimic the trademark MINI stripes, or are we just imagining things?

Louis de Fabribeckers, Touring Superleggera’s Head of Design, said, ‘The Italian touch is in the proportions and the typical waistline.’ The super sleek, almost seamless body and dashboard are made from hand-beaten alloy and shaped to form classic silhouettes; if anything, the vehicle looks like a modernised and chicer version of the Nissan Figaro:

Nissan Figaro

Besides the ‘Italian touch’, there are hints of the vehicle’s English heritage found throughout the car: the narrow rimmed, three-spoke steering wheel, for instance, is reminiscent of classic British roadsters; much more glaringly conspicuous are the Union Jack-patterned rear lights and door brackets.

De Fabribeckers also said, ‘In this car all unnecessary equipment or decoration is sacrificed, as performance is gained through lightness and efficiency of the bodywork and interior.’ Besides the alloy bodywork, the vehicle’s space frame is also made from alloy tubes, which makes the entire vehicle super light; the Italian word “leggera” denotes “light”, after all.

However, the MINI Superleggera does not appear like it was designed for actual production. So, just like any other British-Italian beauties, this will only remain in our dreams. Oh, MINI, you are such a tease!


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